You used to take for granted that you could play a whole game of tennis or basketball without pain. But years of wear and tear have left their mark on your joints, and now your knees and hips hurt so much you can barely bend them. The pain youre feeling may be due to osteoarthritis, a problem many of us face as we get older.We all start out life with a thick layer of cartilage that cushions our joints in the space where the bones meet. That cartilage allows us to twist our legs to kick a soccer ball, or jump to shoot a basket. But years of running, jumping, and climbing stairs can wear out that cushion, leaving the bones rubbing painfully against each other.By age 70, just about everyone feels some pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis, especially when they get up in the morning or after theyve overused the joint. Youre more likely to have osteoarthritis if youre overweight. Its similar to what happens when you put extra weight on your bed. Eventually, youll push on the springs so hard that youll wear them out. The same is true for your joints. People whove had joint injuries or who have played certain sports are also more likely to get osteoarthritis.When you see your doctor about joint pain and stiffness, hell check how well the joint moves and look for swelling around it. You probably wont be able to move the joint all the way. And when you do move it, its likely to hurt and may make a cracking sound. An x-ray can confirm that youve lost cartilage around the joint.advertisementUnfortunately, theres no cure for osteoarthritis. But there are treatments to relieve the pain, including physical therapy, knee taping, special low load exercise programs, such as swimming, cycling, walking or stretching, and Tai chi in particular can be great for flexibility and strength. Over-the-counter medicines like topical Capsaicin, oral acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help. Mud pack therapy may increase the benefit of whatever else youre doing. Your doctor may recommend getting a steroid injection into the joint to both relieve pain and reduce swelling. Another method, which injects artificial joint fluid into the knee, can relieve pain longer term, for up to six months.If the joint damage is really bad, you may need surgery to trim off damaged cartilage or to replace the affected joint in the knee, hip, shoulder, or elbow with an artificial joint. This is called joint replacement surgery, and is quite common for the both damaged hip and knee joints.Although it may hurt to move, staying active can help keep your joints healthy. Exercising can also help you lose the weight thats putting pressure on your sore joints. Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist, who can teach you exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting your joints.Osteoarthritis is different in everyone. Some people can get around fine with it while others have trouble doing even the simplest tasks, like bending down to get the morning paper. Before your joints get so stiff and painful that they limit your lifestyle, talk to your doctor about treatment and prevention options that can help you get around more like you used to.Review Date:11/17/2011Reviewed By:Alan Greene, MD, Author and Practicing Pediatrician; also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Luciano Vietto and Angel Correa could be on the move from Atletico Madrid this summer.Marca says the entire squad is to return for pre-season training on July 6 and given the fact that Los Colchoneros cannot register a new signing until January, places are up for grabs.However if Vietto cannot impress on his return from a loan at Sevilla, the striker could be sent out on a fresh loan with former club Villarreal interested.Also keen are Valencia, Nice and Real Sociedad and the Ligue 1 club may have the advantage as a deal – that may include a purchase option – wouldn’t strengthen a LaLiga rival, plus they are in the qualifying play-offs for the Champions League.As for fellow forward Correa, La Real are again deep in a loan bid for the Argentine who was expected to leave before Atleti’s FIFA ban was upheld.
By Jono SmithIn July, Network for Good launched Nonprofit 911, a free training program for the overwhelmed nonprofit. Every 2-4 weeks, we cover a new topic related to nonprofit marketing and online fundraising.What can you learn about nonprofit marketing in 60 minutes? Find out, during our next Nonprofit 911 free training series:October 23, 2007 from 1-2pm (eastern)How to Tell Your Story: Tips for Better Storytelling, Fundraising Success & Media GlorySpeakers: Katya Andresen & Macon MorehouseDetails here.October 30, 2007 from 1-2pm (eastern)Event 101 for Fundraisers: Putting Your Mission Into Action!Speaker: Jeff Shuck, Event 360Details here.Can’t attend? Download an audio transcript from www.Fundraising123.org.
These are some of the sad realities in global newborn health coming to light by new estimates of newborn mortality produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with other United Nations agencies, academic researchers from the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group and Save the Children. The work is part of an ongoing international collaboration led by the WHO and UNICEF to understand levels and causes of child mortality in the world – both in newborn and in children under the age of five.Estimates build on the largest publicly available database of newborn mortality, and on novel analytical methods for predicting trends and levels of newborn mortality risk, including the development of a statistical model to predict for the 155 countries (92% of global live births in 2009) without reliable civil registration systems to capture the birth and death of newborn.The new evidence includes annual time series for the period 1990-2009 of newborn mortality risk and deaths for 193 countries – the first ever United Nations estimates of levels and trends of global newborn mortality – and provides new key data for national and international efforts in setting priorities for improving newborn health.With this work, it is becoming clear that progress in reducing newborn mortality is trailing further and further behind advancements being made in reducing mortality in older children and in maternal mortality, which calls for increased explicit focus on newborn health to meet the increasing relative burden of newborn mortality in the world.A total of 79 million babies died in the first month of life over the 20 years from 1990 to 2009, with a reduction in annual number of deaths from 4.6 million in 1990 to 3.3 million newborn deaths in 2009.Between the years 1990 and 2009, the average annual rate of reduction in the risk of newborn mortality was 1.7% per year globally, but almost 25% faster for child mortality (at 2.1% per year) and more than 35% faster for maternal mortality (at 2.3% per year). In the same time period, the proportion of annual child deaths that occur in newborn has increased by 8% globally, from 37% to 41%.The global numbers hide large regional and country differences in reducing newborn mortality risk. Africa is clearly falling further and further behind the rest of the world in improving care for newborn and is today the region with the highest mortality risk for newborn – for every 1000 live births in Africa today, close to 36 babies will die in the first month of life. If current rates of progress continues in Africa, it will take the region more than 150 years to catch up to newborn survival rates experienced today in high-income countries such as Sweden where less than 4 babies die per 1000 live births.We all want to see our babies having the best possible chances of survival no matter where the mother is giving birth. We hope that everyone will make use of this new evidence base to help set priorities in newborn health to help develop conditions and care that allow all babies the same high chances of survival.Photo: Laurent Duvillier/Save the ChildrenShare this: Posted on September 1, 2011June 19, 2017By: Mikkel Oestergaard and Colin Mathers, World Health OrganizationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following post originally appeared on the Healthy Newborn Network blog. It is reposted here with permission.Where you are born matters tremendously for your risk of dying within the first four weeks of life – for example, if your mother gave birth to you today in Mali, you would be more than 30 times more likely to die within the first four weeks of life compared to someone being born today in Sweden. And compared to a generation ago – in 1990 – your chances of dying within this period of life has reduced by only 13% in Mali, but by 54% in Sweden. