Africa helicopter service hub for SA

first_img25 September 2012South African defence equipment manufacturer Denel and Russian Helicopters, a leading international designer and manufacturer of helicopters, have signed an agreement to create a helicopter servicing hub for sub-Saharan Africa.The agreement was signed at the 7th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria last week.Through the agreement, Denel Aviation, a division of Denel, is now the only company in sub-Saharan Africa accredited to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for models produced by Russian Helicopters.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Denel chief executive Riaz Saloojee said the agreement would significantly expand the company’s business in Africa and strengthen its position as the premier provider of MRO services on the continent.Sub-Saharan maintenance hubDenel Aviation CEO Mike Kgobe said Denel’s objective was to become the maintenance hub for most of the modern commercial and military aircraft operating in sub-Saharan Africa.“The agreement represents the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the two companies,” Kgobe said.Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov said civil aviation was a high-growth market in Africa, and that Russian Helicopters was well positioned to be a market leader on the continent for years to come.“We see great potential for our helicopters in countries across Africa, and are delighted to be working with Denel Aviation to provide a complete customer care programme for our clients on the continent,” Petrov said.Skills transferFrom October, Denel Aviation technical staff will attend an intensive training programme on the latest Russian Helicopters technology and procedures in the eastern Siberian city of Novosibirsk.This will mean that teams of Denel Aviation engineers and technicians will be deployable at short notice to perform emergency repair work on helicopters across the continent.For deeper-level MRO work, the aircraft will be transported to the company’s facilities close to OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg.“Our knowledge of the African geography and climatic conditions, and the track record of our products that have been extensively deployed in operational conditions, make us a logical partner of choice to the military and civilian markets on the continent,” Kgobe said.Russian Helicopters manufactures an extensive line-up of versatile and resilient helicopters for purposes ranging from cargo and passenger transport to medevac and search-and-rescue missions, fire-fighting, corporate transportation and offshore in the oil and gas sector.Russian Helicopters has been sole vendor of Russian-built civilian helicopters to foreign clients since consolidation of the country’s helicopter manufacturing sector was completed in 2010.Source: read more

4 Tips to Increase eCommerce Holiday Sales

first_img Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Holiday Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The time for eCommerce holiday shopping is quickly approaching, and if you are not already developing your plan to maximize your return on the spike of online sales, you need to start now!!  According to a report provided from comScore , the 2009 eCo mmerce Holiday S pending reached $27 billion.   This year will be no different — and I am willing to bet that this number will rise even higher.  Are you prepared to take advantage? Be   Prepared for the Online Holiday Rush 1.  Write blog posts that are optimized for the long-tail of “holiday” centric keywords.  For example, if you sell shoes, you could write blog posts around the subject of holiday specials for your products.   “5 Reasons Ugg Boots and Slippers Will Dominate Holiday Gifts”    “3 Great Tennis Shoes for a Boy’s Christmas Present”   “Christmas Basketball Shoe Sales Will Be A Slamdunk in 2010” Writing content that includes your products and the holiday terms (Christmas, holiday presents, holiday gifts, Christmas ideas, boy holiday gifts, girl Christmas gifts, ect.) will help your website rank better for these longer-tail niche keywords.  Make sure that you have strong call-to-action buttons on each of your blog posts that link to landing pages explaining holiday promotions for specific products or product categories.   2.  Develop Promotional Landing Pages that are designed to target Holiday traffic.  Entice your visitors to buy from you by giving them time-sensitive pricing incentives that are only available during the holidays.  Showcase your top performing products on holiday themed landing page with great offers.  “20% off when purchasing $50 or more before X date.”  “Free t-shirt included when you purchase before X date.” Maybe your visitors are interested in your products, but not committed to purchasing immediately. Help convert these visitors to customers by giving them incentive to sign up for exclusive promotional offers.  “Sign up for exclusive holiday deals only available for existing or new subscribers.  This Special will expire on X Date.  Sign up now to secure your discount!”    3.  Send Holiday marketing emails and use lead nurturing.  Increase your holiday revenue by nurturing your visitors that haven’t committed to a purchase and rewarding your existing customers with exclusive offers.   Existing customers have already purchased from you and like your products — reward and entice them to buy more for their friends and family!  Send an email reminding your existing customers that the holidays are quickly approaching, and that you are offering them an exclusive, limited time offer.   Give a coupon code with a reminder that this code will expire by “X” date.  Make sure that this email includes links back to either your blog posts about your most popular seasonal items or landing pages designed to show additional value for shopping early.   Additionally, you should use lead nurturing emails to leverage the holiday season in your favor by placing new leads into campaigns designed entice earlier purchases.  Remembering to segment your lead nurturing campaigns is an important step.  If a visitor comes to your website and is interested in getting a special holiday deal on jackets, make sure that you send them emails designed to sell jackets, not shoes!   4.  Monitor and promote your brand and products in social media with holiday keywords.  Monitoring and promoting your most popular products is essential for eCommerce stores in 2010.  Tracking holiday centric keywords is an advanced skill that can help you sell more.  Instead of just tracking the keyword “Ugg boots” track “Ugg boots christmas” and “Ugg boats holiday present.”  Tracking these terms in Twitter will allow you to see tweets that say, “All I want for Christmas are Ugg Boots!” and “Are Ugg boots for my daughter for a good holiday present?”  You could then engage these tweeters to let them know about your new article “5 Reasons Ugg Boots and Slippers Will Dominate Holiday Gifts”.  Or you could send them links to a landing page that offers 20% Off Ugg Boots when signing up for promotional discount emails. Utilizing these inbound marketing tactics will ensure that your eCommerce site is prepared for the holiday rush.  Have you seen your favorite stores already using some of these tactics mentioned?  Do you have other suggestions?  I would love to hear your feedback! Photo curtesy of Luiz A. Villa last_img read more

