Category: vektucye

Limpopo Tourism seeks investors

first_img14 November 2006The Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board is to commercialise facilities in 15 of its nature reserves in order to create jobs and boost conservation and tourism in the province.Limpopo Tourism and Parks marketing director Khorommbi Matibe said the provincial government owned 54 protected areas whose tourism potential had not been optimally developed.Four of these are to be commercialised by the end of the 2006/07 financial year:Masebe Nature Reserve A 4 500 hectare reserve situated in the eastern Waterberg some 75km north of Mokopane. Encompasses the picturesque Waterberg mountain formation and a number of bushveld landscape rock art sites. Forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere, an initiative that allows communities, authorities and commercial concerns to become joint stakeholders in the conservation and development of the area. Existing facilities include luxurious accommodation, conference facilities, hiking trails and picnic sites.Makuya Park Nature ReserveA massive reserve in the north-western region of the Kruger National Park. Incorporated with the Kruger National Park, the reserve is home to big game such as buffalo and elephant. Existing facilities include a tented camp set on the Pafuri River.Musina Nature ReserveA 4 910-hectare reserve situated 10km south of the town of Musina. Boasts a high concentration of baobab trees and numerous species of game. An outstanding feature of the reserve is the presence of the oldest rock formations in the world: the Sand River gneiss, estimated by geologists to be 3 800 million years old. Existing facilities include a bush camp, guest house, hiking trails and picnic sites.Rust de Winter Nature ReserveA 1 650 hectare reserve situated within an hour’s drive north from Gauteng province’s major metropolitan centres. Boasts a wide variety of landscapes and habitats – including the 500 hectare Rust de Winter Dam – that support 400 bird species and a range of antelope.For more information on these and other reserves to be commercialised, see: Limpopo Tourism & Parks: commercialisation of tourism on nature reserves Matibe said that private investors would enter into concession agreements with Limpopo Tourism and Parks, and could choose whether to develop and operate accommodation facilities, put together adventure packages or set up other recreational activities.“Accommodation and conference facilities need to be built, and those reserves that do have these facilities need private companies to take over management and marketing to make them profitable,” he reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Number of Location-Aware Apps Keeps Growing Rapidly – But Very Few are Cross-Platform

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market We are still in the early days of location-based apps, but according to new data from Skyhook, there are now over 6,000 location-based iPhone apps, 900 Android apps and 300 BlackBerry apps. Skyhook, the company that allows non-GPS enabled devices to triangulate locations by using nearby WiFi signals, also found that only a small number of these location-based apps are currently available across the three major app stores. There are currently only 43 cross-platform location apps.Social networking and lifestyle apps make up the majority of these cross-platform apps, though in general, most location-based apps are travel apps, followed by social networking services and sports and fitness apps. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… frederic lardinois Skyhook’s report also highlights the differences in how app developers price their apps in different stores. Wikango, for example, is free for iPhone users, while the Android app costs $14.73 and the BlackBerry app is $19.99. Even though the iPhone platform has a reputation for driving the price of apps down, about 75% of all location-aware apps in the App Store are paid apps. On the BlackBerry platform, half of the apps are paid apps while less than 20% of the location apps on Android are paid apps. Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#news#web It’s interesting to see that such a small number of apps are currently available across the major platforms. Chances are, though, that a lot of these apps come from smaller development shops that simply don’t have the resources to port their apps to every platform. As the market for location-aware apps matures, we will surely see that a lot of the more successful players will offer cross-platforms apps. Until then, the iPhone is the natural proving ground for these apps, especially given that it has the largest developer and user community at this point. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

