DVC Monthly Preview – September 2018

first_imgShare This!Welcome to the September installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. This month, we discuss an extension for the Epcot member lounge and, in the Resort Spotlight, we’ll take a look at Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House. Last month, we had news about DVC members being able to enter the Halloween party earlier than other guests (2 p.m. to be exact), and a DVC Explainer on banking, borrowing, and transferring points. You can view last month’s preview here.Booking WindowsThis month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in September, you will be able to book for dates in August 2019. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in April 2019.Saratoga Springs Resort is your best bet for last-minute availability, whether you’re using your own points or renting points. Two-bedroom and three-bedroom villas have the most availability, and on certain dates you can still find Treehouse Villa openings. (If you rent points through the affiliate link to David’s DVC rentals, TouringPlans receives a commission.) If you can manage the airfare to Hawaii, Aulani still has limited dates at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page.DVC NewsEpcot’s DVC member lounge.If you’re a fan of the member lounge at the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World, good news: It’s returning for another year. It’s a great place to cool off during the heat of the day, with places to sit down, plug in your phone, and enjoy the complimentary snacks and drinks from Coke Freestyle machines. And for kids that need a technology fix, there are gaming stations and tablets available to use.If you blinked, you might have missed it, but a limited-time pop-up shop for DVC members opened within the Marketplace Co-op at Disney Springs. DVC announced the shop, featuring a variety of DVC merchandise and apparel, on August 13 and it closed on September 3. New patterns for Dooney & Bourke handbags and new designs for Member MagicBands were among the items on sale. If you missed it, many items from the collection are available online anytime at ShopDisney.com/DVC, as well as at select merchandise locations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts.Sabrina Soto hosts DVC’s “Behind The Magic” webcast.Disney Vacation Club is encouraging members to watch their latest webcast by offering the possibility of winning a stay at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. After watching the 24-minute “Behind the Magic” webcast, members are eligible to win a five-night stay in a one-bedroom villa. The prize includes park tickets for four and airfare. The webcast, hosted by HGTV’s Sabrina Soto, features looks at Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure, and a preview of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands coming to both coasts. To view the webcast and enter the contest, visit dvcbehindthemagic.com. The webcast is available until September 30.If you missed out on resort guest registration for the Moonlight Magic events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 19, September 26, and October 3, you have another chance to get in on the action. Registration opens to all members at 9 a.m. Eastern time, September 13. Registration goes very quickly, so if you want to attend, plan on being online at 9 a.m. sharp. The final Moonlight Magic event of 2018 will be November 15 at Disney’s California Adventure Park. Registration opens at 11 a.m. Eastern time on October 4.Registration is open for the Disney Vacation Club Halloween Party on October 31 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Inspired by The Haunted Mansion attraction, this event features desserts, snacks, and lemonade; character encounters; face painting; DJ music; a selfie station; games; and a keepsake photo. The two times for the parties are from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Cost is $30 per person (ages 3 and up). Call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to book.Resort SpotlightThe Animal Kingdom Villas is actually made up of two side-by-side resorts, Jambo House (which is partially DVC) and Kidani Village (which is all DVC). This month, we’ll focus on Jambo House.A view of the lobby from the fifth floor, where most of the Jambo House DVC rooms are.Jambo House is probably what most people think of when they think of Animal Kingdom Lodge, with its soaring lobby and expansive windows leading out to the savanna. The Animal Kingdom Lodge first opened in April 2001 as a conventional Disney resort. The Lodge’s fifth- and sixth-floor rooms were converted into DVC villas with Animal Kingdom Villas contracts going on sale in June 2007 at $104 per point. Kidani Village would open in 2009.Jambo House has 134 DVC units, comprising 216 maximum available rooms if you were to split the lockoffs. The value studios are 316 square feet and other studios are 365 square feet. Value one-bedrooms are 629 square feet with other 0ne-bedrooms 720 square feet. Value two-bedrooms are 945 square feet with other two-bedrooms 1,075 square feet. Three-bedroom grand villas check in at 2,349 square feet.The value units, which come at a lower point level, are some of the tougher-to-get DVC rooms due to the low inventory. Likewise, Club Level units are also low in supply and very difficult to book, even at 11 months out. Jambo House is the only DVC location at Walt Disney World that has Club Level accommodations. The rest of the units are divided by standard view and savanna view.Giraffes on the Arusha Savanna at Jambo House.The savannas, with giraffes, zebra, Ankole cattle, wildebeest, and other African animals are the big draw for the resort. Many guests refuse to stay anywhere but a savanna-view room. If you’re staying in standard-view room, you can still take advantage of the many viewing areas around the resort to do your animal watching. In the evening, you can venture down to the Uzima Savanna near the pool and find a cast member with night-vision goggles to see the animals at night.The Igbo Ijele mask in the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House.Beyond the animals, you might not be aware of the museum-quality African art and artifacts on display. The resort is home to the largest collection of African art in North America. The centerpiece of their collection is the huge Igbo Ijele mask on display in the lobby. The 16-foot Ijele is created by the Igbo people of Nigeria and used at special celebrations only once every 10 to 25 years. This is the only known Ijele outside of Nigeria.Another great feature of staying at Jambo House is the excellent dining options. Jiko – The Cooking Place is their signature dining location and Boma is their buffet, both offering unique experiences featuring African dishes. The Mara is the quick service location and is where you can grab the popular zebra dome desserts outside of Boma. Victoria Falls is a beautiful lounge located on a mezzanine between the lobby and the lower restaurant level. The resort offers a free culinary tour each afternoon before dinner, where cast members will discuss the decor of Jiko and Boma in relation to their home countries and offer sample tastings.If you’re staying at Jambo House in the fall, you should be aware that the Uzima Springs pool is under refurbishment and is expected to be closed until December. Guests can still use the Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village.All transportation from Jambo House is by bus, with Animal Kingdom being the closest park. The resort’s distance from the other Walt Disney World parks is a knock against it. There is a van service for transport between Jambo House and Kidani Village or it is a reasonable walk.Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House may not have the prime location of the monorail resorts or the Crescent Lake resorts, but it’s absolutely unique in its theming and features. From the live animals wandering nearby to the cast members from Africa sharing stories from their countries, a stay at Jambo House is an experience onto its own that you can’t get anywhere else on property.Have you stayed at Jambo House recently, or is Animal Kingdom Villas your home resort? We’d love to hear your observations in the comments.last_img read more