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on July 5, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The June issue of the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition published by our colleagues at icddr,b focuses on the neglected issue of maternal morbidities.Introducing the issue, Mary Ellen Stanton and Neal Brandes of USAID write:This series of papers presents, for the first time in two geographic areas, a comprehensive snapshot of the short- and long-term consequences of acute maternal morbidity. The icddr,b surveillance site in Matlab, Bangladesh, has a unique set of records of the reproductive health of individual women that provide data accumulated for decades. This was selected as an ideal site to draw upon the database to examine retrospectively long-term and prospectively selected short-term consequences of maternal ill-health. This is the first attempt to obtain greater precision on the consequences of maternal ill-health, using a robust methodology and an extensive dataset, with added qualitative studies and postpartum physical examinations of women following childbirth. In addition, we have included a study that provides contrasting and additional information from Action Research and Training for Health in rural Rajasthan, India.In an editorial, Marge Koblinsky et al. note how little we currently know about maternal morbidities:While the estimates of maternal mortality and its consequences are built on relatively limited data, women who suffer from direct obstetric complications that kill—obstructed or prolonged labour, puerperal sepsis, septic abortion, severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, and postpartum haemorrhage—are estimated to be far higher in number yet less well-documented. The global estimates range from 15% of pregnant women suffering from complications—about 20 million women annually—to 1-2% in resource-poor settings when the definition is restricted to the most severe morbidities.Even less is known about the numbers and description of the consequences women may suffer as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and the life threatening obstetric complications. These consequences—maternal morbidities or disabilities—are estimated to affect 15-20 million women worldwide each year.The other papers published in the issue explore:the types and severities of maternal morbidities in Matlab and Chandpur, Bangladesh;social, economic, and cultural factors associated with maternal morbidities;perceptions and consequences of cesarean births;psychological well-being during pregnancy;physical and emotional violence against women with maternal disabilities;the impact of maternal morbidities on child development;the economic cost of maternal morbidities;community-based methods for understanding maternal morbidities; andthe physical, economic, and psychological consequences of morbidities in the first year postpartum.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
This post originally appeared on the DHS Program blog.Share this: Posted on May 24, 2016September 27, 2016By: Lindsay Mallick, Data Analyst, The DHS ProgramClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)© Fistula Care Plus Project at EngenderHealthGenital fistula, an abnormal hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that causes urinary or fecal incontinence, is a devastating, preventable condition that no woman should have to endure. It usually results from inadequately managed, prolonged or obstructed labor, surgical error, or trauma [1, 2]. Although rare, it can be completely debilitating—physically, socially, and economically—particularly to women who live in remote areas without access to treatment; women with fistula are often shunned from the household or society, which can cause immense suffering .While sexual violence can cause traumatic fistula, the vulnerable state of women with fistula gives reason to suspect that the risk of violence could also increase after the onset of fistula [4, 5, 6], though no studies have attempted to evaluate this to date. Moreover, because it is so rare, it is difficult to capture statistically significant associations with the condition.The DHS Program provides an opportunity to study such rare events because of the inclusion of standardized questions in numerous, nationally-representative surveys with large sample sizes. In a study conducted to further examine the relationship between fistula and violence, data were pooled from 12 DHS surveys, 11 conducted in Sub-Saharan African countries and one in Haiti, where standardized modules (sets of questions) on the two topics were included.In total, 90,276 women were included in the analysis. Among these women, the prevalence of self-reported symptoms of fistula ranged from 0.4% to 2.0%. Regression analyses confirmed an association with sexual violence: women who have experienced sexual violence, both ever as well as within the 12 months preceding the survey, have almost twice the odds of reporting symptoms of fistula. Although there are no questions posed on timing of onset of symptoms of fistula in the DHS, the association with lifetime as well as recent experience of sexual violence suggests that violence could occur both before as well as after fistula’s onset.One other finding of interest was that women whose first experience of sexual violence was committed by a non-partner had over four times the odds of reporting symptoms of fistula than women who did not report sexual violence. Although inferences from these findings can only be made with caution, the temporality relationship between fistula and sexual violence deserves further investigation.© Fistula Care Plus Project at EngenderHealthIn light of International Day to End Fistula on May 23, it is imperative to continue to work towards minimizing occurrence of fistula by building awareness around conditions that contribute to and result from this morbidity. This study shows yet another disheartening correlation between gender-based violence and poor health outcomes for women. It provides even more impetus for training and sensitivity for women’s health care providers in this area.A poster presentation of the study was exhibited at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in Washington DC. More information can be found in this poster.—  Longombe AO, Claude KM, Ruminjo J. Fistula and traumatic genital injury from sexual violence in a conflict setting in Eastern Congo: case studies. Reprod Health Matters. 2008 May;16(31):132-41 Raassen TJ, Ngongo CJ, Mahendeka MM. Iatrogenic genitourinary fistula: an 18-year retrospective review of 805 injuries. Int Urogynecol J. 2014 Dec;25(12):1699-706. Baloch, B.A., A. Salam, D. ZaibUnnisa, and H. Nawaz. 2014. Vesico-Vaginal Fistulae. The Professional Medical Journal, 21(5), 851-855. ACQUIRE. 2006. Traumatic gynecologic fistula: A Consequence of Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings. A report of a meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 6-8, 2005. New York, The ACQUIRE Project/EngenderHealth. Peterman A, Johnson K. Incontinence and trauma: sexual violence, female genital cutting and proxy measures of gynecological fistula. Soc Sci Med. 2009 Mar;68(5):971-9. Naved RT, Blum LS, Chowdhury S, Khan R, Bilkis S, Koblinsky M. Violence against women with chronic maternal disabilities in rural Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr. 2012 Jun;30(2):181-92. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
According to Twitter user Marcus DiPaola, CNN sent a letter to freelancers this week stating that as of June 17 of this year, it would extend payment terms to “Net 90” (payment 90 days after invoice). The letter also said that Turner is currently working with Citi on providing an optional program that uses a financing tool for suppliers — which would allow them to get paid before 90 days. On that, it said more details would be provided soon.CNN claims that it is making this change to be “better aligned with its corporate interests,” and that it will be implemented as contracts expire. But Net 90 is NOT a reasonable payment term for people who must pay rent every 30 days. And in NYC, CNN’s new policy challenges the Freelance Isn’t Free law, which set a 30-day standard for payment and protects freelancers from accepting reduced rates in order to receive faster payment. Freelancers have taken to social media to protest the announcement. Because make no mistake, Net 90 hurts independent workers’ financial stability. CNN is effectively asking freelancers to finance the cash flow of a multi-billion dollar company by waiting one quarter of a year for payment. We cannot allow businesses who employ freelancers to lower the bar, and circumvent the Freelance Isn’t Free law with predatory payment practices. Have you been affected by a Net 90 payment policy? Tell use about the real-life consequences you experienced at email@example.com. We will update this story as it develops.