Google+ Now Available to Everyone, Adds Search Functionality

first_img Google Updates New Feature: Search Functionality!Considering Google is the king of search, it’s pretty strange that an internal search function wasn’t available right off the bat. But Google listened to users’ requests, and now the +Search box is available to all, enabling users to search for others’ posts and content within Google+ and on the web. To ensure others’ privacy, the search function returns search results that are either publicly available or that only the searcher can see.Resources for New Google+ UsersIf, up until now, you’ve been unable to access Google+, here’s a great list of resources to help you get on the same page as other users:The Ultimate Google+ Cheat Sheet10 Awesome Google+ Presentations to View Today Websites Using Google’s +1 Button Get 3.5x the Google+ Visits [Data]11 Things You Don’t Know (But Should) About Google+Marketing TakeawayFirst of all, if you hadn’t yet been granted access to Google+, you can now sign up here. Take advantage of the above resources to help you get up-to-speed with all Google+ currently has to offer, and make sure you know the ins and outs of Google+ with your personal account so you can be prepared to tackle business pages once Google launches those.Secondly, start experimenting with Hangouts on Air! This feature already has big potential and implications for businesses. Think online video news announcements and livestreaming to the public, making it very easy to spread your message to a public audience.Lastly, make sure you’re effectively leveraging the +Search functionality. When possible, make sure your posts and links to content are optimized with the keywords for which you want to get found, and be sure to make your posts publicly available to make it easier for those outside your direct network to find and access your content.Are you using Google+? What do you think of its newest features? Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016center_img If you’re someone who has been anxiously awaiting access to Google+ over the past few months, your wait is now over. This morning, Google announced it has officially released the ability to sign up for Google+ to everyone, with or without an invitation.Google’s move to make the social network completely open to the public is based on a number of new improvements and additional features now available to users, which has propelled Google+ from ‘field trial’ to ‘beta’ status. While most of these new features are focused on improvements to Google+ Hangouts, Google also announced the addition of an internal search function within Google+…finally.New Features in +HangoutsGoogle+’s improvements to Hangouts (Google+’s video chat capability) are the most numerous.Mobile Hangouts: Users with Android 2.3+ devices and front-facing cameras can now can now launch Hangouts directly from their mobile phones.Hangouts on Air: Users can now create publicly broadcasted (and recorded) hangouts, which can include up to 9 video participants and made available to anyone who wants to watch the broadcast live. (Note: Creation of Hangouts on Air is currently limited to a number of broadcasters, but anyone can tune in.)Extra Hangouts Features: Google+ has also added some new features to Hangouts. These extras can serve as add-ons to your video chats and include screensharing, sketching, Google Doc collaboration, and Hangout naming functionalities. 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

Facebook Launches Global Pages to Simplify Brands’ International Facebook Presence