Two Plugins to Track Changes on a WordPress Site

first_imgMy client sent me an email message, saying something wasn’t working correctly on their website. They made some changes, but now the site was acting “wonky.” Their words, not mine. I asked, if they installed any new plugins, modified settings for installed plugins, or if they deleted anything. “I’m not sure what happened,”, my client replied. “I don’t remember what I did. Can you fix it?”If this has happened to you, it can be like a treasure hunt trying to discover what the user changed in WordPress. Without some clues, where do you begin? You want to find out if the user:Changed the themeDeleted the themeMoved a widgetGave access to a new administrative userChanged a menuAnd many more itemsTracking down what users, especially users with administrative access, have changed on a WordPress site can be a challenge without a map. Thankfully, there are a couple plugins that provide you a map that can make your treasure hunt a lot easier.The ARYO Activity Log plugin allows you to quickly find out from your Dashboard what changes have been made to the site, and by whom. The plugin tracks who has created, updated, or deleted posts, pages, custom post types, tags, categories, taxonomies, comments and media. Find out which users have logged in, logged out, and whether the user’s login failed. What I found helpful was discovering if a widget was added or deleted (the source of my client’s issue), or if the widget order was changed.ARYO Activity Log is easy to install, with minimal configuration. It adds another administrative menu choice to your Dashboard, near the top of the menu. There are only two tabs in the settings options. You can set the maximum number of days to keep updates (no more than 30 days is recommended). And by setting up custom notifications, you can be emailed when certain events take place.Stream, which was released late last year, offers similar tracking features and functionality, though with more customization options than ARYO Activity Log. Once its installed, you’ll find a new “Stream” menu choice near the top of the administrative menu where you can track changes made to the site’s pages, posts, media, tags, categories, and comments. In Stream Records, you can filter logged actions by connector, context, action and IP address, making it simple to track down changes. Stream Settings offer you more configuration options, allowing you to restrict who has access to the activity log by role or by user name. Using their Developer API, you can create your own custom connectors. According to their description, Stream won’t pollute your default posts table with records or slow down content querying on your site.Both plugins are free. Note that email notifications in Stream are only available through their premium extensions.Do you think you’ll use ARYO Activity Log or Stream for tracking? Or are you using something else to track changes on your WordPress sites? Share your thoughts in the comments. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedShare Your Favorite Plugin: Simple HistoryActivity monitoring plugins are essential for troubleshooting a site when something isn’t working correctly. Without a log of what changed on a website, you can feel like you’re on a treasure hunt with no clues. I’ve written about WordPress plugins to track changes in the past and how they can…In “WordPress”Common Plugins I Install on WordPress SitesI’ve chatted with WordPress designers and developers about the standard plugins they install on WordPress sites. You know, the common plugins you install to set up a default WordPress site. After hearing from several friends and colleagues, and sharing my default setup in online forums and chats, I thought it…In “WordPress”Share Your Favorite Plugin: File ManagerWhen you don’t have the FTP credentials or web host credentials for a site, the File Manager plugin allows you to edit, download, delete files in WordPress. Use with caution, it’s a powerful plugin.In “WordPress”last_img read more