How to Fix an Old Farmhouse Chimney

first_img RELATED ARTICLES Replacing the brick with a cheaper alternativeGiven the problems, Hyler wonders whether the chimney, which vents a boiler and water heater, could be torn down and replaced with something less expensive. It would be no great loss to the house aesthetically, Hyler adds.A stainless-steel chimney would probably cost less, and work better, than a masonry structure, Holladay says, so if the decision is to replace instead of repair that might be a good option. The stainless-steel chimney could be boxed in with framing and drywall so it wouldn’t be visible inside the house.Hyler’s decision will be complicated by the fact the house will soon be sold. A simple repair, if one exists, might be more appealing financially than a major investment in a property Hyler will soon put on the market.But in either case, potential buyers should be told of any existing problems that sellers are aware of.“As far as I understand, in many states, home sellers are required by law to disclose any known defects,” Holladay says “Now that you have researched the topic and learned about your defective chimney — and now that your question has been posted in a public forum — you are probably required to disclose the defect to any interested buyer.“If this were an ethics column instead of a construction advice column,” he adds, “here’s what I would answer: You are ethically obligated to fix the problem or to inform the buyer about any known defect in your home.” Most likely causes: bad flashing or flue-gas condensationFaulty flashing is one possible culprit, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, but it also could be moisture resulting from the condensation of flue gases.Leaks at the intersection of chimney and roof aren’t at all uncommon, and while there are several possible corrections, Holladay thinks the most reliable way is with a technique called through-chimney flashing. “Proper installation of through-chimney flashing requires all of the bricks above the roofline to be disassembled,” Holladay writes. “After the flashing work is done, the chimney top can be rebuilt with the old bricks or with new bricks.”Condensation occurs in flues that are too big or cold, Holladay adds, referring Hyler to an an article he originally wrote for The Journal of Light Construction. He suggests searching out a skilled mason with a good understanding of chimneys.Dana Dorsett adds that a chimney can “rot out from the inside” because of flue gas condensation.“It’s not about the quality of the brickwork,” Dorsett writes, “it’s the size of the liner relative to the BTU output of the boiler and the temperature and acidity of the exhaust. If the cross section of the flue is too large, it slows the velocity of the exhaust, and with lower temperature exhaust of higher-efficiency equipment, there is more moisture and acid being deposited on the masonry from the interior.“The exterior degradation from rain/snow/ice moisture is often just the icing on the cake, not the underlying problem.” RELATED MULTIMEDIA Podcast: Efflorescence = Water Damage Between the spalling bricks and a persistent leak that has damaged a mudroom ceiling, the chimney on Page Hyler’s 1900 farmhouse is proving to be a problem that just can’t get fixed.“We have had damage around the ceiling and wall of the chimney that I now know is efflorescence,” Hyler writes in a post at Green Building Advisor’s Q&A forum. Caulking the flashing at the roofline helped, at least temporarily, but Hyler eventually called in an out-of-town company to inspect and seal the bricks. Problems persist.“I contacted someone else who refinishes old houses in the area and he thinks that we should patch up the bricks and repaint [them] with an oil-based paint because the chimney looks to be in decent shape otherwise,” Hyler writes. “He thinks the damage in the mudroom is the flashing around the chimney.“I was wondering if there is efflorescence under tha painted brick would the oil paint suggestion solve problem or do I need to tear down the chimney and rebuild it.”As if the situation wasn’t problematic enough, Hyler is planning to sell the house. Should that change the repair strategy? Q&A: What’s causing this brick to deteriorate? Farewell to the Chimney? Q&A: Insulating an interior chimney Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost thought:After looking at the photos and reading descriptions of this chimney, it sure looks to me to be a bulk water management issue, with flashing and condensation problems not necessarily lacking either.But a couple of key points:First, this chimney moves quickly from being surrounded by interior conditioned space to being outside the structure — so there is a big temperature drop during the heating season, and much less stack effect to support good draw. This increases the condensation potential pretty far down the stack.This is a good reason to consider yanking the failing masonry chimney and, as Martin suggests, replacing it with a stainless-steel flue wrapped in cladding. But if the new clad stack is insulated, this will increase the height of the heated air column, increase the stack effect, and improve the chimney’s draw.This is one of the reasons that many old homes have their main fireplace in the home’s center rather than at the gable end. The column of warm air in the fireplace is continuous and always draws well, whereas a gable-end fireplace with the chimney outside of the conditioned space often has draw problems.Second, you can’t use paint to waterproof masonry, and you always want the water permeability of any coating to be very low (preventing wetting) while the vapor permeability is very high (to accommodate drying). For that, you need to use a siloxane as your chimney or masonry water seal. Siloxane water sealers are transparent, water-resistant, and vapor-permeable. They are, however, pretty expensive and pretty sensitive to UV degradation. You have to recoat per manufacturer’s recommendations to keep the water out over time.It won’t be inexpensive to remove the old chimney and replace it with a clad and insulated chimney with metal flue, but it is the right thing to do.last_img read more

Vote 360i to Make the Stage at Internet Week 2013

first_imgThe digital habits of Millennials are infinitely different from those of the generations before them – meaning they call for an entirely unique marketing approach.We’ve been continuously exploring and identifying ways to best engage Millennials on behalf of our clients. Most recently, we issued a report last month that tapped into the digital habits of Millennials while in the act of in-store grocery shopping. Among a number of other significant findings, the report noted how 24% of Millennials’ conversations indicated their amusement while in-store – allowing for marketers to make shopping more fun and playful.Now our own Director of Social Marketing Strategy Orli LeWinter is nominated to speak at Internet Week New York’s Main Stage on how marketers can capture the attention of Millennials – when at home or on the go – and also offer up examples of brands doing it right.Vote for Orli’s Marketing to Millennials session.Please note: To vote for the session, you’ll need to register yourself on the Internet Week site. It will only take a moment of your time.Cover Photo via Flickrlast_img read more