360i has been named integrated agency of record by SkinnyPop, a popular snack brand based in Austin, Texas. The news was announced in a story published earlier today by Ad Age reporter Megan Graham. Graham spoke with Kyle Banahan, director of marketing at SkinnyPop parent company Amplify Snack Brands, about the news.Banahan notes that “SkinnyPop is such a rapidly growing brand in the better-for-you space, not just in popcorn,” and also told Graham that the company is increasing its investment in marketing as it considers becoming a master brand. In the nine years since its founding, SkinnyPop has already grown to claim 12 percent of U.S. market share in the popcorn industry.360i President, NY Abbey Klaassen also provided comment via a written statement:“We’re humbled and honored to be working with this amazing brand. Not only is SkinnyPop a fast-growing brand with massive potential for growth and expansion into new categories; it’s also a brand with an honest-to-goodness cult following – including many of us at the agency. As snacking preferences continue to evolve, there’s so much opportunity for SkinnyPop to capitalize on shifting behaviors, and we’re excited to partner with them on that journey.”Read more about the news on Ad Age.
*Alexa, play Cheap Thrills by Sia* Now that Sia has got you inspired, we know it can be hard to unwind and enjoy yourself when it often involves dropping a lot of cash. In fact, 64% of Americans say money… Full Story,Official rules here. The sweepstakes ended as of Sunday, July 21st but the opportunity to join the conversation and share #MyMintBalance lives on! You may have noticed a significant surge in conversation on your social media about the current state… Full Story,We know you love Mint, and Mint loves you right back. That’s why we’ve brought a refreshed look and feel that features a sleek design, added benefits, and a simplified view of what’s important with your money. This month, Mint… Full Story,An overdraft fee can be a headache and often one of the most expensive fees from a bank. Minters, there’s a good chance that at some point in the last year, you have seen the dreaded “NSF Fee” transaction on… Full Story,Sharing openly about your finances is difficult to do. Be it with your family, friends, in your relationship or even unintentional exposure at work (ever been on a work trip where they plan to reimburse you, but you don’t even… Full Story,We know you love Mint, and Mint loves you right back. That’s why we’re updating the iOS app with a refreshed look and feel that features a sleek design, added benefits, and a simplified view of what’s important with your… Full Story,Hi Minters! Kyle here from Mint’s product team. I wanted to share with you one of our newest feature updates that we hope you have already discovered. One of the biggest impacts to your credit score is your credit utilization… Full Story,TLDR: Mint bill pay feature will no longer be available as of June 30th At Mint, our goal is to make money management effortless. From budgeting, to tracking your transactions to regular credit score updates, we aim to help you… Full Story,Hey Mint readers – my name is Peter Fong, I’m an iOS engineer here at Mint and worked on a recent feature update for Budgets. Hopefully you’ve already discovered it – but if not – they asked me to share… Full Story,This Wednesday June 14, Mint is teaming up with Girlboss in New York City to have an impolite conversation about money. Girlboss founder and CEO, Sophia Amoruso and finance expert Farnoosh Torabi will gather a panel of emerging female entrepreneurs… Full Story
How much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather. With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Story
Budgets are more than just paying your bills on time—a budget is also about determining how much you should be spending, and on what. They’re a great tool to help you diversify your financial profile, reach dynamic savings goals, and foster overall financial health. The 50/20/30 rule, also called the 50/30/20 budget, is one budget type that can help you keep your spending in alignment with your savings goals.In this post, we’re taking you through the steps of budgeting so that you can learn how to set up a budget that’s sustainable, effective, and simple. Plus, we’re taking a deep dive into the 50/20/30 approach to show you how the method applies to budgeting in real life. Use the links below to navigate, or read all the way through to absorb all of our tips on how to budget and save money.Ask Yourself: Why is a Budget Necessary?Deep Dive Into Your Current Spending HabitsIdentify Irregular Large Ticket ExpensesAdd Up All IncomeDecide on a Type of BudgetThe 50/20/30 Budgeting RuleMain Takeaways: How to BudgetAsk Yourself: Why is a Budget Necessary?According to Consumer.gov, there are plenty of different reasons why people start a budget:To save up for a large expense such as a house, car, or vacationPut a security deposit on an apartmentTo reduce spending habitsTo improve credit score To eliminate debtTo break the paycheck to paycheck cycleIdentifying the reason why you’re budgeting can help you stay motivated and create a better plan to reach your goal. It’s kind of like the “eye on the prize” mentality. If you’re tempted to splurge, you can use your overarching goal to bring you back to your saving senses. So ask yourself: why am I starting to budget? What do I want to achieve? Additionally, if you’re saving up for something specific, try to determine an exact number so that you can regularly evaluate whether or not your budget is on track throughout the week, month, or year.Deep Dive Into Your Current Spending HabitsBefore we can show you how to budget efficiently, it’s time for you to take a long, hard look in the mirror (or maybe your wallet, rather). We’re talking about analyzing your spending habits. Do you overspend on clothes? Shoes? Food? Drinks? Figuring out your spending vice from the very beginning will help you learn how to make a budget that effectively cuts spending where you need it most.Take a look at your bank and credit card statements over the last few months and see if you can find any common trends. If you find that you’re overspending on going out for food and drinks, come up with a plan for how you can avoid this scenario. Cook dinner at home before, have a potluck with friends, find happy hour specials around town. There are plenty of ways to budget and save money without compromising your social life.ProTip: Using Mint’s easy budget categorization, you can identify where you can cut back on unnecessary expenses.Identify Irregular Large Ticket ExpensesOf course, there are expenses in life that we simply can’t avoid. Maybe you need to make a repair on your vehicle, or perhaps you’re putting a down payment on a house in the next six months. Oftentimes these bills are necessary expenses, so you’ll have to factor them into your budget.When you’re coming up with your budget, take a moment to look at your calendar so that you can plan for these expenses and adjust your spending in the time before and after you incur the expense.Add Up All IncomeTotalling your income is a big part in learning how to budget your money, but it’s not always as simple as it sounds. Depending on your job, you might have a relatively steady paycheck or one that fluctuates from month to month. If the latter is the case, collect your paychecks from the last six months and find the average income between them. Decide on a Type of BudgetOur final step in learning how to budget and save money is to find a budgeting style that makes sense for you. There are plenty of budgets to choose from, including: Post navigation Envelope budgeting: Swiping your card left and right is easy—but the envelope method doesn’t let you succumb to this temptation. Rather than using your card to spend, you use a predetermined amount of cash as your spending pool, nothing more. Zero-sum: The principle of the zero-sum budget is that you must allocate each and every dollar you earn toward a specific expense, savings account, debt, or disposable income account. This style can help deter unnecessary spending because you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on what items. Choosing a budgeting style that works for you depends on a variety of factors; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting and saving money. That said, let’s take a closer look at the 50/20/30 style as an example.The 50/20/30 Budgeting RuleEssentials: 50% of your incomeTo begin abiding by this rule, set aside no more than half of your income for the absolute necessities in your life. This might seem like a high percentage (and, at 50 percent, it is), but once you consider everything that falls into this category it begins to make a bit more sense.To be clear, your essential expenses are those you would almost certainly have to pay, regardless of where you lived, where you worked, or what your future plans happen to include. In general, these expenses are nearly the same for everyone and include housing, food, transportation costs and utility bills. The percentage lets you adjust, while still maintaining a sound, balanced budget. And remember, it’s more about the total sum than individual costs. For instance, some people live in high-rent areas, yet can walk to work, while others enjoy much lower housing costs, but transportation is far more expensive.Savings: 20% of your incomeThe next step is to dedicate 20 percent of your take-home pay toward savings. This includes savings plans, debt payments and rainy-day funds—things you should add to, but which wouldn’t endanger your life or leave you homeless if you didn’t. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but hopefully you get the gist. This category of expenses should only be paid after your essentials are already taken care of and before you even think about anything in the last category of personal spending.Think of this as your “get ahead” category. Whereas 50 percent (or less) of your income is the goal for essentials, 20 percent—or more—should be your goal as far as obligations are concerned. You’ll pay off debt quicker, and make more significant strides toward a frustration-free future by devoting as much of your income as you can to this category.The term “retirement” might not carry a sense of urgency when you’re only 24 years old, but it certainly will become more pressing in decades to come. Just keep in mind the advantage of starting early is you will earn compounding interest the longer you let this fund grow.Personal: 30% of your incomeThe last category, and the one that can make the most difference in your budget, is unnecessary expenses that enhance your lifestyle. Some financial experts consider this category completely discretionary, but in modern society, many of these so-called luxuries have taken on more of a mandatory status. It all depends on what you want out of life, and what you’re willing to sacrifice. The reason that this category accounts for a larger percentage than your savings is because so many things falls into it.These personal lifestyle expenses include items such as your cell phone plan, cable bill and trips to the coffee shop. If you travel extensively or work on-the-go, your cell phone plan is probably more of a necessity than a luxury. However, you have some wiggle room since you can decide upon the tier of the service you’re paying for. Other components of this category include gym memberships, weekend trips, and dining out with your friends. Only you can decide which of your expenses can be designated as “personal,” and which ones are truly obligatory. Similar to how no more than 50 percent of your income should go toward essential expenses, 30 percent is the maximum amount you should spend on personal choices. The fewer costs you have in this category, the more progress you’ll make paying down debt and securing your future.Establishing good habits will last a lifetime. You don’t need a high income to follow the tenets of the 50/20/30 rule; anyone can do it. Since this is a percentage-based system, the same proportions apply whether you’re earning an entry-level salary and living in a studio apartment, or if you’re years into your career and about to buy your first home.A note of caution, though: Try not to take this rule too literally. The proportions are sound, but your life is unlike anyone else’s. What this plan does is provide a framework for you to work within. Once you review your income and expenses and determine what’s essential and what’s not, only then you can create a budget that helps you make the most of your money. Years from now, you can still fall back on the same guidelines to help your budget evolve as your life does.Main Takeaways: How to BudgetMint offers budgeting software that makes it easy to live in accordance with the 50/20/30 rule (or any budget that suits your lifestyle) so that you can live life to its fullest. After spending just a little bit of time determining which of your expenses fall into which category, you can create your very first budget and keep track of it every day. And when your situation undoubtedly changes, Mint lets you adjust, so your budget can change with you.Sign up for your free account today, and make this the year you build a strong foundation for your future.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related18 Budgeting Tips to Make Money Management EasyFebruary 6, 2019In “Budgeting”Budgeting 101: How to Create a BudgetAugust 19, 2019In “Budgeting”How to Plan a Budget in Under an HourNovember 19, 2018In “Budgeting” 50/20/30: The 50/20/30 budgeting tip is a highly organized way to organize your spending habits. 50% of your income goes toward essential expenditures, 20% goes to savings, and 30% goes to personal lifestyle items.
Twitter sure has been busy lately. First, Twitter lists . Now they’ve recently rolled out their following On your Twitter sidebar, you’ll notice a new option under your Favorites called “Retweets.” Clicking this will show you three different tabbed options: Retweets by others, Retweets by you and Your tweets, retweeted. Here’s an example of a retweet that appeared in my timeline. Note that I am . Among other issues, users are also concerned about the new Retweet function What is your opinion of the new feature? Will it change the way people tweet? Because most of the credit is given to the tweet’s originator, does it take away from the power of the recommendation? Originally published Nov 19, 2009 1:59:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 seeming invasion to a beta group of users, making it easier to regurgitate others’ tweets. The feature was rolled out to me today, but after testing it out I’ve started questioning, You’ll also notice that when you’re on the page of a user you’re following, you have the option of turning on/off the ability to see that user’s retweets. The feature is on when the arrowed icon appears highlighted in green. To turn it off, click the icon so it isn’t highlighted: Reactions from the Twitterati: Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Perhaps the biggest implication of the new Retweet function from a marketing perspective is the increased importance of creating quality, unique tweets that others will want to retweet. Because retweets are associated with the original user, that user who originated the tweet will have more widespread reach and visibility via the Twitter timelines of others who may not be following them. for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. @SESConf Does the new feature enhance or diminish the quality of the retweet? One of my personal gripes about the new Retweet feature is the inability to add a personal touch to the tweet I’m re-posting. When a user presses the Retweet button, the tweet is re-posted verbatim, with no opportunity to disagree or add any personal flavor. After voicing my opinion on Twitter, I noticed that of their Twitter stream from users they aren’t following, since retweets appear with the avatar of the user who originally posted it, not the user you’re following who retweeted it. Twitter Engagement Explanation of Retweet Features: @Charwebmktg I’m not the only one who feels this way So What Does This Mean for Marketing? , but the tweet appeared because Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? am , who I Download the free webinar not The following is Twitter’s example of a retweet. Retweets appear in a user’s timeline as the original tweet with a note below indicating the user (the person you’re following) who retweeted it: Topics: following, retweeted it. See also Twitter’s explanation bubble: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