Toyota SA exports to rocket

first_imgToyota is set to produce 120 000 Fortunersports utility vehicles and Hilux pick-ups in2008, as well as 100 000 Corolla sedans.(Image: Toyota South Africa)Janine ErasmusSince 2003 Toyota South Africa has transformed itself from a small local vehicle supplier into a major international car and component exporter. In March the company announced that five years spent upgrading its manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban, will allow it to produce 220 000 units this year, 147 000 of them to be shipped to Europe and Africa.These exports will account for 60% of South Africa’s total vehicle exports. Including components, the potential value of the exports is some R20-billion, nearly 1% of the country’s gross domestic product.At a ceremony launching new model Corolla sedan exports to Europe and Africa, South African Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe commended Toyota for its commitment to local empowerment, saying that almost half of its total investment had been spent with accredited black economic empowerment companies.Radebe said vehicle exports account for 7% of South Africa’s total exports, and attributed the ongoing success of this sector to the government’s Motor Industry Development Programme.“South African vehicle exports are projected to rise strongly this year,” he said. “And it is a well known fact that our domestic new vehicle sales increased by a record 22% in 2004, followed by a new record of 27% in 2005, making South Africa one of the best performing automobile markets internationally.”Other dignitaries in attendance included King Zwelithini of the Zulu nation, Japanese ambassador Akihiko Furuya, eThekwini municipality mayor Obed Mlaba, and the vice chair of Toyota Japan, Katsuhiro Nakagawa.Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota South Africa, said the Prospecton plant now boasts of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. “This historic occasion aligns Toyota South Africa closely with a number of other Toyota global production facilities, each with an annual manufacturing capacity of 200 000 to 250 000 vehicles,” Van Zyl said at the ceremony.“Together with component exports the potential value of Toyota’s exports for the year is in the order of R20-billion, a number that is close to 1% of South Africa’s gross domestic product.”Turkey is the first country to receive Toyota Corolla vehicles from the Prospecton plant, while Toyota vehicles manufactured in South Africa will be exported to more than 40 global destinations during 2008.Toyota’s 220K programmeSince its entry into the local market in 1961 Toyota has been one of South Africa’s most popular motor brands. In 2002 the company, with parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), embarked on a programme to elevate the local manufacturer into a valuable export base that could supply markets in Europe and elsewhere in Africa.At the start of the programme, known as 220K, Toyota SA’s manufacturing capacity was 100 000 vehicles. The upgrade took place in three stages. During the first phase Corollas were exported to Australia. The second phase saw Toyota SA named as a global manufacturing hub for the new Hilux pickup truck (known locally as a bakkie) in the markets of Europe and Africa.The third phase commenced with the announcement that the Corolla sedan was also destined for European and African showroom floors. Both models are produced in South Africa in right- and left-hand drive variants.In order to meet this requirement new facilities and technologies were introduced – a multi-billion rand investment. Said Van Zyl, “This investment was made not only to increase annual production volumes to a required 220 000 units but also to ensure that this volume is achieved in accordance with the strictest global quality standards defined by TMC.”Van Zyl praised TMC for its high level of support, saying that it has led to greater efficiency across the supplier network and allowed the Prospecton plant to adopt true “Just in Time” manufacturing principles, cutting down on lead times and stock levels of components.He said that virtually every area of the manufacturing operation has been modernised – the oldest significant manufacturing facility at Prospecton is a mere six years old. Among the newly installed plants are a water-based paint plant, a press shop expansion, a new facility for manufacturing resin components such as dashboard panels and bumpers, and a new stamping plant. In several cases this is technology that has been introduced outside Japan for the first time.“We now have the production facilities and systems in place to produce at the volumes and quality levels that justify our inclusion in the Toyota global production network. Our quality inspection processes are continually audited by TMC for compliance with international quality benchmarks,” said Van Zyl.Investing in peopleAbout 4 000 new job opportunities have been created by the initiative – Toyota employs around 10 000 people in South Africa. In addition, the company has made a substantial investment in training and has spent R300-million on the development of its workforce over the past five years. Of these, 174 people have visited Japan for training in the Toyota Way, a philosophy that is supported by two core values – respect for people, and continuous improvement.And there have been other benefits. Said Van Zyl, “The 220K project has provided an environment that has encouraged 12 new international suppliers to invest in South Africa. Eight are from Japan and four from Europe. Nine have invested in their own right and three are joint ventures with South African companies. The impact of the Toyota South Africa 220K project is far-reaching and substantial.”Useful linksToyota South AfricaDepartment of TransporteThekwini municipalityMotor Industry Development Programmelast_img read more