Mint Launches Free Credit Score

first_imgIt’s not an uncommon experience: you didn’t close old accounts, avoided unnecessary hard inquiries to your credit report and even made sure you never exceeded 30% of your total credit limit. Your credit score was on fire – you did everything right. And yet, ready to apply for your first mortgage, the lender tells you: you don’t qualify. How could that be?A lesser-known truth: lenders are usually looking at more than just your credit score when making loan decisions. In fact, your tax-verified income and debt-to-income ratio are often equally important.Tax-verified income makes sense – a lender would need to know how much money you are bringing in, right? But what the heck is a debt-to-income (or DTI) ratio?DTI is your total monthly financial obligations – or debt – divided by your total take-home pay. This includes your rent and any outstanding loans – including student loans. Basically, are you living in your means. We know, yuck.But knowing how much of your total income is already obligated to something else is really important for lenders to decide whether or not you’ll be able to pay them back. And, if they’re going to use that information, don’t you want to know what it is before they do? (Hint: Yes, you do)That’s why we created Turbo. It’s a new, free financial health app bringing together your verified IRS-filed income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio: the three key numbers that matter to your financial health.We understand that some of this is new to you, so Turbo also gives you customized advice and insights so you can begin to better understand your financial picture. Whether you are looking to secure a loan, pay for college or buy a house, Turbo provides the tools you need to make the important financial decisions.Turbo is available today at and in the Apple App Store (coming soon to Android in Google Play). And if you are a TurboTax customer, when you finish your taxes this year you can choose to effortlessly transfer your tax return information into Turbo, bringing together your tax & credit report data to give you a more complete picture.[BTW, you don’t have to be a TurboTax customer to use Turbo]We are thrilled with our latest sister-app and see it as a perfect compliment to the tools Mint already offers. Mint is how you track your spending, set your budgets and pay your bills on a day-to-day basis, while Turbo gives you a holistic view of your financial health, how you compare to others your age and provides important financial insights.Give it a try and let us know what you think!Tell us your #RealMoneyTalk StoryThis year we’re knocking money off the list of taboo subjects! In order to improve the way you manage your finances and build financial confidence, we know how important it is to be able to share and discuss the money troubles we all experience.Get real about money and start talking about it! Follow @IntuitTurbo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and join the conversation. It’s the first step on your journey to financial health! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