. How effective are ? Are they actually generating customers and leads for your business? 1. Use Facebook and other social media sites to Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “sweet” Fan Page In fact, Facebook Fan Pages Made 36% more visits to DG’s stores each month helped the bakery chain reach a wider range of people and connect with them on a more personal level. More people felt inclined to visit and spend more money, and a large portion of customers felt increased loyalty to the brand. Topics: Spent 45% more of their eating-out dollars at DG 4. Listen to customers’ feedback. Customers are more likely to share reviews about products/services as well as good or bad experiences online, so utilize the information presented for your company’s benefit. and updated it regularly with pictures, contests, reviews and other items designed to interact with their customers. Three months later, they surveyed over 13,000 customers on shopping behavior and store evaluations and received a significantly higher and more positive response from those customers who became Facebook fans. the study Spent 33% more at DG’s stores , reaching a larger audience and attracting potential customers, prospects, vendors and 5. Keep expenses low by building a Facebook Fan Page for free. Take advantage of low-cost, online resources instead of spending money on direct mail and paper advertisements. Here are 5 key takeaways from Dessert Gallery’s example: found that compared with typical Dessert Gallery (DG) customers, the company’s Facebook fans: 2. Engage with your community for free and easily post up-to-date information about promotions, new products, upcoming events, etc. establish an online presence Facebook Engagement , a popular Houston-based bakery and café chain, experimented with a Facebook Fan Page to measure how helpful the popular social media site really is. They set up a Creating a Facebook Business Page Had 14% higher emotional attachment to the DG brand 3. Strengthen customer relations by interacting with customers directly on a social level as opposed to a business level. Originally published Mar 8, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Dessert Gallery Had 41% greater psychological loyalty toward DG even media
Topics: Marketing Metrics Originally published Jun 14, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017 Here are five important stats that you should be tracking aside from the obvious key metrics of leads and customers. 1. Bounce Rate The bounce rate of a page is the percentage of people who left your website after viewing that page. A page with a high bounce rate is performing poorly. You should always be comparing your landing pages to look out for ones that are bouncing a high percentage of visitors. These pages are ineffective and are literally driving people away from your website. Comparing your high bounce pages to your low bounce pages is a great way to find out what’s working for your visitors and what isn’t. 2. Conversion Rate The conversion rate of a page is the percentage of people who completed a desired action on that page, such as filling out a form. Pages with a high conversion rate are performing well. This is another great statistic to compare between your website’s landing pages. A landing page is usually the first page that your visitors will see when they arrive on your site, so it is crucial that your landing pages are getting visitors to convert into leads. If they’re not, then all of the traffic you are getting isn’t really valuable for your marketing efforts. 3. Traffic Sources Your traffic sources will tell you where all of your site’s traffic is coming from when they first arrive. This is a great place to check your top of the funnel efforts and see where people heard about your site. If you’ve been working on your SEO efforts, then you should see your organic search volume increasing. If you’ve been doing good social media promotion, then you should see a lot of referral traffic from social media sites and blogs. Every business will have their own mix of organic, referral and direct traffic, so it’s important to watch over time so that you can track how your various marketing channels are driving traffic to your website. 4. Keywords Your site keywords will show you which terms people are searching for when they find your site in a search engine. This is a great way to find out what people were actually looking for when they stumbled on your site. Usually, the top three or four keywords will be variations of your company name, but the results below those will give you a lot of insight into what people are trying to find when they come to your site. Chances are, you’ve already been optimizing around these words as part of your keyword strategy , and this data offers a chance to see how well you’re doing. If you notice you’re getting traffic around a keyword you haven’t optimized for, you might have found a keyword that isn’t very competitive, but is still relevant to your business. You should build some content around that keyword to really leave your competitors in the dust. 5. Visitors The number of visitors is the number of unique individuals who have spent time on your website. This is the number that gives all of the other percentages their meaning. A word of caution though: do not focus on the number of visitors as your most important website metric. It is important to see how many people are ending up on your website, but this statistic is more of a reflection of your off-site marketing campaigns, and not of your website itself. Learn More If you want to learn more great tips about simplifying your analytics and drawing meaningful conclusions from your data, head over to our Facebook page . We’re giving away a book called Analytics 2. 0 by Avinash Kaushik, an analytics evangelist at Google – along with tons of other great books in our Marketing Library Giveaway! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Team India on Thursday observed a two minute silence to condole the demise of former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar.Wadekar breathed his last at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital on Wednesday.The two-minute silence was observed by the team at Trent Bridge, the venue for third Test against England.#TeamIndia members observe a two minute silence to condole the sad demise of former India Captain Ajit Wadekar. pic.twitter.com/Ao69bXV10TBCCI (@BCCI) August 16, 2018Virat Kohli and Co began training for the third Test at Trent Bridge on Friday. They currently trail the hosts 0-2 in the five-match series.Snapshots from #TeamIndia’s training session ahead of the 3rd Test against England.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/7eiTTiuRqzBCCI (@BCCI) August 16, 2018Wadekar played 37 Tests for India and scored 2113 runs including one hundred and 14 half-centuries at an average of 31.07.Ajit Wadekar brought out the best in us in 1990s: Sachin TendulkarWadekar led India to historic series triumphs in the West Indies and England in 1971. An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first-class debut in 1958-59 but did not play for India until 1966-67.Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Ajit Wadekar Sir. He was someone who was instrumental in bringing out the best in us during the 90s. Well always be grateful for his advice and guidance. Praying for strength for his family during this difficult time. RIP pic.twitter.com/coSyac73otSachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 16, 2018Sad moment for Indian cricket to lose one of its most successful captains. Shrewd to the core. Condolences to the entire family #TeamIndia #RIPAjitWadekar pic.twitter.com/0xC0fv3ArkadvertisementRavi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) August 15, 2018Oh, I will dearly miss himThis pic taken in that same match. I was very fond of him and I guess he didnt mind me too much either.#RIPWadekar pic.twitter.com/lvFbcA3gx2Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) August 15, 2018Wadekar will be remembered for his gutsy knocks at the crucial number three position for years. He was also a great fielder in the slip cordon.READ – Farewell Ajit Wadekar: Captain Courageous, Gutsy ManagerWadekar took over as captain of the Indian team from MAK Pataudi and proved to be a good leader of men. After leading the country to memorable series wins in the West Indies and England, Wadekar oversaw another series win over England in 1972-73, at home.However, Wadekar had to retire after India were blanked 3-0 on the tour of England in 1974.READ – Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar dies aged 77Wadekar also served as India manager in the 1990s and enjoyed a successful stint with then captain Mohammad Azharuddin. He was appointed as chairman of selectors in 1998.
