I can honestly say that social media has changed the way I do business forever. It’s changed the way I do life forever as well. So I guess I do know how I got here after all. Brent Leary @brentleary . You can connect with Brent on Twitter Looking back on it I can honestly say that all this social stuff has paid off. All the blogging to an audience of one (thanks Mom!) was worth it. All the time spent editing mp3 files was worth it. All the reading and commenting was well worth it. Even the stuff I tried that didn’t work was worth it. It was all worth it because it led me to valuable relationships with people who I collaborate with, do business with and share ideas with. It took several months, but I found my blogging voice, and began connecting with people interested in the things I was interested in. Comments started rolling in, along with links. I even received an email from a guy named Brian Halligan. He had just co-founded a startup called Hubspot, and had found my blog. He thought I was in synch with their approach to small business. Brent also hosts a Social CRM podcast “CRM Playaz” with Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR But in 2004 I had an opportunity to write an article for CRM Magazine’s website where I was able to share my opinion on a few things going on in the industry. . The blogging was going well, but then I kept hearing about this podcasting thing. I had recently started a radio show on the local business talk station. With the show only airing in Atlanta it wasn’t reaching all the people we thought would be interested in hearing it. So I turned it into a podcast with its own site, iTunes listing and “the works.” “How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers” Blogging and podcasting allowed me to reach people in ways I would have never been able to do any other way. I was talking with best-selling authors, executives with major corporations and movers and shakers in my industry. I was also building relationships that eventually led to business opportunities I would never have guessed I would have. The Microphone Fiend . And you can find me on the social networking sites, especially Twitter. And recently I co-authored Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Blogger … With Attitude for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. A funny thing happened after that article was published: people responded with emails and phone calls. I was even invited to speak at a conference. That exposure led directly to a two-year Salesforce.com implementation project. and join him on his webinar today Barack 2.0 Download the free webinar . , a CRM consulting/advisory firm focused on small and mid-size enterprises , co-founder and Partner of Paul Greenberg Miss the webinar? CRM Playaz I eventually began writing a regular column for a local magazine, although it wasn’t carried online. But I had been reading these blog things that were pretty good. I finally got the nerve up to start my own blog in June 2005. It allowed me to say things about changes in the industry that I couldn’t say anywhere else, without being edited, censored or lobotomized. And while nobody had been waiting with bated breath for my blog to arrive on the scene, it felt kind of good to put my thoughts out there. American Express OPEN forum SmallBizTrends.com Within a few months thousands of shows were being downloaded from as far away as Australia, India and the UK. I even received invitations to keynote conferences in places I had never heard of before. Social Media So THAT’s How I Got Here , I’m still blogging on my site, but I also write regularly for sites like the Originally published Apr 14, 2009 1:55:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 View the video and download the slides This is a guest blog post by . CRM Essentials LLC How did I get here? That’s what I’ve been asking myself lately. I’m an introvert with an accounting degree for crying out loud. But after leaving PriceWaterhouseCoopers a few years earlier, in 2003 I co-founded CRM Essentials, a two-man operation focused on implementing Salesforce.com for the SMB crowd. and Inc.com’s technology site. I also do a podcast with my friend and CRM guru Paul Greenberg that we call the Topics: , a book about how the Obama campaign utilized social media, and the lessons small businesses can learn from them. The book actually started as an online article, which morphed into a webinar, a blog, and finally a podcast. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
, changing formats to meet the needs of the reader – all of these efforts continue to make Yankee magazine viable in a struggling industry. Old Farmer’s Almanac Yankee Magazine The Future Buzz monthly podcast Delivering relevant content, taking advantage of new channels of content distribution such as HubSpot customers A very early adopter of online content, Jud Hale, Yankee’s editor-in-chief, delivers a , the 75-year-old magazine has been publishing a favorite feature from its archives on its , which began in 2000, and is credited as the first offered by a consumer magazine. He says, “The publishing industry changes are mostly in the delivery system. The editorial meetings are the same as they were 40 years ago,’’ he continued. “Do we want to run a piece about this-and-so? Content is the key.’’ website video What are you doing to stay viable in your industry? every weekday. Originally published Oct 20, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Inbound Marketing As a marketer, what types of new content distribution channels could you employ? Are you publishing content frequently? And, are you creating remarkable content? As a marketer, what types of new channels for your remarkable content could you employ? Adam Singer, author of Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , boasts 350,000 subscribers. While the number represents just about one-third of the subscribers 25 years ago, their business model of relying upon subscription revenue instead of advertising dollars, has allowed Yankee to stay solvent while other publishers struggle to stay afloat. Jamie Trowbridge, Yankee Publishing CEO, says, “People are always saying print is dead. In fact, it hasn’t declined much. What is declining is advertising support.’’ Years ago, Yankee made some choices to stay relevant in an age when readers are more likely to browse a publication than read it cover to cover. They dropped from 12 to six issues a year, added more service-oriented features and changed the publication format from its “digest” style to its current standard-size magazine. The magazine, which also publishes the Topics: , says in a recent blog post, “Your content development process needs to be as agile as possible…Let’s face it, most business content is boring and published too infrequently to be effective. Solve these two simple issues and it’s shocking how quickly you can leap ahead of competitors. Almost no one fixes these two seemingly basic problems which spells opportunity for you.” SEO are able to participate in a weekly Content Creation Camp that helps to frame out blog posts, subject lines, and effective publishing methods.