More Water Shortages Mean Energy Investors Need New Ways to Manage Drought Risk

first_imgDrought does not affect all companies and their power plants in the same way. Plants that use renewable sources to generate electricity, like solar PV and wind, are much less reliant on water than thermal power plants. Also, thermal plants that use seawater for cooling are not exposed to risks of freshwater shortages at all. The extent to which thermal plants that use freshwater are exposed to water shortages depends, in part, on their cooling technology. We find that thermal power plants outfitted with once-through cooling technologies, which withdraw large amounts of water, were affected by water shortages at a higher rate than thermal power plants that use recirculating or dry cooling technologies, which withdraw water at much lower rates. How Can Energy Investors Better Measure Drought Risk?Investors refer to climate risks which pose direct physical impacts to the economy and to their investments as physical risks. These include water shortages. But overall, physical risks are not well understood. Better data and guidance is needed to account for the potential costs caused by physical risks.A key insight from our research is about using the appropriate metrics to measure physical risks. Exposure to baseline water stress has emerged as a widely-accepted indicator for water risk. This measure is used or recommended by many investor-focused organizations, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).Yet, though baseline water stress is a useful indicator to measure chronic water risk, it is not enough to provide a complete picture of a company’s water risk exposure. More information is often needed. We find that drought indexes are essential to supplement the TCFD’s recommended baseline water stress metrics if investors want to anticipate and manage drought risks at thermal power plants.  Drought indexes estimate relative dryness levels at specific locations using inputs such as precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater levels, and temperature.  How will future climate change influence drought? In our research, we use outputs from climate models to analyze potential future changes to water availability in India, which could increase the risk of water shortages. This exercise attempts to incorporate physical risks into forward-looking climate-related scenario analysis, as recommended by the TCFD.We find that the impacts of climate change are highly uncertain across time and geography. Projections from some climate models suggest that drought could increase in many parts of India, while others find that water availability could improve. But in scenarios in which drought gets worse, companies could experience water shortage-induced generation outages as high as 2.5 times more than historical levels. This could heighten the direct financial impacts to thermal power companies (and that does not include the wider impacts of power shortages to productive activity). Despite the uncertainty in the projections — or indeed, because of it — investors and companies need to start planning now.What Investors, Regulators, and Companies Can DoInvestors can incorporate drought indexes — which can be constructed for future time periods using climate model outputs — in forward-looking scenario analysis. Given uncertain projections, it is vital that investors stress-test their energy portfolios to ensure they are resilient to a wide range of future scenarios.  Investors should also engage directly with companies, including by asking thermal power companies about the water withdrawal intensities and cooling technologies of their power plants. They can also ask for records on water shortage-induced generation reductions and outages, water management policies and drought contingency plans.Thermal power companies should improve their disclosures of water risk information including historical drought impacts, power plant water withdrawal intensities and cooling technologies, and records on water shortage-induced generation outages and reductions.Power-industry and financial regulators should require the disclosure of climate-related risks. For example, electricity regulators could require power companies to report on outages and their causes. We found these types of data are not available in many countries outside India.The TCFD should provide more detailed disclosure guidance for the energy sector (and potentially other water-intensive sectors, as relevant) to help companies disclose more useful information as mentioned above.Data and ESG ratings providers should consider integrating drought indexes into their suite of research, ratings and data offerings. Integration could include historical drought index measurements, real-time drought monitoring, and future drought index measurements based on climate model projections. On July 5, 2015, the first of six thermal power generation units at the Parli Thermal Power Station in Maharashtra, India shut down. Unable to draw enough water from the nearby Majalgaon dam, which had nearly run dry, the coal-powered unit was unable to run its cooling system and was forced to halt electricity production. This was just the start, as each of the five additional units subsequently shut down as well. Between July 2015 and December 2016, Parli stopped generating electricity entirely for 226 days solely due to water shortages, and during the days it wasn’t entirely shut down, it was largely paralyzed.Imagine this picture replicated in other parts of India and around the world. Recent research is beginning to link climate change to drought, which suggests that risks to water availability will likely get worse.That water shortages can prove costly to energy companies is old news. What is less understood is how much water shortages can impact utilities’ bottom lines.In our new study, Financial Implications of Parched Power, we find that water shortage-induced outages to thermal power generation didn’t just turn off customers’ lights, they also caused occasional and sometimes major financial impacts to thermal power companies. This finding can have important implications for both thermal power companies and their investors.Our research is part of a larger effort by WRI and other organizations to better understand and measure how climate-related risks can impact the financial system — including the performance of companies and investments — both now and in the future. Understanding this relationship will be critical to help market participants, companies, regulators and governments mitigate their risks and better focus their efforts to build resilience against the impacts of climate change.    How Drought Reduces ProfitsWe analyzed the effects of water shortages on five publicly traded Indian thermal power companies and found that in some cases, drought caused significant financial impacts from FY 2014-2017. In one quarter, water shortages caused Adani Power to lose 17% of its earnings (approximately $50 million), and in another, 6% (approximately $17 million). Water shortages caused generation outages in half of the quarters we analyzed, highlighting that this is a recurrent issue.last_img read more