first_img Originally published Oct 18, 2012 12:21:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Business Pages Topics: Are you a global business that sells to customers on an international scale? Have you struggled with the agonizing question of whether to set up multiple social media accounts on each social network to better support your various marketing initiatives geared toward different international markets? Well as it turns out, Facebook feels your pain.Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of Global Pages, a new structure to business pages for global brands aimed to provide a better, localized experience for international brands’ prospects and customers. The new structure consolidates a business’ global Facebook presence into one place while still providing a localized experience.How Facebook’s New Global Structure WorksThe idea is, rather than a global brand maintaining one general, broadly targeted Facebook page — or juggling multiple Facebook Pages set up for each different international market — that brand can instead maintain and promote one centralized Facebook Page URL. Visitors to that page will then get routed to the most appropriate version of a page based on their home country, where they will see a localized version of the page, which the administrator can customize to include different cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, ‘About’ information, and news feed stories.The global marketer can set up their Global Pages structure to create localized pages for the specific markets (i.e. single or multicountry regions) they’re targeting. They can also set up a default page that all other users outside of these specific markets get directed to. If you’re familiar with LinkedIn’s targeted Product and Services Page variations within their Company Pages, Facebook is implementing a similar idea: Users get redirected to the version of the page that’s best suited for them based on their geographic location.Okay — so what’s the difference between a global marketer just setting up and customizing different Facebook Pages? In one word: centralization.3 Key Benefits of Global PagesA Centralized Facebook Presence: No matter which version of the page a visitor gets routed to, all visitors will see the same page name (translated into their local language), fan count, and ‘People Talking About This’ counts.A Single URL: Rather than having to promote a different page URL for each localized page, global brands will be able to promote one single URL in all of their marketing efforts to promote their Facebook presence, since page visitors will be automatically be redirected to the appropriate version of the Page based on their goegraphic information.A Centralized Global Insights Dashboard: Rather than having to check the Facebook Insights for multiple pages, administrators of the main Global Page will be able to check Insights for all page variations in one centralized dashboard.But What if I Already Have Multiple Pages Set Up?It’s easy to see how this new feature can help global social media marketers who already manage one general page, eliminating the pain of geo-targeting every status update and page post — but what about the marketers who have already set up completely separate, country-specific Facebook Pages for each of their target international markets?According to Facebook, it is possible for admins of multiple pages to transition to the new Global Pages structure, citing examples such as the global Walt Disney Studios team working on Frankenweenie, who were easily able to migrate their country-specific pages for France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the Global Pages framework. Other brands, including the Holiday Inn and the Kit Kat team from Nestle have also successfully transitioned their various localized pages from regions around the globe to the new structure.And that’s not all …Facebook Also Promises Improved Global Benchmarking Data in the FutureWithin Facebook’s announcement, the social network also mentioned they’re working on ways to make it easier for global marketers to measure their specific, localized audiences in each country — which will include country-level fan counts for both Global Pages as well as pages not yet transitioned to the new framework (coming later this year in its public API).In addition, Facebook is working to provide a way for marketers to benchmark their brand against competitors, enabling global marketers to measure and analyze how each localized market is performing and compare that data on a country-specific level with other Facebook pages via Facebook’s API. Great News for International MarketersThis seems like a no-brainer for businesses who cater to a global audience. No more agonizing over whether to divide their Facebook presence in order to appropriately cater their content and updates to their inidividual, localized segments of their audience. No more time spent fiddling with geo-targeting every single status update. No more splitting up the overall reach and impact of their Facebook presence.To get started with Global Pages, Facebook indicates you’ll need to get in touch with your Facebook client partner or account manager to discuss. If you’re not already working with Facebook, you can contact Facebook marketing solutions here.To learn more about how to effectively implement a global social media marketing strategy, download our free ebook, The Complete Guide to Global Social Media Marketing.If you’re a global marketer, will you explore Facebook’s new Global Pages offering?Image Credit: Sudhamshu Don’t forget to share this post! 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An 8-Step Plan for Migrating to a New Marketing Automation Program