Topics: Originally published Jan 24, 2012 5:16:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing content creators have a lot of potential content assets at their disposal. But whether they’re drafting an ebook , writing a blog post, or producing a webinar, they usually have different goals in mind for the content they’re creating. And just as each content asset is associated with different goals, each must also be measured by different metrics.After all, if you’re using an ebook to generate leads , landing page submissions, not page views, should be your top priority metric. Let’s examine some of the most popular marketing content assets — ebooks and whitepapers, webinars, and blog posts — and how you should be measuring their success. What Does Content ‘Success’ Mean? Before we dive into each individual content asset, the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is, “What does ‘success’ mean for my particular business and each of its content assets?” This can depend on a number of factors, from the results your competitors are achieving, to benchmarks in your industry, to how each piece of content is being used in your marketing program. For example, a webinar or an ebook can be used as either a top-of-the-funnel offer to generate new leads, or a middle-of-the-funnel offer to nurture existing leads , all depending on the subject matter the content covers and when it’s introduced to prospects. For the former, net new leads would be the focal metric, whereas for the latter, reconversions would likely be the end goal.Before you create a new piece of content, keep in mind what your goals for that content are so you can effectively tailor it to suit those needs and be sure you’re measuring its success as accurately as possible. Ebooks/Whitepapers Possible Goals: An ebook or a whitepaper is a long-form piece of content, usually offered as more premium content used in lead generation or lead nurturing. Typically, a visitor to your website must complete a form on a landing page to acquire the ebook/whitepaper, thus converting them (or reconverting them) into a lead for your business. Metrics to Track Landing Page Visits: Tracking the number of visitors to your landing pages is a great way to see how much traffic you’re driving to your content. If you notice your landing pages aren’t driving a significant amount of traffic, you maybe need to increase your page’s visibility in social media, search, and in calls-to-action on your website. To do so, make sure your landing pages are equipped with social sharing buttons and that you’re actively sharing it via your social channels, optimize your landing pages with the keywords you want your page to get found for, and make sure every web page and blog post you create includes a relevant call-to-action for your landing pages. Conversions/Submissions: This metric refers to how many people actually completed the form on your landing page and downloaded your content. Depending on the goals of your content, submissions can also be categorized as new leads (if lead gen is the goal) or reconverted leads (if lead nurturing is the goal). This number is probably the most telling indicator of your content’s success. Conversion Rate: This metric provides insight into the percentage of visitors that turned into conversions/submissions. It’s important to track this percentage to identify problems with your landing page. For example, if it’s generating a lot of traffic but isn’t converting visitors into submissions, your landing page may need to improvements, such as better communication of the offer’s value some A/B testing to identify problem areas. In addition, boosting your conversion rate will help you generate more submissions from existing traffic. Social Media Shares: How many people are sharing your ebook’s landing page on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+? Social media shares is a great secondary metric to analyze how well your ebook offer resonates with your audience and the sentiment of your audience toward your content. Plus, the more social shares, the greater its reach! If your ebook isn’t generating a lot of shares, again, make sure you’re sharing it yourself in social media and that your landing pages include social media sharing buttons. Live & Archived Webinars Possible Goals: Webinars are typically live, online presentations about a particular topic. Businesses can use them to educate attendees about a number of things, from industry best practices to the capabilities of their products/services. Webinars can be recorded and archived to be distributed to those who could not attend the live event. Metrics to Track Landing Page Visits: Whether you’re trying to gather registrations for an upcoming live webinar or encouraging downloads of a recorded, archived webinar, landing pages will again be the primary page by which you can track success. (Tip: Use the same landing page to capture registrants and archived downloads; just re-purpose the page to include the recording when it’s available. This eliminates the need to create a brand new landing page and also capitalizes on the traffic the page will already generate organically through search and social sharing.) Evaluate webinar landing page visits just as you would ebook landing page visits (see above). Social Media Shares & Hashtag Engagement: Social media shares can give you a pulse of how much visibility your webinar is getting in social networks. Hashtags allow you to monitor the conversion happening before, during, and after your webinar, and helps you identify the audience’s sentiment toward your webinar in terms of topic, production quality, and content value. It’s a best practice to create a hashtag for your webinars so you can track this conversation, join in, and enable attendees to engage with each other. It also enables you to generate some buzz around your event and encourage non-attendees to catch the archived version later. Registrations: Registrations is the number of registrants for your webinar. These are people who completed the registration form on your landing page to secure their spot in your upcoming live webinar. You want to generate as many registrations as possible, since only a fraction of registrants will end up actually attending your webinar. Live Attendees: Live attendees are the number of registrants that actually attended your live webinar. You can also calculate your registrations-to-live attendees conversion rate to identify the percentage of registrants who actually showed up. This can show you how well you were at getting registrants not just to register, but also to attend. It’s important to identify which registrants actually attended so that you can nurture these leads differently than those that registered but did not sign up. For example, in your follow-up email to non-attendees, you might want to include the webinar recording and mention that it could be useful since they weren’t able to attend live. Submissions/Downloads: For archived webinars, this number shows how many people downloaded your webinar after the live showing. Offering archived webinars is a great way to extend the life of your webinar content and generate more conversions and views post live event. (Note: For some middle-of-the-funnel focused webinars such as group demos or product-focused webinars, it might not make sense to put this content behind a lead gen form, as views, not leads, is likely the goal.) Conversion Rate: A webinar’s conversion rate could refer to the rate at which landing page visitors converted into registrants (for live webinars) or the rate at which landing page visitors converted into downloads (for archived webinars). Again, as with ebook conversion rates (see above), this percentage can pinpoint problems with your landing page, and an improved conversion rate could help you generate more submissions without increasing traffic. Business Blogging Possible Goals: Business blog posts include any content you publish to your business blog and usually serve as shorter-form content. Business blogging can contribute to a number of goals — establishment as an industry thought leader, improved search engine optimization, lead generation, social media reach, or lead nurturing. Metrics to Track Page Views and Overall Traffic: Because each blog post you publish lives on its own web page, page views will give you an idea of how many visitors viewed a specific post. This can provide some powerful insights into the types of content — subject/topic, format, etc. — that resonates with your audience. It can also help you conduct deeper analysis into which