With an increasing amount of traffic Optimize Your Site for Mobile So what are being driven to sites from smartphones, mobile should start to play an essential role in your marketing mix. So how do you Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack ? Location Is Your Friend The first step you need to take in order to kickstart your mobile marketing program is to In today’s episode of the for mobile. Ensure your visitors are having a positive viewing experience and that your content is being indexed correctly in search engines. For instance, HubSpot offers a , we address exactly this question: Mobile Theme Optimization optimize your website Mobile Marketing kickstart your mobile marketing program Weekly Marketing Cast Foursquare . “Mobile is only going to grow,” says David Meerman Scott. “It is going to be an increasingly significant part of the way people access your company.” that optimizes your blogs, websites, and landing pages for mobile viewing. Originally published Jul 5, 2011 11:02:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 planning to do to kickstart your mobile marketing? you As we have previously noted in this blog , location is another marketing element you need to pay special attention to. Location will make real-time search more relevant. And because real-time search is closely related to our usage of mobile devices, marketers must figure out how they can take advantage of location-based technologies such as Topics:
Marketing Analytics Originally published Mar 8, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 Measuring marketing effectiveness has always been a challenge. According to Unica’s State of Marketing in 2011 report , 57% of marketers cited “measurement, analysis, and learning” as the biggest bottleneck they face within their organizations .The trouble is, when most marketers hear the word ‘analytics,’ they tend to think of the metrics you’d typically associate with a web analytics tool like Google Analytics — traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors, etc. While web analytics can provide you with a wealth of insight and data into the technical performance of your website, marketers really need much richer data to understand the performance of their marketing campaigns, something that web analytics alone can’t provide.Do you know which inbound marketing metrics you should be tracking? Click here for a free guide. Enter marketing analytics. The Difference Between Web Analytics and Marketing Analytics So what exactly makes marketing analytics different than web analytics? HubSpot’s former CMO Mike Volpe can clarify:”Web analytics measure things a webmaster cares about, like page load times, page views per visit, and time on site. Marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers. Marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and even offline events. Marketing analytics are also usually people-centric, featuring the prospect, lead, or customer as the unit of focus, whereas web analytics usually regard the page view as the unit of focus in its reports.”Couldn’t have said it better myself!With marketing analytics, marketers can understand the effectiveness of their marketing , not just the effectiveness of their website. Using marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g. social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing , etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they’re achieving their business goals. As a result of the information they can gather from their marketing analytics, marketers can also diagnose deficiencies in specific channels in their marketing mix, and make adjustments to strategies and tactics to improve their overall marketing program . Sounds pretty sweet, huh? The Marketer’s Measurement Challenge Yeah — pretty sweet. Yet, according to Ifbyphone’s 2011 State of Marketing Measurement report , even though 82% of marketers say their executive management expects every campaign to be measured, less than a third can effectively evaluate the ROI of each channel. Furthermore, web analytics serves as the top measurement tool for evaluating marketing campaign effectiveness. And even then, only 48% of marketers are using it!So why is marketing analytics so underutilized by many marketers? Probably because of a lack of cohesion. The fact of the matter is, most marketers need to have a number of different marketing analytics platforms in place in order to glean all the insights they need to understand their marketing performance and, thus, make sound decisions. They gather data about their email marketing through the analytics provided by their email service provider, information about their social media performance through their social media monitoring tool, blog analytics from their blogging platform, and the list goes on. Sounds like kind of a pain, huh? No wonder marketers mainly stick to web analytics tools like Google Analytics and have trouble measuring their marketing. Why Marketing Analytics Matter So why exactly do marketing analytics matter? Quite simply, because web analytics just isn’t enough. The data web analytics provides just don’t cut it for marketers. In fact, this past Monday, the Web Analytics Association officially announced its name change to the Digital Analytics Association and distributed a press release explaining why the association’s former name no longer made sense in a market where customer interactions have clearly overrun the boundaries of a website.Let’s face it: today’s marketing goes well beyond the bounds of your website. It’s the intersection of what happens between your marketing channels and the outcome on the other side that provides the most marketing insight.You can spend hours and hours slicing and dicing data in web analytics tools, comparing new vs. repeat visitors month over month over month, but when it comes down to it, you’ll never have a comprehensive understanding of how your marketing is doing. Here’s how marketing analytics makes up for that deficiency… What Marketing Analytics Can Do For You There are quite a few things that marketing analytics achieves where website analytics falls short. Let’s highlight three of the main differentiators: 1. Integration Across Different Marketing Channels With marketing analytics, you have a good, solid look into the direct relationships between your marketing channels. It’s great to be able to see how each of your individual channels (e.g. social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, etc.) are performing, but the true power of analytics comes into play when you can easily tie the effect of multiple channels’ performances together .For instance, let’s say you did an email send to a segment of your leads. Marketing analytics can not only tell you how many people clicked through from your email to your website, but also how many of those people actually converted into leads for your business when they got there. Furthermore, you can compare the impact of that individual email send with other marketing initiatives. Did that email generate more leads than the blog post you published yesterday? What about compared to your social presence? 2. People-Centric Data on the Customer Lifecycle As you learned earlier, a key differentiator between web analytics and marketing analytics is that the latter uses the person — not the page view — as the focal point . This enables you to track how your individual prospects and leads are interacting with your various marketing initiatives and channels over time. How did an individual lead first come to find your website? In search? Via Facebook? From direct traffic? Is that lead an active part of your email subscriber base, often clicking and converting on marketing offers presented via email? Do they read your blog? Marketing analytics can tell you all of this and more, providing you with extremely valuable lead intelligence that can be applied to such marketing initiatives as lead nurturing .In addition, taking a look at all of this information in aggregate can help you understand trends among your prospects and leads and which marketing activities are valuable at different stages in the sales cycle. Perhaps you find that many customers’ last point of conversion was on a certain marketing offer(s). Having this data makes it possible to implement an effective lead management process, enabling you to score and prioritize your leads and identify which activities contribute to a marketing qualified lead for your business. 3. Closed-Loop Data Perhaps the sexiest function of marketing analytics is its ability to tie marketing activities to sales. Sure, your blog may be effective in generating leads, but are those leads actually turning into customers and making your business money? Closed-loop marketing analytics can tell you. The only dependency here is that your marketing analytics system be hooked up with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform such as Salesforce.com, HubSpot CRM, etc.Having this closed-loop data can help you determine whether your individual marketing initiatives are actually contributing to the bottom line. Through it, you can determine which channels are most critical for driving sales. Perhaps you find that your blog is your most effective channel for generating customers, or conversely, you find that social media is really only powerful as an engagement mechanism, not a source of sales. What You Can Do With Marketing Analytics All of the insights, information, and data you can gather from a marketing analytics tool is really only useful if you do something with it. The true value of analytics isn’t just to prove to your boss that all the marketing activities you’re doing are worth the time and money; it’s also to help you improve and optimize your marketing performance — on both an individual channel-by-channel basis as well as an overall, cross-channel machine.We’ve touched on some of the things you can do with your analytics above, but we’ve really only scraped the surface of how powerful analytics can be when put to good use. To be honest, it’s fodder for a completely separate blog post, and we cover a lot of it in our article about different ways to make your marketing analytics actionable .The important thing to realize here is, if you’re relying solely on web analytics, you’re missing out on a lot of powerful data that can help inform your marketing strategy. When evaluating analytics tools for your business, whether you’re evaluating HubSpot’s marketing analytics tools (which can do all of the above in one integrated platform) or other platforms, be sure you’re looking for evidence of marketing analytics , not just website analytics. Here’s a great guide to follow so you can be sure you’re asking the right questions. How are you faring in terms of marketing measurement? Are your analytics sophisticated enough to effectively measure your marketing performance? Image Credit: TheBusyBrain 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