first_img Marketing Automation Topics: How They Did ItOne challenge Freeman faced was that the people who had installed and configured the previous marketing automation system at ShoreTel were no longer at the company. And the software had been in place since around 2007. “I had to go in and figure out how the whole thing was set up by someone else, with very little documentation on the current setup,” he says.In any migration, there will be some translation required. How much depends on which applications are involved. Some have more in common than others.Freeman offered to walk me through the steps he followed in his migration. The main thing, he says, is to put in the time up front to make a realistic schedule and anticipate the steps that are going to be the most challenging. “Planning is the most important piece,” he says.Here are eight steps he recommends:1) Take inventory.Map out the workflows, lists, contact fields, and content such as landing pages, emails, blog posts and images that you have in your existing marketing automation program. “Just define what you have and what you need to bring over,” he says.2) Do a clean-up.As long as you’re in the middle of change, it’s a good opportunity to get rid of old offers and other assets you don’t need anymore. It’s also a good time to comb through your contacts database and get rid of some email addresses, for example ones that have bounced or ones that have not opened one of your emails in a long time. (For advice on how to scrub your list, see this story.) “Bottom line is, this is an opportunity for spring cleaning,” Freeman says.3) Figure out which assets need to be changed.Identify any adjustments that you need to make in workflows that are being carried over.4) Export your data.“Because it’s a moving target, I set up an auto download or auto data export that ran daily,” Freeman says.5) Put the pieces back together.Start with landing pages and emails. “We took landing pages we had from Eloqua and applied styling and template changes,” Freeman says. “We recreated them in HubSpot, but with a new look and feel.”6) Perform a sync.Sync your contacts with, and start recreating workflows, lists, and forms.7) Test.“We tested a lot before going live, but we also spent three days after going live with HubSpot looking out for problems, and fixing problems and oversights,” Freeman says. “That’s inevitable. There are going to be little hiccups. But we worked them out and everything was golden after that.”According to folks at HubSpot, you might want to run the old and new systems in tandem for some period of time.8) Shut off the old system.Hey, you don’t need it anymore. You’re done. Congratulations.ShoreTel finished the migration a few months ago, and has had no problems since. “I always find things to tune or improve,” Freeman says, “but things have really gone smoothly.”The PayoffThe biggest benefit for ShoreTel is the new system is easier to use than the previous system. “I have seven people who are actively using this now,” he says. “Every time I do some training, people go, ‘Wow, that’s so easy!’”His one biggest piece of advice to others who are planning a migration is to hire a consultant to help guide you through the process. “You shouldn’t try to do this on your own,” he says. Nobody looks forward to software migration projects. But with the right planning, and realistic expectations, you can get to the promised land without too much damage to your psyche.If you want some advice on how to evaluate marketing automation software, check out this free Marketing Automation Starter Kit. And once you’ve decided to make a leap, you can use this free guide to help you learn how to create marketing automation RFP. Originally published Apr 21, 2014 5:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img This post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.Michael Freeman wasn’t psyched about having to migrate from one marketing automation system to another. But it had to be done. Last year Freeman’s employer, a telecom company called ShoreTel, moved from Eloqua to HubSpot, and it fell to Freeman, the head of demand generation at ShoreTel, to oversee the project.Freeman says he wouldn’t want to go through it again — “I’ve been here for two years, and this was the first time I was ever unhappy,” he says. “Since finishing the migration I’m much, much happier, and if I can help someone else who is in that situation, then I’m happy to help.”Migrations are becoming more common in the marketing automation space. A few years ago that wasn’t the case. The field was so new that when most companies installed marketing automation programs they were starting with a clean slate.But as the marketing automation field matures, an increasing number of companies find themselves wanting or needing to migrate. That might be because they’re dissatisfied with a vendor. Or maybe a company is being acquired and must migrate to the marketing automation program that its new owner uses.Freeman says ShoreTel moved mostly because it wanted greater ease of use, but also wanted to rethink its approach to marketing. He explains his reasons for moving to HubSpot in this video: 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