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Find B2B Influencers

first_img Topics: Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Originally published Feb 2, 2009 7:50:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post was written by Dan Zarella .  1. LinkedInProbably the most obvious way to identify influential individuals at specific organizations is by searching the trusty social network for business people, LinkedIn. A search for your target business or title on LinkedIn will show you people you may already be connected with, either directly or through your connections. This is a good place to start, since you might be able to leverage your exisiting contacts.The social media playing field is much bigger than LinkedIn, and as a recent HubSpot cartoon mentioned, LinkedIn can be a bit of a walled-garden , discouraging “weak” connections. The two other largest social arenas (Twitter and Facebook) are also ripe for this type of search.2. TwitterOne of my favorite features of Twitter Grader is the search function . You can put in a keyword and see the most influential Twitter users who’ve used that keyword, effectively a list of thought leaders in that niche. But if you’re looking to identify influencers in a business or organization don’t limit yourself to just searching for topical keywords, try brand or company names, or even titles. For instance, if you were looking for the most influential Twitterers inside of Ford, a search for Ford would quickly reveal that Scott Monty is the head of social media at the automobile giant. A similar search for HubSpot would show you those HubSpotters who are on Twitter (and there are a bunch of us).3. Facebook Facebook Grader , a newer HubSpot tool along the same lines as Twitter Grader, can be used in a similar way. Keep in mind that this tool is newer and will only return users who have used the tool to grade their Facebook accounts already, but this tool has the potential to be even more powerful, given the much larger audience on Facebook. One example that does return results already is a search for HubSpot.4. BloggersYou can also use a variety of blog search engines to search for bloggers in your target companies or roles. Good ones to start with are Technorati and Google Blog Search , but there are tons out there and they all return slightly different results, so give some of the others a try. You can also search on bookmarking sites like delicious to see which blogs have been bookmarked the most.5. Niche Social NetworksThere are a ton of smaller, niche networks where professionals in nearly every industry gather. Find the social networks for your vertical and search for your target businesses or roles there. A few examples of this type of site include Toolbox for IT , Lawyrs , Decorati , Reel-Exchange and MediaBistro .Then, Connect with Influencers  Once you’ve identified your influencers, use the tools and mechanisms provided by the social site you found them on to connect with them. Send them an invitation to join your network if you found them on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, follow them and start replying to their tweets and ReTweeting their good posts (ReTweeting especially will ingratiate yourself with your targets — people love that). If they write a blog, subscribe to their feed and start commenting on their posts and linking to them from your blog (again, bloggers love getting links, so this is an especially good tactic). Generally speaking, networking and connecting for business purposes in these three ways tends to be accepted.Facebook can be more tricky, so tread with caution here. If it looks like they’re friends with a lot of people, including professional contacts that they might not be actual, social friends with, its probably not going to bother them if you send them a friend request. On the other hand if they don’t have a ton of friends, they’re likely to be using Facebook only to connect with their real-world family and friends, so chances are good that its best to not try to friend them for business purposes. Influencer Marketing Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. 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

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Media Relations Isn’t Dead

first_img Author: PR Squared InboundMarketing.com really hit home for me.  In a time when we’re constantly reminded of the pending death of newspapers due to the increasingly powerful Web, PR guru Todd Defren Lesson: 1. Translations for Facebook Connect Brand evangelists have surprising potential. Todd Defren Google Sidewiki Influential Marketing Blog Twitter Marketing: It’s More Like Email Than You Think because of the Internet; in addition, with all the biased clutter found on the Web, it’s no wonder that traditional news outlets are still seen as the most reliable editorial source.  Therefore, to get that coverage from credible media like the The Vizion Blog Speaking of the clutter on the Web, what if there were someone whose sole job responsibility was to sort through and uncover the best and most worthy content?  Rohit discusses this role and what it would entail, calling it “Content Curator,” or someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.  Think Lesson: How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki Apply traditional marketing tactics to the new ways of the Web. 2. , which can be used to translate websites into any of the languages Facebook supports.  Barb’s short article describes the tool, based on the same solution Facebook itself employed to translate its site, which recruited volunteers to help translate the site into more than 65 languages.  The tool will display content in a visitor’s native language if they log in using Facebook Connect.  This of course means that potentially all websites can be translated into Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? Author: of of pulls us back down to earth to show us that, despite what you may think, media relations shouldn’t be dying along with it.  In fact, among the pile of biased content littering the blogosphere, traditional news outlets still stand out as the most faithful, unbiased sources, proving that we should focus on media relations now more than ever before. ‘s Pirate language Author: of Successful techniques from one tool may work for another. Mainstream Media Relations: More Important Than Ever inbound marketing kit You may have to sift through the clutter to find quality content. 3. Author: Download our Bill Hartzer Zephrin Laskercenter_img Originally published Oct 2, 2009 7:05:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Take advantage of new technologies, and don’t get left out of the conversation (especially if it’s happening on your own site). Barb Dybwad BusinessWeek By claiming your Google Sidewiki space, website owners ensure their own comments appear at the top of all other comments.  Website owners can use this space to promote their site, direct visitors to important pages, and make sure they’re aware of what others are saying about their site.  Although only users who download the wiki will see the comments, Bill suggests it as another way to join the conversation.   Lesson: but on a much broader scale.  , Todd advises us to keep nurturing those media relationships! . Lesson: .  I’m a fan. Mashable Alltop Guy Kawasaki As a public relations professional, this week’s top story on Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. By some estimates, in just a few years we will reach a point where all the information on the Internet will double every 72 hours.  Does this role already exist in some places, and do we need it? 4.  Advertising Age Photo by Annie Mole Inbound Marketing Kit is here, and Bill Hartzer gives you step by step instructions on how to claim yours and why it’s an important thing to do.  The Sidewiki is an add-on to the Google toolbar that allows any Web user who downloads it to make comments on any website; the comments are then viewable to anyone else who visits the site and has downloaded the Sidewiki.  Lesson: or of NY Times With its new $100 million funding under its belt, Twitter must justify its worth by leveraging the data it knows and translating it into real results and revenue for marketers.  Zephrin’s article makes suggestions to Twitter about how to attract advertisers, primarily by capitalizing on lessons learned from email marketing. Zephrin’s thought is that email-like capabilities — such as the ability to segment audiences, access dynamic reporting, test and optimize campaigns in real time, etc. — would be valuable to Twitter advertisers.  If Twitter can deliver on these basic capabilities for marketers, they’ll have no trouble pulling in advertisers’ dollars.  What do you think? Author: 5. To support the thought that media relations shouldn’t be at death’s door, Todd points out that the number of unique visitors to newspaper websites has grown by 15.8% to 65 million in the past year.  While newspapers may be struggling in terms of earning money, their audience is flourishing.  Why?  Stories can now be spread much faster and more easily of The Facebook just announced the release of its new tool for developers,  Rohit Bhargava Don’t start cutting off ties with journalists just yet.  Media relations is alive and kicking! Facebook Releases Free Tool for Translating Your Site Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How Many Visitors Should Your Site Get?