Pinterest Marketing We’ve all gotten used to the idea of using Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube for marketing — even if the platforms aren’t always as brand-friendly as they could be. And why should they be? They started as social networks meant for people to talk to people, not companies to talk to consumers. But in the struggle for monetization, they’ve had to adapt and continue offering ways for brands to market and make money using social media.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessAnd we have! Many marketers have figured out how to generate leads via social media, start discussions with leads and customers, and even venture into the territory of social sales. And just when we got comfortable with this whole social media marketing thing — BOOM! — out comes Google+, followed shortly thereafter by Pinterest.Great. Two more social networks brands need to figure out how to use for marketing. We all saw what happened with Facebook and Twitter; a small segment of savvy marketers figured out how to use the social networks for marketing successfully, and businesses that lagged were left playing catch-up years later. We’re not going to fall victim to that again with Google+ and Pinterest!But do we need to figure out how to use them for marketing? Are either of them actually useful in that regard? Like most generic questions of this nature, the answer is … it depends. Pinterest and Google+ have their strengths and their weaknesses. And while in an ideal world you’d have the time to play around with both to see which, if either, is right for your business, we figure that you’re just trying to find enough time to write your next blog post.So if you just can’t decide whether Pinterest or Google+ is really worth your time, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each social network. Hopefully the side by side comparison will help you prioritize whether you should pursue them as part of your internet marketing strategy.PinterestFirst, a quick review. Pinterest is a social network where users share (or ‘pin’) images and videos of items that interest them. They are either their own images and videos, or ones they’ve found on others’ pinboards or on the web. The pins are aggregated on ‘boards’ that often follow a common theme. If you decide after reading this post that Pinterest might be a good fit for your business, reference this ebook about how to use Pinterest for business.Why Pinterest RocksYou don’t want to spend your time on a social network nobody is using, so let’s start by taking a look at Pinterest’s usage stats as an indication of its usefulness, courtesy of Media Bistro and comScore. As of February 2012, Pinterest had 10.4 million users. And in January, not only did Pinterest reach 11,716, 000 total unique visitors, but the average amount of time spent on the site per visitor was 97.8 minutes. Or in highly technical marketing terms – the site’s really sticky. Why does this make Pinterest a great potential social haven for marketers? It means that the site provides significant value to its users, enough so they’re willing to set aside a large chunk of their day to spend on it. And if those metrics continue to go up, it’s an indication that Pinterest is not just a passing fad.One of the reasons Pinterest has probably taken off – and why marketers should be excited about it – is that it offers a value proposition that’s unique from the other social networks out there. If someone asked you to define what all the major social networks did – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – it’s pretty easy to differentiate them from one another. And Pinterest is no different! None of the existing social networks do exactly what Pinterest does. Sure, you can share images on Facebook or via a Twitpic, but image-sharing is not those sites’ primary purpose as it is with Pinterest.Pinterest has also made it very easy to share content on the web, something content-crazy (in a positive way!) inbound marketers should get excited about. Pinterest prompts users to download a pinmarklet (a Pinterest toolbar bookmarklet) that allows them to pin any content they find on the web that they want to share; it’s just that easy. No copying and pasting links or switching between tabs and browsers. If you’re investing in visual content – infographics, cartoons, videos, etc. – Pinterest just made it even easier for that content to be disseminated by your readers to a brand new audience.Which brings us to one of the best parts of Pinterest – that it’s an image-driven site! And people love images, far more than they love words. In fact, images and videos are the most shared content on Facebook. If you’re a product-driven business, sharing beautiful images of your products on Pinterest is a simple way to leverage the tremendous power of visuals on a booming social network that is dedicated solely to sharing beautiful and interesting images.Where Pinterest Falls ShortOne of Pinterest’s biggest strengths, its emphasis on visual content, is also one of its biggest weaknesses for some businesses. Frankly, most people think of Pinterest as a place to look at things like clothes, hairstyles, furniture, crafts, and other visually stimulating images. If you’re not a B2C or product-oriented business – or you’re like HubSpot and your product is inbound marketing software — it’s a stretch to find a use for Pinterest. That’s not to say you can’t be successful on Pinterest; HubSpot got creative and combined pinboards of our visual content, like infographics, ebook covers, and inbound marketing graphs, with pinboards that reflect our brand, like “Fun Orange Things” and “Things With Spots.”And while relatively unsexy B2B businesses have found success on Pinterest, it has also resulted in some backlash from pinners about whether Pinterest should be a safe space from marketers. We wrote a blog post that discusses that debate in much more detail, but if you’re considering experimenting with Pinterest, it’s important to note that you very well may experience some backlash for it if you’re perceived as, well, marketing (even though Pinterest has wiped any warnings against using the site for marketing from its ‘Pin Etiquette’ since we published that post).It makes sense; one of the other weaknesses of Pinterest is the lack of dedicated brand pages. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn all eventually developed space specifically for companies, which helps alleviate some of the frustration consumers feel when they feel like they’re being marketed to in their personal social networks. The challenge marketers will face on Pinterest, then, is figuring out how to market without seeming like marketing. In other words, create visual content that’s so cool, people won’t care that it’s also driving referral traffic and inbound links to your website. Visual content creators out there know doing that is much harder than it looks.Google+Now that we know Pinterest’s strengths and weaknesses, let’s do a quick review of Google+ before continuing our deep dive. Google+ is a social network many have described as similar to Facebook. It lets users — and since November, brands have dedicated pages for the same purpose — share status updates, links, images, and videos. These updates can be commented on, shared, or receive a +1, which shows up in search engine results pages. We also have a Google+ for business ebook for your reference if you decide it’s a worthwhile social network on which to spend your marketing time.Why Google+ RocksWhile users don’t expect Pinterest to be used for business, marketers on Google+ aren’t met with any surprise from others on the social network. Even when Google+ initially launched without dedicated brand pages, it wasn’t strange to see businesses promoting their content – probably because the network worked so similarly to Facebook (more on that later) which has long since integrated brand conversations with personal updates. So if you’re concerned with being met with consumer backlash on Pinterest, Google+ is certainly a safer space to try out a new social media venture.Google+ also allows for better targeting of content with its Circles functionality. You likely have several personas developed for your business, and if you’ve done any content mapping you know that while some content is ubiquitous, much of it needs to be tailored to the audience. Instead of blasting updates to your entire Google+ following, Circles allows marketers to let their followers identify the topics they’re most interested in. This is the kind of content targeting inbound marketers relish, because it leads to higher click-through rates and a more engaged social following.But perhaps the best argument for getting started on Google+ is its integration into search results. Google+ status updates and content people have given a +1 to now appear in the organic search engine results on Google.com. So whether you simply have a +1 button on your blog or you’re actively publishing content to Google+, your content has a much greater chance of dominating search results than it did before your participation in Google+. If you’re interesting in seriously dominating organic search results with Google+, reference this blog post that will teach you the tricks of the trade.Where Google+ Falls ShortJust like Pinterest, Google+’s strengths also contribute to its weaknesses. Namely, some people find it really confusing. What’s the difference between just posting to Google+, and +1’ing content? If I do either of them, does it mean I show up in search? How can I use Google+ to share content without making it indexable in search? These are all valid