Advanced Internet Marketing: Turn The Pareto Principle On Its Head

first_img Here’s what we at SB2.0 are doing   Do any of you have any other interesting methods at nailing the conversion of traffic to qualified leads? You are probably familiar with the Pareto principle which states that for many phenomena, 80% of the consequences stem from the 20% of the causes.  Other people call it the 80-20 rule and end up applying it to all sorts of things ranging from 20% of your company’s sales reps doing 80% of your revenue to 20% of your work time spent creating 80% of your value to your business. What percentage of the website visitors ended up filling out a form that would qualify them as a sales “lead.”  This helps determine the shape of the middle of your web channel funnel with the top being traffic. In addition to the first visit and the information the self-selector filled in, I also want to know which web pages she looked at (particularly which ones she looked at more than once); which blog article or discussion forum comments she made; what searches she did on my site or to get to my site; etc.  This information is a tremendous help to the company representative assigned to “solution sell” this individual.  Armed with this information, that first conversation is far less awkward because you go in really understanding what that potential customer is interested in whether they filled in that part of your form or not! GoogleTrends Those of you who are internet entrepreneurs or marketing folks with an internet presence, are you also looking for this type of information?  What else am I missing in my description of how I would turn marketing black art into marketing science? .  Basically this graph would be like Google Trends for your business with custom marketing events listed and with information not only on visitors, but on self-selectors.  Here’s the particularly impressive Google Trends report on YouTube: Originally published Jan 10, 2007 8:13:00 PM, updated March 21 2013center_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 For the people who filled out the lead form, in addition to the information you asked for, I want to automatically know where they came from the first time they visited the site (i.e. a link from a blog article, an adwords campaign, a link from a whitepaper, a search term on Google, etc.).  It is common that people will visit your site multiple times before “self-selecting” into a lead form, so it is absolutely critical that you figure out what triggered their first visit.  One of the things a lot of marketing executives like about the internet is their online marketing programs can be quantified in terms of traffic.  There are a myriad of analytics packages available that can tell marketing executives about unique visitors, return visitors, rss subscribers, geographies, etc.  Most marketing execs think of this as the very top of the web channel sales funnel, as they should.  Unfortunately, for most businesses, the very top of the funnel is where the science stops and the guessing starts.    As a marketing guy myself, here’s the information I need to turn marketing black art into marketing science. about it. Lastly, I want to see an uber graph that has 3 lines plotted:  one for first time visitors, one for repeat visitors, and one for self-selectors (leads).  Overlaid on top of that graph, I want to see marketing events displayed in a similar way as the events shown on With regard to that first visit information, I want to be able to look at it across all of my leads and quantify which programs, links, search terms, etc. are driving not only traffic, but traffic that eventually self-selects into leads.  Lots of marketing activities and blog articles produce boatloads of traffic which are easy to croon about, but at the end of the day, I really only care which activities produce traffic that converts to leads that end up buying something. I have worked in and with a lot of marketing organizations and they all have the Pareto principle on steroids going on.  First of all, most marketing leaders in an honest moment will tell you that they suspect 20% of the marketing programs they are doing are creating 80% of their qualified leads.  The reason I say they have this problem on steroids is that an honest marketing executive will tell you in the very next breathe that he doesn’t know which 20% is creating 80% of the qualified leads.  What can be frustrating for marketing executives is that much of marketing is a bit of a black art that is hard to quantify and nail.last_img read more

Three Ways People Who Aren’t Running for President Can Make Social Media Pay

first_imgBy now I’m sure you got the memo: Barack Obama did an AWESOME job using social media, and that’s part of the reason he’s going to be the 44th president of the United States. track? track leads in other channels Your company, not to mention 99.9% of other businesses, don’t operate that way. The economy is squeezing your budget, your time is precious, and you’re not hiring anybody new anytime soon. If you’re getting involved in social media it needs to pay. So how do you do that? On the marketing team here at HubSpot we make social media pay by measuring it in three main ways: We keep track of the reach of each of our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, LinkedIn,, etc. We can see the value of this reach simply by comparing it to the reach of paid media channels, which we use less frequently. our CEO, Brian Halligan (1) Social Media Leads — The event is sold out, but we’ll be posting a live stream. You can check back here for the link to the stream, or just : We track who arrives at our site via social media, which of those visitors convert to leads, and which of those leads convert to customers. (2) Channel Reach — With this approach, we can see which social media tools are having an impact on our business, and which aren’t. For example, over the past six months we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of visitors, leads and customers we’ve generated from Twitter. This is part of the reason HubSpotters are now engaging more on Twitter. YOU t-dot-s-dot (3) Brand Mentions — Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Photo:  Boston Social Media Breakfast tomorrow morning  follow me on Twittercenter_img Social Media . YOU , where I’ll post the link tomorrow morning. I don’t want to belittle the Obama Campaign. They did amazing work, and marketers have a lot to learn from them.  and  We track leads from social media channels the same way we  How do ,  In addition to leads and reach, we track social media mentions of HubSpot and other HubSpot brands. By following the change in the number of people talking about our brands from month to month, we can assess the effectiveness of our social media marketing campaigns. Andrew McAfee, of Harvard Business School Matt Culter of Visible Measures make social media pay? What sorts of metrics do But let’s put the Kool-Aid aside for a second. The Obama campaign is a lot different from your software startup. They raised tens of millions of dollars. They had thousands of unpaid workers. They could afford to throw tons of money at social media, without really knowing if it would work. Originally published Nov 11, 2008 9:38:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Topics: at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge. The discussion will be about “ROI in Social Media” and the speakers will include  There’s a lot more to discuss here. To keep the conversation going, we’re sponsoring the last_img read more