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Marketers and small business owners we speak with at HubSpot often ask how many visitors their site should be getting.The answer depends on several variables including size of company, industry, and the type of product or service the company is selling. To provide a general benchmark, I pulled together some aggregate data on website traffic based on company size and type.The chart below shows the median weekly unique website visitors for 1,324 HubSpot customers for the 7 days ending September 10, 2009. So, if you’re a 6-10 person B2B company and you’re getting 124 unique visitors a weekly you’re about average for similar companies.A few notes on the data: The median was used as opposed to the average since a few sites with large numbers of visitors skewed the average up in each category. Therefore, the median serves as a better benchmark for typical companies in each segment. I broke out the data by size of company based on number of employees and also by whether the site is for a B2B or B2C company. Not surprisingly, companies with more employees tend to have more website visitors. Also, B2C companies have more visitors than B2B companies regardless of size. However, it’s interesting to note that the difference in visitors between B2C and B2B sites seems to be more pronounced in larger companies:• B2C companies with over 200 employees had 203% more unique visitors than the B2B with over 200 employees.• B2C companies with 1 to 5 employees had only 67% more unique visitors than the B2B with 1 to 5 employees.Two groups of customers were filtered out of the analysis:• Customers with less than five unique visitors per week were filtered out of the analysis since those customers often have not fully launched their websites or have not installed the HubSpot tracking software.• HubSpot customers that signed up after 7/31/09 were excluded to ensure that the tracking software was fully installed and functional at the time of measurement. How to Generate Leads for Small Business Originally published Sep 22, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Web Analyticscenter_img Topics: Learn how small businesses can level the playing field and generate leads efficiently by leveraging inbound Internet marketing strategies and tools.Download our Lead Generation for Small Business Webinar.last_img read more

3 Key Factors For Improving Ecommerce Conversion Rates

first_img Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Sep 14, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 While an ecommerce site will always be focused around driving transactions, capturing the huge non-transacting majority for emarketing presents a major revenue opportunity and marketing challenge. The very best converting ecommerce sites make extensive use of remarketing tools to improve their ultimate transaction rate and retain visitors who are not yet ready to buy. These sites capture visitor information early, use value-added marketing offers, and have unique product page content beyond the boring manufacturer’s same-old template. For ecommerce sites that don’t convert at 18% or better, implementing non-transactional leads can greatly improve their ultimate conversion rate. A poor implementation, however, can lead to an even poorer site conversion rate as traffic is siphoned off the primary ecommerce funnel. There are three critical pieces to a successful implementation of offer-driven lead paths. They are: Call-to-action button Landing page with a form Thank you page Keep reading for implementation and design specifics on these three key pieces.Call-to-Action Buttons That Don’t Cannibalize TransactionsA call-to-action button’s purpose is to capture interest and divert traffic that does not intend to transact immediately. The button itself needs to have specific design and language characteristics to accomplish this goal and not remove people from the primary transactional funnel. Two critical basics of non-transactional call-to-action buttons design on ecommerce sites: Clearly identify the buttons as paths to learning more , not continuing down the purchase path. Visitors will self-select to engage if they are interested but not ready to purchase.  Use messaging like “Looking for more? Download the buyer’s guide to…” or “Need more information before you buy?” to make this crystal clear.If the button is placed as a secondary conversion option in conjunction with “buy now” messaging, it should be less eye-catching than the “buy now” button or messaging .Landing Pages That Capitalize on an Indicator of InterestOnce a site visitor clicks a call-to-action button, they move to a landing page. A landing page is a page with one singular purpose: collect visitor information (a name and email) in return for an asset (a buyer’s guide, ebook, factsheet). As with the call-to-action button, below are 2 critical considerations particular to ecommerce sites: Visitors to your non-transactional landing pages have already indicated interest in downloading the asset and not converting. Take off the sales hat for just a moment ; time to allow visitors to get what they want as simply as possible. That means no “buy now” or product-level messaging and a relatively short form. Briefly express the value of your giveaway to capitalize on the previous indicator of interest from the call to action button click. Recall that visitors to the landing page have expressed that they are not ready to purchase right now and are looking for more information. It’s better to capture their information here than have them defect and buy from a competitor next week.Thank You Pages That Don’t Maroon ShoppersAfter a visitor indicates interest by clicking a call-to-action and completes the form on the landing page, the site needs to uphold its end of the bargain and deliver the asset. The most effective way to deliver the asset is on a dedicated thank you page. On this page, the asset is can be linked along with hooks back into the main site’s funnel. This page may even remain open as people peruse your content, so keeping links back to the main ecommerce funnel may yield some additional utility. Two important elements for thank you pages on ecommerce sites: Keep the first, clearest link on the page for the asset . People have come through the landing page and expect a simple method of receiving their asset. Give it to them.Other links on the page can fall into two categories, depending on your goals. The links can either continue visitors in the “learn more” mode, which they are already in, and link to a blog or other informational assets. Alternatively, if the asset given away on the thank you page helps visitors make a final buying decision, follow-up links can now direct traffic back into the main ecommerce site funnel. Now is the time to put on your sales hat back on and move people back into the product pages, if you like.Putting Non-Transactional Ecommerce Leads in Their PlaceWhen the time comes to make a purchase, would you rather have been in communication with a lead for 2 weeks? Or would you rather they make their own unaided decision to type your site into the address bar? By following the tips above, ecommerce marketers can begin to grow their up-funnel email list and increase customer retention in the critical consideration stage that precedes an online purchase. The best-converting ecommerce sites in the world are doing this already. Photo Credit: Яick Harris Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