concerns that, as marketers, we understand, but we also easily take for granted that our target audience may not understand the intricacies of how Google+ works. And if they don’t get it, they won’t use it.Perhaps that – plus a lack of clear value proposition – is why Google+ usage has leveled off after its initially skyrocketing adoption rate. While Pinterest has users on its site for over an hour at a time, eMarketer reports that users spent an average of just 3.3 minutes on Google+ in January. Ouch. So while Google+ has more users than Pinterest, those users aren’t actually spending time on the site each month; do marketers really want to spend time on a social network their users aren’t?For Google+ to provide the same kind of value for its users as Pinterest, it needs to provide a unique value proposition like Pinterest has. Remember when I said it was easy to define the major social networks, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter? I have a confession. I had a difficult time coming up with the words to explain Google+ in the beginning of this section. All I could think to say was – it’s pretty much like Facebook. And until Google+ can differentiate itself further, it’s not likely users will spend more than a few minutes a month on there, either.So, Which Should You Choose?Pinterest has the opportunity to be extremely valuable for retail businesses, or anyone who sells an aesthetic-centered service — think hairdressers, for example. But it can also have a lot of value to businesses that are willing to put in the time to create visually stimulating content — we’ve written an entire post about how B2B organizations can thrive on Pinterest. But your time will be wasted if the only time you have to give, at this stage in the game, is sharing links to written content you and others are creating. Realistically, that’s what many businesses are doing on social media (and that’s okay!), and Google+ is a much more appropriate social network for such sharing.But I would be remiss to close out this post without mentioning one key difference between Google+ and Pinterest that might affect your decision to participate in the networks: Pinterest users are mostly women, while Google+ users are largely men. Okay, let’s dive into some data and raging gender stereotypes for just a minute, courtesy of Remcolandia:83% of Pinterest users are females between 18 and 34.Most Pinterest posts and photos are about design, fashion, and home decoration.63% of Google+ users are men, who tend to post about technology.Two of the biggest user groups on Google+ are college students and software developers.Does your business’ target audience have a similarly heavy skew in one of these directions — either by industry, job type, or gender? If so, this data may be key in deciding whether it’s worth your time to pursue marketing on Google+ or Pinterest.All of this isn’t to say you should use Google+ or Pinterest, or that you should limit your usage to just one. If you have the bandwidth to experiment with both, finding opportunities to present your information both verablly and visually, take on the task! (And share the results with us, please!) But since we know how strapped for time and resources many marketers already are, hopefully this side by side comparison of the pros and cons of the two newest social networks makes your decision to participate just a little less agonizing.Which social network — if either — do you find more helpful for your business, and why? Do you think one or both will fade into oblivion as a marketing tool? 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 Mar 29, 2012 2:37:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Images Topics: Originally published Sep 17, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We all understand the need for visual content in our marketing, but don’t necessarily have the budget or resources to make it happen amidst various image copyright rules floating around the internet.With all of these challenges ahead for marketers in an ever-increasingly visual web, it’s not hard to see why 55,000 people downloaded our set of 75 free stock photos last month.But while those free stock photos were popular — they weren’t exactly perfect. Admittedly, they lacked diversity and more business-style shots. That’s why we’re pleased to share 160 completely new, completely free, business-themed stock photos that you can download and use today — without any payment or any image credit required. Although, inbound links are always welcome. ;)Now, we don’t want you to download these stock photos and have them rot in a random place on your hard drive — we’d love for you to actually use them. So to help you get inspired to put these free stock photos to use, check out our six places you can feature these stock photos in your marketing campaigns below. 6 Places to Use Your 160 Free Stock PhotosThe 160 free stock photos come bucketed in six categories. Let’s walk through an example from each category by sharing six of the many places you could employ these free photos.1) Web Page ImageAccording to Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. Rather than presenting a stale website or spending a large portion of your budget on an image purchase, try selecting one of our business-themed photos to show off your business. The photo below comes from our photo category of “Employees Working.”2) Pinterest Board ImageData from Marketing Land shows that Pinterest images with less than 10% background receive 2-4 times more pins than images with a heavy background. A variety of images in the group have light backgrounds in order to maximize the probability of your success when using them. The photo shown as the featured image on the pinboard below is an example photo from our collection of “Meeting” photos.3) Facebook Post ImageAccording to Dan Zarrella, photos on Facebook get more likes, comments, and shares than text, video, and links do. We constantly try to employ visuals over plain text or link updates on our own Facebook, but as our social media manager Brittany Leaning can attest to, it’s not easy! She spends hours creating visual content, so these 160 free photos help increase in her productivity. The photo below comes from the category of “Miscellaneous” photos. In other words, here are some more business-esque photos that could work in most scenarios. 4) Landing Page Promotional ImageOur data shows that companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. But how do you create effective landing pages without engaging visuals? With a little bit of customization, you can take your landing page conversion rate up a notch. The example below uses a photo from the “Printers/Fax/Phone” collection of photos to provide a human touch to a software trial.5) Email Campaign ImageAccording to the “Science of Email Marketing,” 65% of readers prefer emails that contain mostly images. While we don’t recommend cluttering your email campaigns with photos, images can certainly help entice readers to click. In the example below, one of the photos from our “Mobile/Laptop” collection of photos is used to pimp out a blog post in an email to subscribers.6) SlideShare Background ImageAccording to the company, SlideShare receives 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, and is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. And it’s value in marketing and visual content creation continues to rise. But every SlideShare you create requires images. While you can have text-based slides, you need a variety of images to stand as backgrounds or convey your message. The image is selected from the “Office Supplies” collection of photos, and fits seamlessly in the SlideShare presentation below.While these examples illustrate six ways you can use these free stock photos, they are by no means the limit. We encourage you to check out these 160 free photos for yourself! And if you use these photos in your marketing, feel free to comment below on how you used them! 🙂
Personality Types A few weeks ago, I wrestled up the courage to attend a small dinner with HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah. Seated around a cozy dinner table, I asked him a question that’s been burning inside me since my very first day here: “Does HubSpot’s culture — or, by extension, any marketing company’s culture — favor the extrovert?”What I was really asking was, “As an introvert, can I fit in here?”He assured me I could — I wasn’t the first introvert (nor would I be the last) to join the company. In fact, he told me that about half of the people that work here fall into the introversion side of the personality spectrum. And no, these people aren’t all software developers — our fun-loving CEO Brian Halligan is also an introvert. Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, even notes in her book that at least one-third of the American population is introverted.If you’re not hiring — or appropriately utilizing the talents of — members of this vast portion of the population at your company, you’re making a huge mistake. Introverts are predisposed to possess a unique and powerful set of traits and skills that can help you overcome your greatest marketing challenges — four of which I’ve outlined below.As we go through each challenge, avoid seeing introversion and extroversion as a black-and-white approach to personality traits. Just because introverts are more commonly associated with these characteristics doesn’t mean extroverts can’t possess them. In the same respect, some introverts can most definitely possess traits that are stereotypically considered extroverted. Personalities vary greatly, and many people are a blend of both worlds. 