5 Clever Ways Ecommerce Companies Can Use Pre-Transactional Offers

first_imgIf you’re an ecommerce business owner and the only conversion opportunities on your site are to purchase, “contact us,” or subscribe to an email list or blog, you’re leaving money on the table – plain and simple. It’s a good start to have a pop-up blog subscription or “5% off your first purchase” offer, but is this type of disruptive offer really compelling? The short answer is no.One way to maximize the revenue potential of your site is to create a framework of offers that appeal to visitors who are not ready to buy, but would like learn more. By placing these offers on highly trafficked pages on your site, you can cultivate a database of contacts to engage with via email marketing or enroll into automated email nurturing to continually drive revenue. But, what do offers like these look like? Getting started with a pre-transactional lead generation strategy can be challenging, so here are five examples of pre-transactional offers broken out by business type, followed by some best practices when creating your offer.1) Fashion/Home FurnishingA great way to grab the attention of website visitors for any fashion or design related business is a seasonal style or design guide. This type of offer can be highly visual and offer your unique slant on the season’s hottest trends. I suggest including the year to the title of the guide, for example “Fall 2014 Style Guide.” Then, when you create the following year’s guide your visitors will know it’s new and fresh. A wonderful example of this is Postcard from Paris’s Fall Design Guide. They included a CTA to download their Fall Design Guide on a blog post about how to prepare your home for fall. The guide itself is well laid out and reflects their interpretation of how to prepare you home for the fall season, including tips and advice. 2) Appliances/ElectronicsPeople who are considering buying larger ticket items such as electronics or appliances almost always do research online. Help them in their research process by offering a product specific buying guide, such as “How to Find an Oven That is Perfect for You.” This positions you and your business as a trusted advisor, instead of a being overly sales-y. A product buying guide can consist of:What buyers should consider when buying a certain productA comparison of brands (including reviews)Feature breakdown of different models and brandsFrequently asked questions For example, Yale Appliance has a great resource center that is geared towards educating its prospects and customers through guides. They have a variety of guides for their products, including multiple guides for different kinds of refridgerators. They even have a recipe center with the recipes from their live chef demos.3) Curated Subscription Box BusinessThere has been an explosion of curated subscription box businesses in recent years. For everything from snacks to clothes to pet treats – if you want it, you can get it delivered to you in a curated box.Since signing up for a monthly box service can be more of an impulse purchase than a research driven process, pre-transactional offer examples are hard to find. A prime opportunity to capture lead information is allowing visitors to preview a box based on their preferences.While this can require a bit of coding, the result is a quick and easy way to give “tire kickers” a taste of what they would be signing up for, while gathering their email address and some preference data. This preference data is valuable because you can use it to personalize your email marketing by sending nurturing emails and content based on preferences. You can deliver the customized box preview via email or redirect them to a page with a preview, but the end result is the same. You grow a lead database that you can nurture into purchasing. A fantastic example of a box preview offer is Citrus Lane’s “How it Works” page. This CTA encourages you to put in the month and date of your child’s birth to see what’s inside the box.Then, based on your child’s age you’re given examples of the kinds of products that the box includes. You also have the option to explore example products for other age groups. 4) Health and Wellness/Vitamin and SupplementsThere are a couple directions you can go for health and wellness ecommerce sites, so I’ve included two examples – one for a recipe book and one for an educational guide. Recipe books are a good way to engage your website visitors with fun (and tasty!) content. Think of 5-10 delicious recipes that incorporate your products, then add attractive images and easy to follow instructions.Radiant Life Company has created a series of recipe books called “A Radiant Life Guide to Real Food.” The series includes a “Guide to Making Coconut Flour Breads,” which is a fantastic example of a recipe book as a pre-transactional offer. As you can tell from the example below, it combines tantilizing photographs of coconut flour breads with simple, clear recipes instructions and tips.The second example is an educational guide. With this type of guide you can provide detailed information about your most popular products including their origin, why they benefit the consumer, scientific facts and data, and best practices on how and when to consume them. Greens Plus offers “The Beginner’s Guide to Superfoods” that does all that.Much like appliances, people will often do online research before starting a new diet, vitamin, or supplement. Providing helpful and informative content will make them more likely to purchase from you – especially if you follow up with email nurturing!5) B2B Ecommerce A B2B ecommerce sale is complex because you are looking to attract prospects that will repeatedly buy from you. However, they are still buying on your website with little to no human interaction. The way you can pique the interest of a B2B prospect is through analytical and research driven content. If you can provide your visitors with content that allows them to look like a genius in front on their boss, not only will they buy from you, they’ll be your best friend! You could create a cost analysis guide, an industry research report, or a strategy guide. has a thoughtful, comprehensive, and informative example – they provide an ebook on “How to Succeed Using Market Research.” It covers important topics to help you determine your market research needs and budget, as well as how to define success.Constructing Your OfferNow you’ve seen examples of pre-transactional offers for different types of ecommerce businesses, you need to strategically construct your pre-transactional offer. Pre-transactional offers have to capture the attention of the website visitor to the extent that they will take the next step by filling out a form, and trade their information for your content. Here are some general best practices when creating your offer.The call-to-action:Make sure the CTA button that leads to your offer is highly visible – you want the color to pop off the page. It should also clearly state what happens when a visitor clicks on it – for example, “Download Your Free Guide.” Place the CTA on highly trafficked pages and at the end of blog posts.The landing page:Use the same landing page best practices that you would on any other landing page! You need a clear and compelling title with a clarifying subtitle, a descriptive image, and a few bullet points on what is contained in the content offer.The form:This is the most important part. Since a pre-transactional offer is a “top of the funnel” offer, this needs to be as short as possible. But, you want to gather enough information to help understand your contacts. A form could be as simple as three fields – First Name, Email Address, and an option to “Tell Us More About Yourself.” It is crucial that you make the “Tell us More About Yourself” field a dropdown where you give three or four options with an “other” option as a catch-all. The options in the dropdown should represent your ideal buyer personas so that you can automatically segment these contacts once they submit the form.Now that you have an offer, you can go beyond placing your offer on highly trafficked pages of your website and at the end of blog posts. You can also promote your offer over social media, or even to your existing email database to encourage them to return to your site. And ideally, when your offer goes live, you’ll already have email automation in place to enroll new contacts into relevant drip nurturing campaigns. If you don’t have email automation in place, you can gather contacts via your offer and then intermittently send segmented emails. With pre-transactional offers, you’ll be able to get more visitors back to your site, into your store, and spending! Originally published Dec 18, 2014 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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How and When to Follow up With All Types of Leads