28 Quick Tips for Customizing Your Email Preference Center

first_imgAnother key factor in retaining subscribers is simply giving them a reason to stay — whether that’s reminding them of the value of your content, or simply humanizing you as the sender and why you wanted to share that content. Keep this in mind as your customizing your email preference center.8 Tips for Retaining Subscribers:Let them control the frequency of the emails they receive.Let them control which topics they receive emails about.Create multiple, targeted email subscription types, and let subscribers pick and choose among their options.Describe each email subscription option, including the value of the content and the frequency to expect.Remind them why they’re getting your emails.Share why you thought they’d enjoy your content/remind them of the email’s value.Ask them to confirm they no longer want your emails in a light or humorous way.Give them an option to re-subscribe to other email lists.2) Grow Your ReachWhile someone may not want to receive your emails, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to receive your content altogether. Maybe they simply get so much email that yours gets lost in the shuffle. Or perhaps they spend more time in social media than in their inbox. Or maybe they just don’t like the format of the content sent by email. Or — at the other end of the spectrum — it’s possible they do want your emails, but they also want to get your content every which way. Why not give them that option?Your existing subscriber base is a great place to start growing your reach across other channels, and gaining a subscriber in social media is often longer-lasting because it’s not tied to that person’s current job. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the same 25% per year expiration that happens with your direct email list.5 Tips for Growing Your Reach:Encourage people to subscribe to your blog.Link to your social media accounts and encourage subscribers to follow you there.Explain what content to expect in other channels, including topic, frequency, and format.Provide a sample of recent blog articles to encourage people to click through and subscribe.Include one of your top videos to showcase a different type of content you offer.3) Build Brand LoyaltyIt’s not often that we talk about branding in our HubSpot content, because we’re very data-driven, and it’s hard to measure the direct impact of great branding. But we do often talk about being more lovable in your marketing, which is not only part of our inbound marketing philosophy, but also generates higher conversion rates and better subscriber and customer retention because it’s centered around customers’ needs.You might think it’s weird to talk about brand loyalty in regard to a page people visit to stop receiving communications from you, but this is actually a great opportunity to influence how people feel about your company, even if they do choose to unsubscribe. In this very moment where you’ve captured a subscriber’s attention, you have the opportunity to make them smile, highlight how great your company is, and leave them feeling good about your company so that in the future, if anything changes, perhaps they’ll come back to you!5 Tips for Building Brand Loyalty:Match the look and feel to your website and emails so people know they’re in the right place.Incorporate language that aligns with the primary language of your subscribers.Include a funny video to make them smile and to humanize your brand.Make it extremely EASY. There’s nothing I hate more than getting confused about how to unsubscribe when I already don’t want to deal with a company’s communications.Give a free goodbye gift such as a form-free offer or a discount code as a final thank you … and a pleasant surprise.As a bonus, doing fun things to be more lovable and build brand loyalty, like in the following example, can also get people talking about you in a positive way. Groupon’s unsubscribe page, which features its “Punish Derrick” video, is one of the most cited examples. Its page features a video of someone throwing hot coffee on Derrick, “the guy that thought you’d enjoy receiving the Daily Groupon email.” User-generated videos of Groupon’s unsubscribe page have been viewed thousands of times — I found at least two videos, one of which had 1,500+ views, and another of which had 7,200+ views — which don’t even account for the views of Groupon’s original video on its unsubscribe page! 4) Gather Valuable FeedbackOur final email preference center customization reason is a more inward-facing benefit for you, as the manager of your company’s email marketing: collecting feedback on why people are unsubscribing. This feedback helps you figure out how to improve your email program by understanding if you should change your content, frequency, targeting, or anything else.3 Tips for Gathering Valuable Feedback:Include