4 Tactics for Finding Meaningful Conversations on Twitter [@InboundNow #34]

first_img , find, and participate in relevant industry conversations on Twitter? are social media tool Originally published Aug 18, 2011 11:02:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Runtime: 12:25 Inbound Now is currently in booking mode for upcoming episodes! Is there a certain topic you would like covered or an expert you would like to see come on. Contact me on Twitter Using What other tactics do you use to to see a ton of options and start getting rid of some of the noise. Reach out in a genuine way and start sharing their content on a regular basis. There monitor To view more episodes of Inbound Now, You can add questions to a to-do list to answer later, or forward them to a colleague and help them connect with relevant Twitter users. 4. Find Relevant Tweeters in Your Space , we share some advanced Twitter search tips to help you wade through the fire hose to find relevant conversations and filter out useless noise. Topics: advanced search link Here are some other examples of other common search modifiers, courtesy of the Twitter application, HootSuite: Regardless of the tool you use, centralizing information in one place is critical to saving hours of time and your sanity. Key Point: The tools you are using aren’t as important as the smart searches you are using to find the useful needles in the proverbial Twitter haystack. . keyword ? -http is a great site to scan Twitter bios for relevant keywords. It may take a little digging, but once you find some influential people in your space, make sure to start following them and connect. gets rid of all the auto-posts from blogs and people’s RTs, which can be helpful when you are looking for statements and questions(?) around your keywords (a.k.a. conversations). keyword suggest -http keyword anyone -http keyword recommend -httpcenter_img Followerwonk.com Search.twitter.com SEO and Social Media is a great way to start learning the advanced search queries Twitter has to offer. Click on the -http conversations happening and questions being asked about your industry. The trick is finding them in an efficient way. Would you like to see a particular marketing mastermind on the show? You need to set up a place to centralize all your queries in one place. I prefer to use HootSuite, TweetDeck, or Sendible for this. HubSpot also has a pretty nifty It never hurts to have an influencer on your side, and they can be instrumental in helping you spread your messages when the time comes. Give, give, give, before you ever try and ask for anything. (This is the Golden Rule in social media). . social media and digital marketing podcast The InboxQ.com 3. Set Up a Listening Station Twitter @DavidWells or drop me a line on our contact page helps you take your monitoring to the next level by providing a browser plug in/extension that notifies you of any new conversations happening around one of your advanced search strings. 1. Use Advanced Search Modifiers click here In this episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s Four awesome search modifiers for Twitter are: 2. Leverage InboxQ to help keep tabs on conversation. 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 Steps for Creating Successful Lead Nurturing Campaigns