first_img 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 Originally published Dec 23, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 In the sales and marketing world, there are few issues that are getting more attention than the issues surrounding lead management and follow up. In my experience, clarity around lead management, qualification and response times are the crucial linchpin to align sales and marketing efforts.It’s a rather scary statistic, but according to a study most recently done for Harvard Business Review, 71% of qualified leads are never followed up with. What’s more is, of the leads that are followed up on, they’re only touched an average of 1.3 times. This represents tremendous opportunity costs not only in revenue, but in the customer/prospect experience as well.This is why creating a clear service level agreement (SLA) is important. An effective Lead Management and Response SLA lays out how leads should be treated, when they should be followed up with, how often they should be followed up with and how the sales and marketing sides of the organization will be held accountable in the process.While there is a tremendous amount of research on how to respond to inbound leads, developing effective protocols requires more than just determining the source of a lead. What’s important is determining the quality and the context of the lead you have generated.The Four Components of Lead ClassificationWe’ve identified four components that must be factored in when developing lead management protocols:1) Type of Product/ServiceIs your offering one that fills an already existing need, with an existing line item; or, are you selling something to solve a problem that isn’t being managed, with no existing line item? If you’re selling the former, you’re response management is going to need to be on the faster side of what I explain below.2) SourceWhere did the lead come from? The simplest designation via inbound or offline efforts. Inbound leads typically need much faster response that offline leads do. However, it’s not always that simple. There are offline sources that need quick responses, but not every inbound lead should be responded to immediately.3) Company QualityAn important rule to remember when qualifying leads is to always be qualifying the company, not the contact. Whether it’s someone who downloaded a white paper or checklist from your website, gave you a card at a trade show or called in to your main number, you want to be paying attention to the company when assessing the strength of a lead. The higher the lead quality the faster you’ll want to respond.4) The Buyer’s JourneyYou must consider where the prospect finds themselves in their buying journey. While responding within five minutes of a download is ideal at the bottom of the funnel, it can turn people off when they’re at the top. To get a feel of where your prospect most likely is, consider:Which of your buyer personas do they represent?What offer did they download (or how else was the lead created)?What other actions have they had with your company and website? The lower the prospect is in the funnel (the closer they are to their decision stage), the faster you are going to want to respond.Lead Scoring vs. Lead TriageWith your lead classification criteria clear, next you’ll want to decide whether you’ll take lead scoring or (what I like to call) a lead triage approach. While lead scoring is a hot topic, with the siren song of certainty, I’ve found that very few companies are in a position where they should actually focus on lead scoring. Lead scoring works when:There is certainty about what actions and attributes cause a prospect to be more likely to buy, andYou’re being overwhelmed with more leads than your sales team can manage. If you’ve got capacity to respond to more leads, lead scoring is relatively useless.Lead triage is a simple (and at least partially manual) process of reviewing each lead to categorize it within the context of your lead management SLA. The job is to simply classify each lead as qualified, not-qualified or not enough information to determine.For qualified leads (QLs) the vast majority of companies will do fine designating each QL as low, moderate or high quality. That designation should trigger corresponding actions within your SLA. If you feel the need for a more nuanced approach you can add a bottom/not-bottom category to each designation.Effectively Responding to LeadsThe first rule of lead response is “respond.” Keep things simple, as the statistic at the beginning of this post highlight, merely responding to leads puts you in the top quartile of organizations.Timing of ResponseFor a lead generated online, waiting just five minutes will reduce the likelihood of contact by 10x factor. Now, as I shared in the classification section, I’m not an advocate that every online lead be contacted instantly. First off, few companies have the resources to consistently respond in such a manner, and secondly the context of your prospect often make it unnecessary. I share this statistic to highlight that time is of the essence. For companies with a lead response system in place, the average response time is 46 hours, 53 minutes – almost two days! That is simply too long for the average initial response.Frequency of ResponseWhen developing your lead response process, you want to address not only the time that a qualified lead should be responded to, but the frequency as well.As I shared above, the typical lead is touched by a salesperson on average only 1.3 times. Increasing the number of touches to six increases the likelihood of making a contact by 70%.When crafting your response protocols, you’ll want to integrate voice mail and email. Highly qualified leads should get at least six outreaches over a sustained period of time.The Importance of NurturingAs a part of your lead management process, you’re going to want to designate whether a lead is being actively or passively managed. If you fail to connect with your prospect within the time prescribed in your SLA, and even if you connect and no sales action is initiated, you’ll want to make sure you have a defined nurturing process in place to position yourself strongly in the future. Lead Nurturinglast_img read more

Copywriting Lessons From BuzzFeed’s Worst Headlines [New Data]