4 Ways Introverts Can Help Solve Big Marketing ChallengesMarketing Challenge #1: An Increasingly Complex WorldIt’ll take you less than five minutes of reading or listening to the latest news on technology to figure out that we live in an increasingly complicated era.We all know what “information overload” feels like in this rapidly evolving economy. But, it isn’t enough to just absorb information — marketers need to understand, interpret, and demystify information.How Introverts Can HelpIntroverts are deeply insightful and analytical. They are able to dissect complex issues and solve the trickiest of riddles. For example, known as one of the most influential theorists to have ever lived, Albert Einstein was an introvert who did his thinking alone. Introverts can help extract and decipher meaning from your marketing campaigns through their astute observational and investigative skills.On your marketing team, there’ll be times you need someone to do a dive deep into analytics — maybe you need the results from an A/B test or just a look at trend data to inform your marketing strategy for the next few months. Think about assigning that type of project to an introvert — they’ll do a great job of distilling simple insights from a complex data set.Marketing Challenge #2: An Increasingly Distracting EnvironmentMarketers are some of the busiest bees in town. We’re inundated with emails, meetings, and events, and we live and breathe in a … oh, look at that!Sorry, what was I saying? Oh yes, we live and breathe in an increasingly distracting environment that requires us to be always moving, always agile. Needless to say, it can be hard to simply sit down and GSD (get stuff done).How Introverts Can HelpIntroverts are known to possess a razor-sharp focus and an intrinsic ability to shut the world off. Introverts are also self-motivated and don’t rely on external stimulation to stay charged. For instance, acclaimed scientist Charles Darwin was known to politely turn down dinner invitations and take secluded walks through the woods.When your team is in dire need of finishing projects at the last minute with lots of moving pieces — like launching a new product or campaign — an introvert could be your savior. They’ll block out the noise to get to the job done.Marketing Challenge #3: A Lack of Creativity Creativity, innovation, originality — these are the alluring buzzwords that keep marketers up at night. How can I do something different? How can I get my company to stand out from the crowd?How Introverts Can HelpResearch suggests that creativity often comes from seclusion. Indeed, some of the most remarkable visionaries of our time consider themselves introverts who had their “Eureka!” moments when they were alone. Take J.K. Rowling as an example. Her idea for the wonderful, wizarding world of Harry Potter came to her on a train when she was traveling solo.Studies, like this one from IBM, also show that a majority of CEOs cite creativity as the most important leadership quality. So, an introvert may be exactly who you need to helm the vision of an upcoming project or even your entire marketing team.Marketing Challenge #4: A Lack of TransparencyA consequence of the information economy is clutter. There’s so much content and fluff out there it’s hard to ensure you are communicating clearly with your visitors, leads, and customers. How Introverts Can HelpIntroverts are eloquent, compelling, and persuasive writers. They are also intensely loyal and authentic. Therefore, their words deliver clarity. Case in point: Introvert Mahatma Gandhi was a prolific writer who changed the direction of an entire nation, and to this day, his beautiful prose inspires millions of people across the globe. On your marketing team, you might think about how an introvert could help you create some in-depth, high-quality blog posts. Their focus on getting the right message across to the right audience at the right time could help you grow your traffic, lead volume, and even customer base.By now, I’ve hopefully convinced you to invest more in introverts or see their quiet nature in a different light. This, however, does not mean that you should only invest in introverts.Your marketing dream team should be a balance of both introversion and extroversion. Like Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, there is great power in the perfect pairing of people.So, are you an introverted or extroverted marketer, and how do you tackle challenges? Feel free to share with us in the comments below. 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 Jan 29, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack #INBOUND14 welcomes author of bestseller Blink to their keynote stage. Register here to see Malcolm Gladwell and more: bit.ly/1oJl0Jm (Click to Tweet)Want to learn more about the INBOUND conference? Visit www.inbound.com to discover what speakers, sessions, and events we’re packing into four days for over 7,500 attendees. I’m going to #INBOUND14 and so is bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell! Check out his keynote announcement here: bit.ly/1q9tTZK (Click to Tweet) Today, we are excited to announce that Malcolm Gladwell will be joining the keynote speaker lineup at the INBOUND 2014 conference this September. Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers including Blink and The Tipping Point, a leading staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996, and was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by TIME.But, Gladwell wasn’t always a revered author, writer, thought leader, or influencer. He initially planned to go into advertising after school, until every ad agency he applied to rejected his application. Gladwell’s expertise lies in the intersection of data and the society we live in today; he is passionate about human behavior. His position at The New Yorker created an outlet for him to explore social science and he quickly became known for his unconventional ideas on why humans think and act the way we do. Fifteen years and a handful of international bestselling works later, Gladwell’s work challenges us to rethink what shapes the world we live in. At INBOUND, Gladwell will share insights and discoveries from his latest book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, which was released this past October. In an interview with Inc on his most recent work, Gladwell explains that, in business, underdog brands today can triumph over large corporations; it all comes down to effort. “I may not be able to outspend you, but I can outwork you,” he says. We are thrilled to bring Gladwell’s innovating thinking to over 7,500 INBOUND attendees, and compliment an all-star lineup of keynotes including Martha Stewart and Simon Sinek. If you’re a Gladwell aficionado, INBOUND fanatic, or just a curious marketer always on the hunt for inspiration, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming our keynote with some social buzz:This just in: bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell will join @MarthaStewart and @simonsinek as #INBOUND14 keynote: bit.ly/1q9tTZK (Click to Tweet) Originally published Jul 28, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Conferences
Maybe Phil Steele was wrong.ESPN has Oklahoma State ranked No. 6 in the country going into the 2017 college football season. The only teams ahead of the Pokes are Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, USC and Penn State.Here is their analysis.With quarterback Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington deciding to return for their senior seasons, the Cowboys already looked primed to challenge rival Oklahoma for a Big 12 title. Then the Pokes added two graduate transfers — Clemson cornerback Adrian Baker and Cal left tackle Aaron Cochran — who might be able to help right away.Much of the buzz this spring focused on former LSU receiver Tyron Johnson, who sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules, and now appears ready to be another weapon. Of course, if the Cowboys are going to win their first Big 12 championship since 2011, they’ll probably have to beat the Sooners in the Bedlam Series, which they’ve done only twice since 2003. [ESPN]Rounding out the top 10 are Clemson, OU, Washington and Auburn. This is a little high for my taste on the Cowboys. I prefer they fly a little further under the radar (No. 11 or No. 13 would be delightful).The last time ESPN ran this a few months ago, OSU was ranked No. 10. Because of the two transfers they got a four-spot bump. I’m not sure Cochran and Baker were worth that much, but they are certainly important to the upcoming season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Offensive Lineman in Big 12 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. AdChoices广告Rudolph finished the watch list season on five lists but was left off the First Team All-Big 12. Beaten by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Rudolph was relegated to the second team. He was OSU’s leader in accolades over the summer.Right behind Rudolph was Washington. 11-JulRimington Trophy Fall Watch ListBest Center 18-JulWuerffel Trophy Watch ListCommunity Service, Academic and Athletic Success 19-JulDavey O’Brien Award Watch ListBest Quarterback Tre Flowers Justice Hill 20-JulDoak Walker Award Watch ListBest Running Back 19-JulDodd Trophy Watch ListBest Coach Jalen McCleskey 14-JulHeartland Emmy AwardVirtual Reality Project 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 16-AugEarl Campbell Award Watch ListBest Offensive Player Washington wrapped up the summer on four lists, including the First Team All-Big 12. In fact, he was the only unanimous selection to the first team. Two players were tied for third in summer accolades after the two Cowboy stars, including one on defense. There for a while, it seemed as if Mason Rudolph and James Washington were getting put on a different preseason award watch list every day.Oklahoma State’s players, coach Mike Gundy and even the program at large are up for awards. Between July 10 and July 21, 19 nods were given to those residing in Stillwater. So after almost two weeks without any news on that front, let’s catch up on which Cowboys are poised to make runs at which awards. Brad Lundblade 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Defensive Back in Big 12 14-JulJim Thorpe Award Watch ListBest Defensive Back James Washington Mason Rudolph 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 2 Running Back in Big 12 OSU 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver Zach Crabtree 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 3 Receiver in Big 12 Flowers was OSU’s lone defensive representative on the First Team All-Big 12. He is second Cowboy safety to be named to the first team in as many years after Jordan Sterns landed on the team last year.Other honorees were as follows: 12-JulRay Guy Award Watch ListBest Punter Mike Gundy 16-AugManning Award Watch ListBest Quarterback 19-JulJohnny Unitas Award Watch ListBest Senior Quarterback 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player Zach Sinor