first_img Topics: When it comes to effective marketing automation, one of the best steps you can take is making sure your emails are properly set up for lead nurturing success.Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure you generate more customers through a lead nurturing campaign.1. Define Your Audience and SegmentCompanies usually have more than one type of customer. Why do most companies only market to one type of buyer then? In order to set up a lead nurturing email campaign, you first need to know who needs nurturing. Once you’ve defined your ideal customer types, you should then segment them before you start creating campaigns.2. Offer Something of Value First, Not a Sales PitchJust because someone converts on your page doesn’t mean you should jump straight into sending them an email about requesting a quote or a demo. You need to nurture them through the sales funnel first to make them readier to buy. Instead of pitching your product as the greatest thing ever, you should first offer value. Examples of valuable offers include webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers. You don’t have to create new content for your lead nurturing emails — if you have a backlog of content, utilize those assets. If they’ve been successful converting leads in the past, there’s a high chance the leads you’re nurturing will find value in them, too.3. Set Objectives and Goals for Each EmailSo now you know you should be sending content first, not sales quotes. But how do you know what type of content to send? And what should that content’s purpose be? Ultimately, you should be picking offers that will appeal to your chosen audience segment with the intention of moving them further down the sales funnel and closer to the customer stage.A good example of how to do this is in the chart above from one of HubSpot’s customers. Not only do they provide information about their offers and goals for each email, they also include the subject line and CTA they’ll use to entice the reader to accept the offer. This type of chart is a great way to help you organize your campaigns and make sure you’re implementing goals to reach that final step — the sale.4. Set Up a Timeline for Your EmailsYour business has a typical sales cycle, and so should your lead nurturing campaigns. Typically, it’s a good idea to send 2 to 3 emails to your prospects in a lead nurturing campaign. Try to space out your emails accordingly. For example, if your typical cycle runs 30 days, you may want to set up a campaign for emails to be sent out the 1st, 10th, and 20th days after a conversion. With lead nurturing, patience is a virtue. It’s important to remember not to rush into the sale. Instead, let it take its natural course.5. Evaluate Your Success, and OptimizeAs your campaigns run, make sure to experiment with the offers you send, the subject lines, and the calls-to-actions found within the email. There’s always room to improve your campaign. Make sure you take advantage of testing and experimentation to better nurture your leads.Lead nurturing can be ineffective if done incorrectly, but if you put the time into your campaigns and follow these steps, you’ll be more likely to drive more lead-to-customer conversions for your business!How are you using lead nurturing campaigns as part of your inbound marketing strategy? Lead Nurturing 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 Oct 11, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