first_img Originally published May 27, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 As more and more people begin to publish online, more channels and content will be competing for your audience’s attention. A great headline is one of the most effective ways to break through the noise — it has the potential to increase a post’s traffic by 500%. So how do you write a headline that drives that kind of results for you?Search for “how to write the best headline” and you’ll find many articles promising a blog title formula that will garner the most page views and shares. BuzzStream and Fractl decided to take a different approach: We looked at a set of low-performing headlines to identify key patterns and figure out what not to do when writing headlines.To find this out, we turned to a publisher that dominates in social shares: BuzzFeed. Using BuzzSumo, we pulled all the English-language headlines from April 2014 to April 2015. We organized headlines by the first two words — and any that began with a number received a value of “X” (e.g., “X Pieces,” “X GIFs,” etc.). The sample was narrowed down further by those that had at least 10 records, leaving us with more than 5,000 titles and their corresponding social shares.Below is a summary of what we found.Headlines with questions were some of the worst-performing types in the study.”Are You” was one of the worst two-word combinations in a headline, garnering slightly more than 14,000 shares per article. It was representative of a larger pattern: Headlines that were posed as questions were some of the worst-performing of the study. Further analysis revealed:The “Are You” headline was one the lowest-performing for three social networks — Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.Excluding the most popular sharing network (Facebook), “What Should” was also one of the least popular headlines.After comparing all the question headlines to the 15 most-shared headlines, question headlines earned 24,951 shares per article while non-question headlines earned 83,475 — more than a 70% increase.Drawing attention to an article that comes from a less authoritative source (such as a community member) is associated with fewer shares.User generated content can bring an audience closer to a brand, generate “free” content, and enhance loyalty. However, our research indicates that readers tend to share these articles less often. Titles with “Community Post” earned the least number of shares out of the entire data set, and compared to the highest-performing headline (“X Pictures”), “Community Post” earned more than 845% fewer shares. Additional findings revealed the following:Aside from earning the lowest number of shares overall, “Community Post” also earned the fewest Twitter shares — fewer than 200 per article.”Community Post” headlines earned the least number of shares from LinkedIn and Google+ (less than 1% each) and the majority of their shares (96%) from Facebook.”Community Post” was also one of lowest-performing headline types for three social networks: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.Without Facebook shares, poorly performing headlines earned as little as 341 shares per article.Facebook dominated social shares: The platform earned 85% or more of the shares for the 10 highest-performing headlines and 70% or more for the 10 lowest-performing headlines (the lower percentage stemming from two titles exceeding four-digit shares in both Facebook and Pinterest – “X Pieces” and “The Ultimate”).Without Facebook, 8 of the 10 lowest-performing headlines earned ~90% fewer shares. “What Should” also became the lowest-performing headline, earning only 341 shares per article. Additional findings revealed:”X Pieces” was affected the least: Excluding Facebook, the headline still earned more than 5,100 shares per article, and more than 25% of these shares came from Pinterest.8 out of the 10 worst-performing headlines on Facebook also earned the fewest shares overall.The headline type with the strongest performance — “X Pictures” — earned more than 112,000 shares from Facebook. The lowest-performing headline type — “Community Post” — earned fewer than 12,000. That’s nearly 90% fewer shares.Pinterest had the highest number of unique worst-performing headlines compared to other social networks.Shares in Pinterest proved to be valuable for titles such as “X Pieces” and “The Ultimate,” but our research also revealed that high shares from the network were harder to earn. Seven out of the ten lowest-performing headlines on Pinterest were unique to the platform, meaning that it had very few low-performing titles in common with other networks. Further analysis indicated:3 out of the 10 lowest-performing headlines referenced males — “A Man,” “A Guy,” and “This Guy.”Pinterest was one of only two social networks on which a specific number was mentioned in a low-performing headline — “The 15” on Pinterest and “The 25” on Twitter.Headlines with “A Man” earned the fewest shares on the social network — only two per article.It’s also interesting to note that using “guy” over “man” paid off: While “A Man” only earned two Pinterest shares per article, “A Guy” and “This Guy” earned 29 shares and 33 shares per article respectively — up to a 1,550% increase.Mentions of something specific (such as “whiskey” instead of “alcohol”) tend to be common in articles with low shares.One of the more interesting findings came through the analysis of word combinations. We looked at the top three-word combinations for the 10 lowest-performing headlines and the most popular two-word clusters in the bottom quartile. Our results revealed:References to two specific holidays — Christmas and Valentine’s Day — were found in the most frequent three-word combinations for “X GIFs” and “X Gifts” respectively.Although the Internet (and particularly BuzzFeed) can seem full of cats and celebrities, “Cats Who” and “Taylor Swift” were two of the most frequently used two-word clusters in headlines that earned low shares.The biggest takeaway from our research? Headlines matter: The 10 lowest-performing headlines earned 415% fewer shares than the 10 highest-performing.If you’d like to dive deeper into the research, you can check out the following infographic and review this deck, the latter which compares additional synonyms and looks at which months low-performing headlines are shared the least. 190Save 190SaveStudy by Fractl and BuzzStream. Topics: Social Media Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! 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Why Tuesday Feels Like the Longest Day of the Week: A Science-Backed Explanation