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways. * Projected, not on official depth chart“Devin Harper, he’s literally two snaps away from being the guy,” Whitener said Spencer preaches.Same, too, with Patrick Macon. A junior college transfer from Arizona Western, Macon was one of the key signings in the 2017 recruiting class but was left off the depth chart. Whitener said he is still adjusting to the speed, and Macon revealed another reason he might not be getting the same number of snaps as the other guys via Twitter on Wednesday night.Around This Time Next Year I Will Be 220— PatMaconMoves‼️〽️ (@Patrick_Macon44) August 30, 2017Nonetheless, Macon’s potential is there, and much like Adrian Baker at cornerback, once he gets the system and style down, we should see him on the field more and more.Whitener said the biggest challenge is keeping those guys sharp. He remembers what it’s like to be whisked off the bench and thrown into a starting role, and he said he was thankful that he had stayed prepared as if he was already the No. 1 guy.In the 2015 TCU game, Simmons tore his MCL and PCL on the same play. He had started 31 straight games dating to 2013. What you got with Whitener was unclear. He looked like Simmons physically, but few people knew who he was. He ended up being named a First Team All-Big 12 performer by the San Antonio Express-News that season.He said it was baptism by holy fire, not water.“Putting what I could do on paper into working, that was always the biggest thing for me,” Whitener said. “Being able to function on the field when it’s bullets flying at out at 200 miles per hour.”Fast forward two seasons, and Whitener has been to Big 12 Media Days twice, started every game but once since the Simmons injury, made 173 tackles and been named one of the team captains. Slight work for a two-year stint.With Whitener at the helm and a group of seemingly rising stars surrounding him, the linebacker corps has loads of potential to become a consistent, beautiful stream of talent in the heart of a defense that might desperately need it. StarMiddleWide Brendan Vaughn*Amen OgbongbemigaPatrick Macon* During spring practices, the sneaky depth at linebacker was just a theme. Now, it’s a beautiful collaboration of young potential stars and those who have been at a variety of schools around the country.Calvin Bundage, a sophomore who will split reps with Kenneth Edison-McGruder, might start Thursday night against Tulsa at star linebacker. Justin Phillips, a soon-to-be fixture, enters his junior season having locked down the starting wide backer spot. Then there is Chad Whitener, the middle linebacker who came in for Ryan Simmons in what seems like 2010.There isn’t any one All-Big 12 performer yet, but the 2017 group of Oklahoma State linebackers might end up being the most attractive of any spot on defense.AdChoices广告Bundage was delivering ninja kicks and barrel rolls last season. His freshman flaws showed, but the potential was also glaring brighter than the sun. Whitener said the former was cut down and the latter came to fruition through fall camp, understanding the system and making oodles of plays all while maintaining his speed.Whitener said Bundage is more composed, not just running wild. He knows where to be, knows his leverages, his techniques and in-game situations, Whitener said.“He’s just a better football player this year than he was last year,” he said.Bundage is a sexy pick to be one of the defensive MVPs, but Edison-McGruder’s usage might derail that, and vice versa. Bundage led all freshmen with 13 tackles, and Edison-McGruder was second among all non-starters in that category with 40. Whitener said Glenn Spencer, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, likes them equally.With Phillips, he has been featured on many of the Cowboys’ hype videos in anticipation of the season-opener Thursday. Phillips was the only non-starter to finish last season with more tackles than Edison-McGruder. He pulled in 42.As for Whitener himself, he said he hasn’t given too much thought to his last first game at Boone Pickens Stadium, the place he has crazily only played at for two seasons after transferring from Cal. He said it will feel more surreal once it’s over.“Right now, it’s just game-mode,” Whitener said.The depth behind those four is what sets this year’s group apart, though. The second and third waves are almost as talented as the top.Linebacker Depth Chart Calvin BundageGyasi AkemKevin Henry Kenneth Edison-McGruder (or)Chad WhitenerJustin Phillips Devin Harper The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Dallas Cannon feels ready for starting role as FC Dallas looks to rebound Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 01:04 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jerome Miron Dallas MLS Tauro v Dallas Tauro Champions League The teenager played just one MLS minute last season but is set to start in 2018 with FCD looking to bounce back from a poor 2017 Ask FC Dallas fans about their frustrations with the 2017 season and it won’t take long for them to bring up Reggie Cannon. With the team on a run that would end with two wins in the last 15 MLS matches of the season – a skid that still saw the team miss the playoffs only after losing a tiebreaker – there were frustratingly few changes to the starting XI.FCD coach Oscar Pareja, normally praised for utilizing the young players produced by the league’s best academy system, stuck with veteran right back Hernan Grana. Cannon logged one MLS minute all season.That number will grow and grow quickly in 2018 with the 19-year-old academy product set to start at right back for FCD during a season in which it will look to return to the playoffs and once again contend for MLS Cup. It begins Wednesday, when Cannon is likely to start in FCD’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Tauro FC in Panama. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Cannon clearly has been hoping for this opportunity since signing with FCD’s first team in December 2016 after a season with UCLA. He’s not stewing about getting just the one minute last year, though, saying he learned from Grana (who is back in Argentina after a one-year loan) and fellow veteran Atiba Harris (now playing in Mexico’s second division).”Grana and Atiba taught me a lot last year. They were my mentors. I looked up to them, and they taught me everything I needed to be successful on the pitch. Grana was a phenomenal right back, that’s no secret,” Cannon told Goal. “Him and Atiba told me to keep going. You might not be playing but you never know when your time will come. You just have to be ready.”They kept motivating me on the pitch and every game they played I watched, I studied. They were just people I looked up to and it was great to have them as mentors. They really prepared me for this next step.”That step not only looks to include starting at right back for a team that just two seasons ago had one of the best defenses in the league, but also filling multiple roles. Cannon is set to be the right back in a traditional back four next to center backs Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler and left back Anton Nedyalkov. But Pareja also is planning to mix in more looks using wingbacks, something that will fit Cannon’s skill set well when he’s asked to get forward more often.Cannon knows the difference of what’s expected from him in the two systems, explaining how he needs to create width when he’s playing as a wingback but is able to look for more overlaps when he’s being asked to play in a back four. Much of that tactical understanding comes from coming through the FCD academy. Cannon is one of three likely starters for FCD this season who came out of the academy, with midfielder Kellyn Acosta and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez also set to start. Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira could, like Cannon, see more minutes after being seldom utilized last year.”The guys from the academy have an important plus in that they already have the tactical knowledge,” Pareja told Goal. “That’s why it helps us when we change formations like we want to that they already know this side of things. They know the models with four at the back and now with the ideas we have he can adapt to that and there’s no problem there.”Perhaps Cannon’s biggest area for development is deciding when to get forward to join the attack and when to prioritize defense. The teenager described his decisions as a younger player as “reckless,” but at times he could use his speed to cover them up. That’s not an option when the speed of play moves as quickly as it does at the MLS level.Pareja has told Cannon that he’s seeing improvement in his decision-making process. So too has winger Michael Barrios, who likely will combine with Cannon more than any other player as they work down a right side that was responsible for the overwhelming majority of FCD’s scoring plays in 2017.”Last year, I had the chance to play a few games with Reggie,” Barrios, FCD’s top scorer last season told Goal. “He’s a strong, fast player. He’s always well-positioned when we’re playing defensively. He’s very good in one-on-one situations. Good getting into the attack, giving me overlaps and helping me with the transition to defense. I think he’s going to be important for us. We’re working with the coaches to understand each other better and do really good things.”It might be easy to underestimate Cannon, a lanky 19-year-old kid who is obsessed with video games (he plays FIFA but right now is playing far more Fortnite). He’s not underestimating himself, though, heading into the season that could launch a long career.”Yeah, I feel prepared,” he says, before the question is even finished being asked. “I can’t wait. It’s going to be an exciting season.””I try not to think about it too much. In reality I’m a teenage kid who is about to be a starter in MLS,” he continued. “You never know what the strain of games of can do to a kid. They could fall, they could stand up, it could really make a difference in who they’re going to be, so it’s going to be interesting to see how I cope with that and hopefully it’ll go good for me.”