How to Tailor Lead Nurturing Content to Suit Individual Personas

first_imgAccording to Forrester Research , companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. If this is the case, then why are only 49% of marketers taking advantage of lead nurturing tools , as evident by Loopfuse’s Marketing Automation Study ?One of the main reasons marketers fail to adopt lead nurturing as part of their marketing mix is a lack of content. To effectively execute a lead nurturing program, you can’t exactly have a deficiency in content. You need enough of it in order to keep your lead nurturing emails interesting and relevant at every stage in the sales and marketing funnel, from a lead’s initial discovery of your business all the way through to purchase-readiness.Furthermore, while many of the more basic lead nurturing campaigns focus on delivering content solely by leads’ stage in the sales cycle, the most successful lead nurturing campaigns deploy content specifically tailored to the needs of different marketing personas, too. According to the Aberdeen Group , personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% , and conversion rates by 10% . But this also translates to a whole lotta content, so it’s no wonder many marketers are hesitant to get started with lead nurturing.But here’s a little secret: you don’t need to create all this content from scratch. If you have even just a general baseline of marketing offers, you can re-work this very content to suit the needs of your various marketing personas and segments, saving you a lot more time and effort than crafting brand new content from scratch. Here’s how to do it right… Identify Your Personas The first thing you’ll need to do is identify your various buyer personas, which serve as detailed profiles of the people who are most likely to make great customers for the products and services you sell. If you don’t already have well-defined personas for your business, that’s where you’ll need to start. Ask yourself the following 9 questions when developing your personas ( we elaborate on them here ):What is their demographic information?What is their job and level of seniority?What does a day in their life look like?What are their pain points?What do they value most? What are their goals?Where do they go for information?What experience are they looking for when shopping for your products and services?What are their most common objections to your product or service?How do I identify this persona?As you’re thinking about these questions, you’ll identify clear distinctions between each persona, and you’ll begin to understand why it’s important to treat each differently in the content/offers you provide them through your lead nurturing campaigns. Using these questions as your guide, create detailed profiles for each of the personas you’ve identified. These profiles will be helpful to reference as you start tailoring the content you have to suit each persona.Depending on your business, industry, and how many different products/services you sell, you may find that you have 1, 2, or 10+ personas (or anywhere in between). Businesses that sell a lot of different products for various target audiences, for example, may identify several very unique personas. And the more personas you identify, the more content you’ll need (sigh).As you complete this exercise, you may even start finding that you can nest specific groups of personas under broader persona categories. But when you’re first getting started targeting your lead nurturing content so you can base campaigns on personas as well as stage in the sales cycle, we recommend you start catering to broader groups of personas first. You can always get more granular as you build up your content arsenal , and it’ll get easier and easier to more closely tailor existing content once you get started. Select Your Best Marketing Offers for Each Stage of the Sales Cycle Lead Nurturing As I mentioned earlier, most of the more basic lead nurturing campaigns are based solely around stages in the sales cycle. The process sounds kind of like this: A lead converts on a top-of-the-funnel offer like an educational ebook , so they get nurtured with similar top-of-the-funnel content. Then, once they’re ready, they convert on a more middle-of-the-funnel offer like a product demonstration, a consultation, or a free trial, thus getting removed from the top-of-the-funnel nurturing campaign and swapped into the middle-of-the funnel campaign to get nurtured by content/offers more appropriate to that stage in the buying cycle. And so on and so forth. Make sense?Most sales cycles can universally be boiled down to 3 distinct stages in the sales cycle: awareness , evaluation , and purchase . You can learn more about each of these stages and how to appropriately map types of lead nurturing content/offers to these stages in this post , but here is a brief rundown:So, in order to have content for each persona to nurture leads in each stage in the sales cycle, you’ll need to identify 3 of your best generally targeted offers for each stage: 1) your best top-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the awareness stage ), 2) your best middle-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the evaluation stage ), and 3) your best bottom-of-the-funnel offer (which caters to leads in the purchase stage ).And by “best,” we mean top-performing, so consult your marketing analytics to determine which offer you have for each of these 3 stages has the best conversion rate . For top-of-the-funnel offers, you should be looking at visitor-to-lead conversion rate; for middle-of-the-funnel offers, look at lead re-conversions; and for bottom-of-the-funnel offers, look at lead-to-customer conversion rate. Tweak Content to Cater to Each Persona Once you’ve chosen your 3 general offers, it’s time to tweak them to suit each of your personas. So if you’ve identified 2 personas to start out with, you’ll need to tweak each of your 3 offers for each persona, meaning you’ll end up with 6 separate offers. Whether you’re tweaking a top-of-the-funnel ebook, a middle-of-the-funnel product webinar, or a bottom-of-the-funnel live demo, the following tips as well as the detailed persona profiles you created earlier will help you tailor your offers to suit these individual personas. Cater to the Persona’s Individual Needs, Problems, and Interests Think about that persona’s individual needs, problems, and interests. Is there anything specific they might care about or need a solution for that your offer doesn’t address because it was meant for a more general audience? If so, work these concepts into the content.For example, if you’re a school that provides horseback riding lessons to learners with a variety of skill levels, you may have 3 different types of students — beginner riders, intermediate-level riders, and more advanced riders. If these are your three personas and you’ve identified that your best top-of-the-funnel offer is your ebook on  The 10 Skills Every Horseback Rider Needs , you’ll probably want to tweak this content to cater to the 3 skill levels of your students. If this is the case, the skills that advanced riders need probably aren’t very applicable to skills needed by beginner riders (and vice versa).  Adjust Formatting, Depth, and Length To piggyback off my last point, because different personas will likely have varying interests, the way you present certain information may need to vary. For example, if you’re catering to an advanced horseback rider in your ebook compared to a beginner, that content might lend itself to more in-depth explanation of certain topics than content suitable for a beginner, who may prefer bullet point summaries of the topic. In other words, the way you present your content — in format, depth, and length — may vary depending on the individual persona you’re targeting. Keep this in mind. Modify Language and Tone Another modification you’ll want to make involves changes to the language and tone used in the offer. Do your different personas respond to the same type of language, or do they prefer to be communicated with differently? Do they prefer language that is more formal and professional, or a more informal and casual tone? Are there any variations of the jargon these different groups use to describe similar things?Sticking with our horseback riding school example, let’s say you were tweaking your bottom-of-the-funnel offer, which is a free-20 minute horseback riding lesson. In your lead nurturing email to promote this offer, you’d likely want to tailor your language based on the skill-level of that prospective student. An advanced student, for instance, would probably have a wider knowledge of advanced horseback riding terminology, so it’d be suitable to use this jargon in your email. The language used to promote the lesson to a beginner-level student, on the other hand, who probably isn’t familiar with advanced terminology, would need to be much more basic and novice. Incorporate Industry/Persona-Specific Examples Another thing you’ll want to do is make sure your content/offer is as specifically relatable to each persona as possible. A great way to do this is to incorporate examples that resonate with that particular persona. Does that persona correlate to a specific industry? If so, replace general examples with industry-specific ones to illustrate your points in a more targeted way (or add these examples where there are none). This makes it so the content is even more personalized to the needs, interests, and problems of that particular persona.Let’s refer to our horseback riding school example one last time. If you were creating a middle-of-the-funnel webinar discussing the teaching methodology your horseback riding school follows, and you were targeting an intermediate-level rider, you could include a case study of an intermediate rider who came to your school and, as a result of your methodology and training, became one of the top riders in their division and moved on to compete with more advanced-level horseback riders. Modify Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns Once you’ve tweaked your content/offers based on persona, then you’re ready to start incorporating them into your lead nurturing campaigns! Using your marketing analytics and lead intelligence, determine which characteristics to use to categorize individual leads by persona. By identifying which leads correlate with what personas, you can then use your lead management system to segment them into different lead nurturing campaigns based on their stage in the sales cycle as well as their persona. Congratulations! You now have much more segmented, personalized, and effective lead nurturing campaigns set up. Let us know how they perform! In what other ways can you tailor your lead nurturing content and offers to better suit your individual marketing personas? Image Credit: Hello Turkey Toe Originally published Mar 14, 2012 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more