first_imgPeople often joke about coming down with “a case of the Mondays,” but for science writer Bahar Gholipour, Tuesday is the real worst day of the week.As Gholipour noted in a story for New York Magazine, “Why Does Time Seem to Slow Down on Tuesdays?”, Tuesday is the day when “last weekend feels like it was ages ago,” while next weekend still feels “ages away.” As a result, time can feel like it’s passing more slowly on Tuesdays compared to other days of the week.It might sound like science fiction, but studies — including this one on how emotions can subconsciously affect our perceptions of time — demonstrate that the phenomenon has a foothold in reality. In certain situations, time does seem to move at different speeds.Why Tuesday Feels Like the Longest Day of The WeekTo quote Gholipour:The brain, studies on time perception have shown, has a strange way of stretching and squishing time depending on the drugs you may be on, the emotions you are experiencing, and even the amount of attention you pay to the moment.”One of the most well-known examples of when this stretching or squishing of time occurs is during life-or-death situations, like car accidents. People often remember such events as lasting longer than they actually did, and even describe time as having moved in slow-motion.However, research shows that in such cases, the perceived change in time’s speed is a function of memory, not perception (i.e., you remember time having moved more slowly, but you didn’t actually perceive it that way). What’s more, this life-or-death situation research doesn’t apply to Tuesdays.For most of us, we don’t encounter life-or-death situations on Tuesdays. In the words of Gholipour, Tuesdays are “dull and unemotional.” So, why is it that Tuesdays seem to throw us into some sort of strange time warp?Gholipour uncovered two promising hypotheses …1) The Time GapResearch shows that the brain “time stamps” events using contextual clues. And things that happen in the same context (e.g., while you’re at a party) get grouped together in your memory — separate from things that happen in other contexts (e.g., while you’re in a cab going home). The end result is that we tend to remember like-moments as having occurred more closely together in time.When applied to Tuesdays, the hypothesis works like this: Going into the office on Monday is such a jolt, such a change from your weekend routine, that by Tuesday the previous weekend feels further away than it actually is.You see, on Monday, you can still easily tap into your weekend memories because you’re still in the process of making that contextual shift from “weekend mode” to “weekday mode.” By Tuesday, however, the shift is complete, and you now have your Monday memories — the beginning of your weekday memories — blocking the way back to your weekend memories. And this could explain, as Gholipour wrote, why we feel “a vague sensation of a time gap” on Tuesday mornings.2) Memory OverloadA second hypothesis explaining why time seems to move more slowly on Tuesdays: Our brains simply have more stuff to process during the workweek than on the weekend, and all that processing uses up a disproportionate amount of space in our memories.During the weekend, we tend to engage in relaxing, predictable behavior (e.g., watching TV, going out to dinner, and so on). During the work week, on the other hand, our schedules tend to become more complex and less predictable. We have emails to read. Emails to write. Assignments to complete. Meetings to attend. On Mondays, we’re just getting caught up. On Tuesdays, we’re in the thick of it.Hence, it’s possible that our brains generate more discreet memories on Tuesdays, making Tuesdays seem as though they’re longer than other days.As cognitive neuroscientist Virginie van Wassenhove of France’s INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit explained:Considering the amount of stuff that you’ve been engaged with during workdays, your recollections of these days are encoded with high granularity, taking a lot of space, so to speak, in memory.”So there you have it: Two possible explanations for why Tuesday feels like the longest day of the week. What’s a marketer to do with this information? Well, knowledge is power. And while we can’t offer you an insta-cure for the Tuesday blues, the hope is that this insight will help you focus less on the passing of time, and more on the work that needs to get done. Happy Tuesday!Have any suggestions for how we can make Tuesdays feel shorter? Sound off in the comments section below! Company Culture 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 Originally published Apr 12, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

Will Snapchat Spectacles Be a Money-Maker? [Infographic]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Mar 23, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: 38Savecenter_img At the dawn of Snapchat’s IPO, the marketing and financial worlds alike are simply buzzing with speculation.Will it sink or swim? Will it thrive, despite allegedly slowing user growth? And will its public-traded life get off on the right foot — or will it stumble, in a fate similar to social network IPOs past? We know we’ve spent the past several months emphasizing the importance of Snapchat to marketers, and despite these questions, we stand by it. The thing is, Snapchat has one major factor that sets it apart from other social networks that have sought IPOs: A physical product, the Spectacles. And to many analysts, it’s this product that could truly reinforce Snapchat’s standing and potential as a money-maker. Our friends at Mediakix created this handy infographic to illustrate why they believe Snapchat Spectacles will be “the next $5 billion product.” Spoiler alert: It has a lot to do with its mobile nature. As internet use via mobile continues to outrank that of desktop, it seems that gadgets are following suit. The adoption rates of the Apple Watch, for example, appear to be beating out those for the iPhone, suggesting that consumers are interested in wirelessly communicating without the use of their phones.And while we’ll admit that not all mobile gadgets share such success — after all, look at what happened to Google Glass — there’s reason to believe that Snapchat, an app with fundamentally mobile roots, will have better luck. Read on to see why. Snapchat Marketinglast_img read more