Milan Bonucci admits Milan were ‘scared’ in Arsenal defeat Jamie Smith 08:10 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Milan UEFA Europa League Milan v Arsenal Arsenal The Rossoneri’s 13-match unbeaten run came to an end against the Gunners, with their captain bemoaning his side’s lack of experience AC Milan defender Leonardo Bonucci said his side were “scared” during their defeat to Arsenal in the Europa League.Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan – opening his Gunners account – and Aaron Ramsey gave Arsene Wenger’s struggling Premier League team victory at San Siro on Thursday.Gennaro Gattuso highlighted errors made at the back by Milan, but Bonucci felt it was a question of mentality that led to the end of their 13-game unbeaten run. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “We did not have the right mentality right from the get go,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia. “We were a little scared since we are so young. Let’s hope we learn from this.”It is hard but we will have to give it a go [in the second leg]. Anything can happen in football so we have to stay positive.”Arsenal ran a lot and they have a lot of quality but we also made mistakes. We didn’t play as a team so that’s what you get. We had to be smarter and more responsible with the ball, this we know.”We were too nervous and excited, everyone made mistakes. In the second half we played with more courage but it wasn’t enough. Credit to Arsenal, who played a great first half.”If we play in London with the same spirit we showed in the second half, we might be able to pull it off.”Bonucci’s defensive partner Alessio Romagnoli also accepted Milan had not been strong enough at the back against Arsenal.”We started well but certain plays favoured them,” Romagnoli said. “We conceded two silly goals and end up with a negative result in the first leg as a consequence.”We will try our best on the return match, we have nothing to lose.”
Manchester United Mourinho: Liverpool is just another match for Man Utd Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 22:46 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Manchester United Premier League Manchester United v Liverpool Liverpool José Mourinho Videos Passions will be high at Old Trafford on Saturday when Man Utd host the Reds but it is just another game for the Portuguese Manchester United’s Saturday showdown with Liverpool is no more important than their forthcoming cup clashes against Sevilla and Brighton and Hove Albion, according to Jose Mourinho.One of English football’s bitterest feuds returns to Old Trafford on Saturday, with two points separating second-placed United from Liverpool in third in the Premier League table.Mourinho’s trophy-laden career has taken in stints with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid – bringing him into direct contact with some of European football’s biggest rivalries. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Nevertheless, he claims he remains unbitten by the derby day bug.Asked whether he had a greater understanding of the United-Liverpool rivalry ahead of his fourth stab at the fixture, the Portuguese told reporters: “I still don’t know because in my mentality every match is the same and I’m not very good on that culture of this match is special, this rivalry is special.”I never looked to AC Milan as the biggest rival, I never looked at Atletico Madrid as the enemy, I never looked at Arsenal as the big rival.”For me it is just a big match with two historical clubs, not just in England – in the world. I still don’t look to some matches as a special opponent. It is a big match because we are speaking about some big clubs.”We have three matches now – Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton. If you ask me if I could choose one to be the most important, I can’t choose.”The most important is Liverpool because it is the next but the other two are knockouts. I don’t think the fans are happy if I say Liverpool is the biggest match of the season and Sevilla is not a big match.”Everyone wants to go to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals. Is Brighton less important than the Liverpool match?”Mourinho’s tactics in the drab 0-0 draw at Anfield last October drew widespread criticism but he was predictably keen to give the views of pundits the short shrift.”Some of the guys with an opinion, they couldn’t resolve their own problem when they were managers,” he added.”They give opinions like it looks like they have solutions for everything but it’s not like that”But they are in a position where they can give opinions about everything.”With a full schedule of European action to watch this week, the United boss managed to avoid delving into any build-up to the Liverpool game.”Sometimes I read, sometimes I don’t; sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t,” Mourinho commented.”This week I was more focused on enjoying the Champions League and Europa League and preparing my match.”
Argentina 1 Iceland 1: Finnbogason makes history as Messi fluffs his big chance Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 22:54 6/16/18 Matthias Hangst/Getty Images Lionel Messi missed a second-half penalty as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by debutants Iceland in an eventful Group D opener. Hannes Thor Halldorsson was the hero for Iceland as the goalkeeper’s penalty save from Lionel Messi secured his side a sensational 1-1 draw against Argentina.With Diego Maradona watching on from the stands, Messi failed to convert from the spot in the second half of an eventful Group D opener at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow.Sergio Aguero had fired the beaten finalists from four years ago ahead in the 19th minute, finally breaking his World Cup duck at the ninth attempt with a rising left-footed drive. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Yet debutants Iceland refused to melt on the main stage, Alfred Finnbogason capitalising on Willy Caballero’s weak punch to score his country’s maiden goal in the history of the tournament just four minutes later.Iceland were indebted to Halldorsson for picking up a point, though, as he kept out Messi’s spot-kick shortly after the hour mark.Argentina will hope to inject some impetus into their campaign when they face Croatia in Nizhny on Thursday, while Iceland go up against Nigeria in Volgograd the following day.1 – Alfred Finnbogason has scored Iceland’s first goal in a World Cup finals tournament, just four minutes & 15 seconds after Argentina opened the scoring. Thunderclap.#ARGISL #ISL #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/gXbYZ8FPWT— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2018After Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning display for Portugal against Spain in Sochi less than 24 hours earlier, all eyes were on rival Messi in the Russian capital.The Argentina captain was twice denied by Halldorsson from distance in the first half, but Aguero did find a way to beat the Iceland keeper.The Manchester City forward seized on team-mate Marcos Rojo’s wayward shot, controlling the off-target effort inside the penalty area before sending a fierce shot into the net.Argentina’s opener arrived after a glaring miss at the other end, the late-arriving Birkir Bjarnason carelessly pushing a side-footed effort wide of the target when the ball had broken kindly into his path.However, undeterred by the setback of conceding first,Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side hit back. Finnbogason was on hand to score his country’s maiden World Cup, knocking home a rebound after Caballero had parried a low cross straight to the Augsburg forward.With their lead disappearing in a hurry, Argentina set about trying to find a second goal against determined opponents happy to sit back and defend.11 – Lionel Messi had 11 shots v Iceland, the highest tally without scoring in a World cup match for an Argentinian player since Opta keep full World Cup data (1966). Frozen. pic.twitter.com/m31bYFvQzt— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 16, 2018They were gifted the chance to go ahead again when Hordur Magnusson’s clumsy push on Maximiliano Meza was spotted by referee Szymon Marciniak without the aid of technology.Yet Halldorsson guessed correctly, diving to his right to frustrate Messi, meaning the Barcelona star has now missed four of his last seven attempts from the spot for club and country.The keeper also produced a late save to keep out an attempt from substitute Cristian Pavon as Iceland – who also drew 1-1 with eventual winners Portugal in their Euro 2016 opener – held on to clinch another famous result in their footballing history. Key Opta stats: – Argentina failed to win their opening match at a World Cup tournament for the first time since losing to Cameroon in 1990. They eventually reached the final of that edition, losing out to Germany.- This was Iceland’s first World Cup game – Senegal were the last side to win on their debut in the competition (vs France in 2002), while Croatia were the last European side to do so (vs Jamaica in 1998).- Javier Mascherano made his 144th appearance for Argentina in this match, overtaking Javier Zanetti as their most capped player.- Alfred Finnbogason’s goal was Iceland’s first shot on target in the competition. read more