factors make killer blog posts for your blog. Use this knowledge to write more about the topics your audience responds to and less about the ones they don’t. In addition, track the traffic to your blog as a whole. You’ll want this to steadily increase over time to ensure that your blog is effectively contributing to an increase in traffic to and exposure for your business’ website. Keyword/Search Rankings: One of main benefits of business blogging is an increase in your website’s search engine rankings. Be sure you’re tracking if your business increases its ranking for the keywords you’re targeting over the course of your blogging career. And make sure you’re optimizing every blog post you publish for those keywords to ensure you’re steadily moving the needle. Increased search rankings lead to increased traffic, and increased leads! Inbound Links: While also a driver for SEO success, inbound links into your blog content can give you a powerful indication of which posts were valuable enough to link to from another website. Analyze which of your posts received the most inbound links to get an idea of what types of content generally gets rewarded with an inbound link. Then apply the lessons learned to future content. Submissions/Conversions: How well is your blog contributing to lead generation? Again, submissions/conversions can be segmented into new leads or reconverted leads. Both are valuable, but depending on your goals, you may want to track one more closely than another. If you can attribute few leads to your blog, make sure each post you publish includes a relevant call-to-action (CTA) to a landing page for one of your more premium content offers like a webinar or an ebook. If you’ve already done so, conduct some A/B testing on your CTAs to maximize conversions from your blog. Comments and Social Media Shares: Just as with ebooks and webinars, social media shares can be a great way to gauge your content’s success. Shares as well as blog comments can also serve to indicate your audience’s sentiment toward your content. Be sure you leave comments open on your blog and make sure every blog article published includes social media sharing buttons to encourage visitors to share you content with their networks. Pulling It All Together As we all well know, a marketer’s job doesn’t stop at lead generation. So it makes sense that marketers should also analyze how their content assets work both individually and together to achieve their business’ bottom line: customers and revenue . Using closed-loop data , marketers should analyze which content assets are most successful in generating customers. Is one content format (e.g. ebooks vs. webinars) more successful at generating customers than the other? Does one content topic tend to produce more customers?Using lead intelligence , marketers should also identify whether leads who consume multiple types of content become more qualified customers. That analysis in itself is fodder for a more advanced post, which we discuss here , but at the very least, marketers should understand that many prospects and leads will likely engage with your content in more ways than one.Marketers who effectively leverage the data at their fingertips to gather insights about their content’s performance have the opportunity to significantly improve their content strategy. Are you making the most out of the data available to you?Image Credit: Jamiesrabbits Marketing Reporting Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Twitter Marketing By now, most marketers know the drill. Tweet early and often. Be fun and personable. Don’t tweet politics or religion. Work toward engagement — not follower count — and the leads will find you.So far, it’s working. According to HubSpot, 36% of all marketers have found a customer (or vice versa) via Twitter in 2013.What’s hamstringing the other two-thirds? The solution may come in the form of small changes and simple substitutes — a strategy inspired by a well-known diet book. So here are five subtle swaps — all courtesy of popular food and beverage brands — that deserve a closer look. Dig in! 1) The Uninspired TweetSome marketers still neglect to mention why their links or downloads are noteworthy, insightful, unique, hilarious, and — most importantly — worth reading. Using specifics and personalization can make a big difference. Compare these two tweets about a Pepperidge Farm social media story — which tweet would you click? In this case, the Pepperidge Farm fan had the right idea.(RE)TWEET THIS:5 brands that surprised their #sm fans! http://t.co/bpEaR9IGaW I too luv @pepperidgefarm, my mom & I always ate them w/ tea before bed— Gabrielle Zigi (@zigisitch) June 7, 2013NOT THAT: 5 Brands That Surprised Their Social Media Fans | Digiday http://t.co/PM0wbcl0XB via @digiday— Pepperidge Farm (@PepperidgeFarm) June 3, 2013If one example seems more compelling than the other, there may be a physiological reason. According to research by scientests at the University of Pennsylvania, certain emotions — shock, fear, anger, nostalgia, and amusement — trigger social sharing impulses. Ask yourself what kind of emotion your next tweet might elicit. “Meh” doesn’t count. (It’s also worth mentioning that a manual retweet might have helped Pepperidge Farm support and promote this inspired moment better than the automatic RT.)2) The “Spare a Dime?” Tweet When it comes to Twitter, social media data shows that simple calls to action are the most effective. In fact, Dan Zarrella found the only phrase that sparks more social interaction than “please retweet” or “please RT” is “please help.” Pretty straightforward, right?On the other hand, asking for a retweet or follow is a bit like borrowing money. Use your favors wisely and remember to repay them. Retweet requests are great for spreading the word about contests, charity events, customer appreciation campaigns, or even informal market research … but less successful as random tweets. For example, which of these pizza-themed posts would you rather share? TWEET THIS: RT if you would you like to see a gluten free crust on our menu! #glutenfree #pizza pic.twitter.com/cku782KDbo— Papa Ginos (@PapaGinos) June 26, 2013NOT THAT:RT if you can’t contain your excitement when the pizza arrives.— Domino’s Pizza (@dominos) June 14, 20133) The Timely TweetTweets about relevant current events are great additions to any social media calendar because, “they help drive cultural relevance with [your] audience,” according to a Fast Company piece on real-time marketing. Recently, marketing observers have applauded brands like Oreo, whose social extemporizing included on-the-spot tweets during the Super Bowl blackout and instant word play following the #RoyalBabyWatch.But there’s more to relevance than simple timeliness. And if your target audience is totally uninterested (or, for example, members of Britain’s anti-monarchy group) something like “Long live the crème,” may not be such a popular post. So, use timely tweets with purpose and specificity. Prospects with a taste for pop culture appreciate general fun and humor. Brand fans who identify with particular values will want to share events and announcements that celebrate your contributions in those realms. Check out two of Skinnygirl Cocktail’s examples to see when you should — and shouldn’t — infuse your content with topical references:TWEET THIS:It’s no coincidence #SistersDay & #FriendshipDay both happen today. Tweet THIS to all special ladies in ur life! pic.twitter.com/B872AHl7Jq— Skinnygirl Cocktails (@Skinnygirl) August 4, 2013NOT THAT:Happy #August! How are you celebrating the first day of the month?— Skinnygirl Cocktails (@Skinnygirl) August 1, 20134) The Defensive TweetSocial media offers some great opportunities to communicate with your prospects and your existing customers. And while most marketers know better than to ignore pointed comments, some err too far in the other direction — addressing every negative tweet with a public mea culpa. You don’t have to be Burger King or Bank of America to see how this can go badly. Whether you receive two or two thousand complaints per week, you should keep the apologies in proportion with your positive, informative output. Consider using direct messages (DMs) if you find yourself answering lots of similar concerns. And don’t forget to tweet any universal fix that addresses a series of grievances (e.g. Yay! Our website is up and running again. Thanks for your patience!).The examples below come from a major foodservice distributor with a disproportionate ratio of defensive tweets, despite worthwhile news and a well-known spokesman.TWEET 20 of THESE:@robertirvine1 in the #Sysco booth right now signing copies of his book, Impossible to Easy. #booth655 #NRAShow pic.twitter.com/AyrH1O66D4— Sysco Corporation (@Sysco_Corp) May 21, 2013FOR EVERY ONE of THESE: @deadmousesqueak We are checking into this matter.