an optional feedback survey to ask why people are unsubscribing.Allow people who unsubscribe to leave their own, open-ended feedback.Give people the option to contact you directly. You’d be amazed by the kind and useful feedback you can get through direct communication.And the #1 Principle of a Good Email Preference Center? Keep it Simple, StupidAbove all else, the most important thing you can do to your email preference center is make it SIMPLE. This is one of my personal pet peeves, but then again, who doesn’t hate receiving yet another unwanted email, finally deciding to seek out the unsubscribe link, finding it hidden in white text on a white background, clicking through to a confusing page with lots of boxes and buttons and distracting images, having to enter your email address again, and clicking the “update preferences” button only to get a weird error?Don’t beat around the bush. Making it difficult to unsubscribe may seem like a genius way to retain subscribers, but in reality, do you really want those people to stay subscribed to your email so they can keep hitting the spam button or constantly delete your emails? Furthermore, making it difficult will only serve to frustrate people even more, leaving them with a negative view of your brand that they might potentially spread to others via word of mouth. Don’t send your unsubscribes off on a sour note.7 Tips for Simplifying the Opt-Out Process:Make it easy for subscribers to find the unsubscribe link in the emails you send.Make it obvious what the subscriber needs to do in order unsubscribe.Include the option to unsubscribe from all email communications at once (or else violate the CAN-SPAM Act).Clearly show contacts what they’re already subscribed to.Provide a clear confirmation message that their preferences were updated.Remove any extra distractions such as navigation, images, competing text, etc.Allow people to unsubscribe without having to do anything else, like entering email address again, completing a feedback survey, etc.Example Email Preference CenterAnd if you’re curious about how all of this might tie together, check out an example email preference center below: Email Newsletters Sure, the email subscription preference center may seem like a boring, utilitarian part of your email marketing, but things aren’t always what they seem, are they? In reality, the email subscription preference center (phew … say that five times fast) is actually a fantastic piece of marketing real estate! It allows you to retain subscribers, grow your reach, build brand loyalty, and gather valuable feedback.As a result, customizing the look, feel, and options in your email preference center will allow you to not only meet those utilitarian needs (and CAN-SPAM laws) your subscribers have to manage the emails they receive from you, but also align with your company’s branding and style guidelines, and give you new opportunities to grow and nurture your subscriber base. So let’s dive into exactly why it’s important to customize your email preference center, and the tactics you can employ to achieve each of these various email preference center purposes. Truth be told, now that the HubSpot software supports customized email preference centers, we’re still working to better customize our own!4 Reasons to Customize Your Email Subscription Preference Center (And 28 Tips to Try)1) Retain SubscribersNo marketer likes losing subscribers. Personally, after checking out my clickthrough and landing page conversion rates, the unsubscribe rate is the next top metric I look at to measure the performance of my email marketing. And while I always want to make it simple and easy for people to unsubscribe from my emails if they no longer want them (I much prefer that over them hitting the “spam” button or ignoring my emails and hurting my deliverability), I would love a way to retain some of those subscribers.ExactTarget’s “The Social Break-Up” report found that the top reasons people unsubscribe from emails are frequency, interest, and volume. So why not let your subscribers control those factors? Having control over the emails they receive makes a big difference in retaining your subscribers over time, because they feel like they’re constantly choosing to receive those emails. In addition, giving subscribers this control makes it so that your subscribers are actually improving the relevancy of your emails for you. Relevancy is one of the top reasons people subscribe and stay subscribed to emails, and allowing subscribers to specify their personal email preferences is one of the top tactics for improving relevancy. Originally published Jan 9, 2013 1:20:00 PM, updated October 20 2016center_img Topics: What other great ideas have you seen implemented in email preference centers? 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 Resources You Need to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign

first_imgPicture this: You’re back at the office, sitting at your desk, ready to work. You’ve taken a look at how your marketing offers performed in 2013, and you’ve got fresh ideas on how to get more leads or drive more website traffic in 2014. You’ve been dreaming of marketing campaigns. You’re on fire! Well … not quite. You haven’t done anything just yet.But we know you will, and we’ve got just the thing for you: We’ve compiled the ultimate kit to running inbound marketing campaigns, complete with templates, checklists, worksheets, and even a step-by-step guide on how to run inbound marketing campaigns with HubSpot.What’s an inbound marketing campaign?As a marketer, you probably hear the word “campaign” a lot. Historically, running a marketing campaign usually meant using one marketing channel, like email or paid ads, to announce a product launch or establish expertise in your industry.But then the internet blew up, and now that’s not the only way your prospects learn about your company. They visit your website, follow you on social media, and probably even read your blog.Inbound campaigns are different than traditional campaigns. They take into consideration the way people learn about your company online and align every one of your marketing channels around your marketing goals, creating the best experience for your prospects.Now, when a potential prospect opens an email from you, they’ll see the same message on your website, on social media, in your blog posts — everywhere. Unifying your message across all your marketing channels helps convert your website visitors.Resources for Executing Inbound Marketing CampaignsWe promised you a one-stop shop, and we always like to deliver. So here it is! All of the resources listed below can be found in our aforementioned Campaign-in-a-Box kit.Resource #1: Free Template: Determine Your 2014 Marketing GoalsWhy You Need ThisBefore you start creating an inbound marketing campaign, you’ll need to decide why it’s necessary to run one. What are you trying to achieve? By when? And how? We call this “SMART” marketing because these kinds of goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound — just like your inbound campaign should be.How to Use ItThis template will help you stay on task when creating goals for your campaign. It’s easy to set a “goal” and forget about it (New Year’s resolutions, anyone?), but this template will help you create concrete (SMART!) goals for your campaign.Also, it’ll show you how the inbound marketing campaign you’re running helps achieve your overall marketing goals for the year — think of it as a giant piece to your marketing puzzle (and who doesn’t love puzzles?)Resource #2: Worksheet: A Marketer’s Template for Creating Buyer PersonasWhy You Need ThisNow that you have SMART goals in mind for your campaign, you’ll need to think about the right audience for what you’re offering. The best place to start choosing your audience is from your buyer personas. Your campaign audience might consist of multiple buyer personas or one specific persona that fits the criteria.How to Use ItThe template will help you understand buyer personas and give you a foundation to start building your own. Bring any research or survey data that you already have on your prospects and customers to help fully flesh out your personas. Once you’ve built them, choosing personas for your campaign will be easy.Resource #3: Worksheet: Blog Editorial CalendarWhy You Need ThisOnce you’ve built your offer, there are several ways to promote it to your campaign audience and even new visitors. One effective way to do this is through blogging. Because your offer should be based on a topic that your audience cares about, there are likely multiple angles to blog about.For example, if you’re offering an ebook, pull an excerpt from it and expand on it in a blog post. It’s a great way to get your audience interested in your offer before they’re even asked to download it.How to Use ItThis worksheet will help you create an editorial calendar for your blog specifically for topics around your campaign. It’s a great at-a-glance view of how your blog will help promote your offer based on the topics you’ll be writing about. You can even use it to bring in other details about your campaign, like any relevant keywords, links, and your campaign personas.Resource #4: Worksheet: Social Media Scheduling TemplateWhy You Need ThisUsing the social media channels where your campaign audience hangs out is another great way to promote your offer and keep your campaign messaging coordinated with all of your other marketing efforts.You’ll be able to determine which channels to use from your buyer personas. And because your campaign audience is likely to visit more than one of your social media channels, it’s important to organize your social media so you’re not spamming your followers with the same message over and over again.How to Use ItThe scheduling template is a worksheet that allows you to plan for social updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. It even includes a content repository, so previous links and offers are easy to find.Also, the template provides recommendations for publishing frequency. But don’t forget: Even after you publish your social messages, you’ll still need to monitor engagement and reply regularly to your fans and followers.Resource #5: Worksheet: Google AdWords TemplateWhy You Need ThisIn the spirit of transparency, you might not need this worksheet to run an effective inbound marketing campaign … but, you might. How do you know? If you have marketing budget to spend, and you’re familiar with and use Google AdWords, it doesn’t hurt to support your campaign with pay-per-click ads.How to Use ItOnce you download the worksheet, you’ll be able to manage all ads you’re running through Google AdWords in one template. It helps you organize ads through every stage of the marketing funnel, and you can easily record all ad variations, keywords, and destination URLs right in the worksheet.Resource #6: Worksheet: Nurturing and Automation PlanningWhy You Need ThisYour campaign is now up and running. You’ve set goals, you’ve got a target campaign audience, your offer is built, and it’s out in the world via your marketing channels. But the campaign’s not over, because you still need to nurture your prospects based on how they’re interacting with your campaign. For example: Someone saw your offer, clicked on it, and downloaded it. What’s next for them?How to Use ItFirst of all, it’s good to familiarize yourself with what marketing automation is — and what it isn’t. Once you’ve got a good grasp on it, this nurturing and automation planning worksheet will help you segment the leads you’ve been generating through your campaign and nurture them based on the goals for each segment.Resource #7: Worksheet & Presentation Deck: Monthly Reporting TemplateWhy You Need ThisJust like goals set the foundation for your campaign, reporting on your campaign will help you understand which marketing channels are helping you achieve your goal — and which ones could use a little love.Reporting on your campaign should happen throughout, but a wrap-up of takeaways and lessons when your campaign is over is just as important.How to Use ItFirst, the excel template will help guide you through the metrics that contribute to the success of your goal. If Excel isn’t your thing, don’t worry — it’s filled with formulas and helpful tips to make sure you’re reporting correctly. There’s also a pre-made PowerPoint deck template so you can take the reporting you’ve already done and turn it into a nice presentation for your boss or clients. See, we think of everything.Are you already running inbound marketing campaigns? What other resources are useful to you? Let us know in the comments! Originally published Jan 8, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Campaigns 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