— Sysco Corporation (@Sysco_Corp) July 14, 20135) The Curated TweetThere’s no reason to shoulder the content production load all by yourself. In fact, “recognizing remarkable content from others is a core link and relationship-building strategy,” say the great minds at HubSpot. Because otherwise, your tweet log starts to read like a long list of sales pitches. Or, in the example below, like you’re running out of ideas. At the end of the day, tweets are a form of content curation. Occasionally sharing the stage with others is a smart way to exercise social skills and grow your retweet potential. See how Mott’s gives the nod to a family-friendly resource that aligns with its focus on moms, kids, and healthy eating:TWEET THIS:Announcing @Weelicious Wednesdays! Get tips & recipes for your little ones every Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/wk1AzB2WzU— Mott’s (@Motts) July 24, 2013NOT THIS (at least not all the time):True or true: 10 out of 10 kids love Mott’s.— Mott’s (@Motts) July 23, 2013To be fair, individual tweets are just small pieces of an ongoing dialogue. And just like in-person exchanges don’t start with a barrage of facts or pointed requests, lightly conversational tweets (Good morning! How’s your Monday?) aren’t bad additions to your overall repertoire.Also worth emphasizing: without social reach and engagement monitoring, it’s tough to say what will work best for your unique audience. Sounding human would seem to be a good rule of thumb, but even then, there are always Twitter outliers. Skittles, for example, posts from the perspective of The Rainbow, offering addictively inane tweets celebrated by more than 100,000 followers … That’s food for thought, too.Liz O’Neill is the content marketing specialist at PMG, an outsourced marketing department for entrepreneurial, B2B firms. You can follow Liz on Twitter @LizO_Neill and @PMGTweets.Image credit: opensourceway Originally published Aug 8, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Lead Nurturing Originally published Sep 11, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated August 01 2018 Topics: Properly engaging in conversations with someone is the most important part of developing a relationship. Whether these conversations happen via email, text, or social media, it’s imperative to make sure that you say the right thing at the right time to the right person — otherwise your relationship could take a turn for the worse. When building relationships, content and context are key.The same thing applies to building relationships with the leads in your database via email marketing. Poorly written emails, mass-produced messaging, and a lack of genuine thought and interest throughout your communication are all sure ways to alienate the recipient. So avoid deal-breakers early in your relationship by abiding by the following email etiquette tips. 1) Remember the Little Things CountThis point is super simple, but will always be inherently important — and for this reason it cannot be overlooked. Use common sense and make sure that you double and triple check for any mistakes within the email. Mistakes can include incorrect information, spelling errors, and poor grammar. Want to see an example of what not to do? Look no further than here for an example of a truly shocking email that is the spammiest of all spam. 2) Put Your Best Foot ForwardFirst impressions are crucial in relationships. When sending emails, you only get one chance to get this impression right — and best way to make it a good one is to optimize your email subject line. Research shows that “secrets” is the most clicked word in lead nurturing subject lines, so testing to find out what works for your audience is key to getting your email recipients to click through to all the good stuff on your website.Try to get your audience engaged from the get-go, but don’t trick them into it. Naturally, we can sometimes be drawn to scandalous headlines and hyperbolic messaging, but if the contents of the email don’t live up to the expectation that’s set in the subject line, you’re going to do more damage than good. Positioning your email’s content as something of value and interest is the best way to draw your audience in. Free tools like this Subject Line previewer from Email Tool Tester will help you gauge which email subject lines will be more successful. Want more insight into structuring an awesome email subject line? Check out “The Anatomy of a 5-Star Subject Line.”3) Get PersonalNobody wants to be just another name on a list. Personalizing your emails is a sure way to make the reader feel special. Addressing your email to the recipient’s first name creates a sense of familiarity and makes the reader feel like it’s actually meant for them and you’re paying attention. And, according to the 2014 Science of Email Report, having that first name personalization increases your clickthrough rate from about 5.8% to about 7%. Personalization can extend far beyond the use of names, too. Some things that you can pull in to your emails for a more relevant and personal experience include their role or industry, the most recent page on your website they have viewed, and the types of content they have downloaded.Check out this HubSpot blog post so you can rock email personalization and learn more about all the different ways you can do it.4) Play the Long GameFocusing on the end result (the sale) from the beginning sends one message — you only care about you. Your leads will know that you want one thing, and one thing only — and once you have it you won’t care about them anymore.And then they’ll find a way to avoid you. With more than 50% of respondents to the 2014 Science of Email Report saying they use a separate ‘spam’ email address to divert commercial emails, you want to make sure that your emails aren’t ending up in that same black hole. You have one too, don’t you — an email address you throw down when you have to provide one to gain access to content or a site? However, we all know of those companies from which we enjoy receiving emails because they give us the gift of interesting or helpful content. Follow their lead. By placing emphasis on creating value for your leads with relevant content and education during early email communication process, you will help foster a mutually beneficial relationship and lay the groundwork for a more successful close.5) Be YourselfFor the past few months, I have been receiving emails from Uber, all signed off by their Dublin Community Managers Cian and Pete. Recently I happened to meet Cian in real life and had a lovely conversation regarding their most recent ice cream campaign (and how, ironically, they ran it on what was possibly the wettest day in Ireland this year). I mentioned to him how much I loved getting his emails.The fact that a human had been emailing me made the brand feel more personable and authentic. Deep down I know that this wasn’t sent to just me, but upon reading the human sign-offs, I often forgot. It felt like someone had taken the time to email me personally.It may seem obvious, but signing off automated emails from a real person rather than a company will help develop the relationship further. 6) Know That It’s What’s on the Inside That CountsWhen I click into an email on my phone and see that it’s not mobile friendly, that email is being kicked to the curb. Instantaneous delete.In this day and age, and with 80.8% of users reading email on mobile devices, there is absolutely no excuse for not optimizing your emails for mobile access. Having to twist, pinch, swivel, and zoom in order to awkwardly read the contents of an email is a chore, and a very irritating one at that.You can learn how to optimize your emails for mobile with this beginners guide so you don’t make any rookie mistakes when trying to woo a lead.7) Keep It Short and Sweet so They’re Left Wanting MoreAccording to the 2014 Science of Email Report, “Emails that are short and sweet yield better results,” as both subject line and content length “have a negative correlation with email clickthrough rate.” In order to further engage your leads, keep your emails informative but concise. Just like this final tip.What other tips do you have for developing your email marketing relationships? Don’t forget to share this post! 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