World Cup ‘Modric worthy of Ballon d’Or’ Dom Farrell 18:56 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images World Cup Croatia Iceland v Croatia Real Madrid Luka Modric has inspired Croatia’s excellent start at the 2018 World Cup and Dejan Lovren believes the Real Madrid man deserves more credit. Dejan Lovren believes his Croatia team-mate Luka Modric should be in Ballon d’Or contention.Real Madrid midfielder Modric has been at his sublime best so far at Russia 2018, steering Croatia to qualification for the knockout stages with a game to spare.His superb second goal during the 3-0 demolition of Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod provided the champagne moment within one of the tournament’s statement victories. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Modric also converted a penalty during the opening 2-0 Group D victory against Nigeria and Lovren feels the 32-year-old would be pushing for top individual honours if he was from a more traditionally glamorous footballing nation.”It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now,” he said during a Sunday news conference at Croatia’s Roschino training base.”Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner.”Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves.”All football lovers know Modric is an incredible player. He is one of the best in the world right now.”Who will prove the best in the world collectively when the World Cup concludes in Moscow next month remains a fiercely debated subject, with matters clouded by an opening 10 days that have often veered from the form guide.Holders Germany were staring at the prospect of an early exit until Toni Kroos sensationally snatched a 2-1 win over Sweden for Joachim Low’s 10 men deep into stoppage time on Saturday in Sochi.Brazil also required a late show for their first win of the tournament – Philippe Coutinho and Neymar downing Costa Rica in St Petersburg after the regulation 90 minutes.Lovren proudly claimed to have watched every game of Russia 2018 so far and he spies a wide-open field that may play into the hands of an accomplished and experienced Croatian generation.”It has been a surprising tournament and there are no favourites right now, or no teams that are likely to be easy winners,” he added.”We must respect teams like Germany, Brazil, Spain and Belgium, who are all incredible teams.”Right now, no one is showing on the pitch that they are far superior than any other team.”Croatia is a dark horse, a bit of an underdog, but we have to show we play well and we hope to continue to play well.”
World Cup Perisic dreaming of matching Croatia’s France 98 heroes Dom Farrell 14:45 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Croatia Iceland v Croatia Iceland The country reached the semi-finals 20 years ago, and the Inter winger hopes they can do so again this time out in Russia Ivan Perisic wants to replicate the “miracle” of France 98 with Croatia’s current band of in-form stars.Croatia entered their first World Cup 20 years ago and a much-celebrated team featuring the likes of Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki and Davor Suker stormed to the semi-finals before falling foul Aime Jacquet’s hosts and eventual winners.Authoritative wins over Nigeria and Argentina mean the Balkan nation are through to the knockout stages for the first time since and, driven by the midfield brilliance of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, they are starting to dream again. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “There has been a lot of comparison between those two teams,” said Inter winger Perisic.”They did a miracle in France in 1998. I was nine years old watching those games and dreaming about being in a similar situation.”Now we are here and we hope to catch them or come close to them. We are ready to do that.”Defender Vedran Corluka made his 100th international appearance against Argentina and, even for a player of his vast experience, the greats of the past loom large.”They were all legends for the current players, they are idols,” he said.”In the last 20 years Croatia didn’t pass the group stage so all the comparisons so far have not gone that well.”This time we have passed the group stage and hopefully this team will come close or make the same performance.”Croatia’s present vintage threatened similar exploits at Euro 2008 and Euro 2016 before running out of road in the knockout stages, and Perisic hopes the experience of those setbacks can ultimately serve them well in Russia.”We weren’t among the favourites before this tournament and we didn’t deserve that anyway,” he added.”For the last 20 years we haven’t been able to achieve a similar result like we did in France. We were maybe close at the Euros in 2008 in Austria but we missed a little bit of luck.”Hopefully that will turn around at this tournament. We just need to continue doing what we did so far.”
Transfers Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Benzema set for Serie A switch? Goal Last updated 1 year ago 02:40 7/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Primera División Premier League Ligue 1 Serie A Bundesliga Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond Benzema set for Serie A switch?Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to sign striker Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, AS reports.While the 30-year-old is a target for the ambitious Italian side, there are fears his €8.5m-per-year (£7.5m/$9.9m) contract may prevent a move.Meanwhile, Madrid will only sell for upwards of €50m (£44m/$58m). Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Wilshere ‘willing to go abroad’ after Arsenal exitJack Wilshere has admitted that he is “willing to go abroad” as he weighs up his options after leaving Arsenal as a free agent.Several clubs are said to be keen on acquiring the England international, with interest from across Europe complementing that being shown in the Premier League.Goal has revealed that Serie A champions Juventus are not among his suitors, but Turkish heavyweights Fenerbahce are reported to be keen.Read the full story on Goal! Liverpool keeper hints at summer exitSimon Mignolet has suggested that he could leave Liverpool this summer in search of regular first-team football.The Belgium international, who is currently at the World Cup, slipped behind Loris Karius in the pecking order at Anfield towards the latter end of last season.Mignolet was on the bench for the final 16 games of the Premier League season and did not play at all in the club’s run to the final of the Champions League.Read the full story on Goal! Leeds make Chelsea starlet first signing of Bielsa eraChelsea midfielder Lewis Baker has joined Leeds United on a season-long loan, becoming the first signing since Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment as coach.The former England Under-21 international had spells at Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons and Vitesse, where he won the KNVB Cup in his second campaign.Baker spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, making 14 appearances in all competitions and scoring two goals.Read the full story on Goal! Southampton to move for Barcelona defenderSouthampton are ready to splash out €12m (£10.6m/$14m) on Barcelona defender Marlon, according to Sport .He spent a year on loan at Nice in Ligue 1 last term but was sent back to Camp Nou a year early after failing to impress in France.Nevertheless, Saints are ready to splash out on the centre-back, who has caught the eye of West Ham, too.Juve demand €85m for PjanicJuventus will hold out for at least €85 million (£75m/$99m) for Barcelona target Miralem Pjanic, reports Tuttosport . The Blaugrana have turned their attention toward the 28-year-old as a replacement for Andres Iniesta, but he will not come cheaply. Despite reports that Pjanic has already agreed personal terms with Barca, a move to La Liga is far from a certainty. Everton nearing £25m Tierney dealEverton are closing in on Celtic and Scotland left-back Kieran Tierney, according to The Mirror.The Scottish champions do not wish to sell the versatile defender, but feel they cannot refuse an offer of £25m.Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester United are all monitoring the 21-year-old.Mina’s strong World Cup driving price upBarcelona have been pleased with centre-back Yerry Mina’s strong World Cup because it will drive up his price, according to AS. Despite only arriving from Palmeiras in January, the Colombian international is not in Barcelona’s plans moving forward. With the Blaugrana looking to sell or loan the 23-year-old, his two-goal performance with Colombia in Russia will give them more leverage in negotiations with other clubs. Chelsea wish-list includes Bailey, MartialLeon Bailey and Anthony Martial are just two of the names on Chelsea’s summer wish-list, according to the Evening Standard. Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has been working on securing a number of targets, with the club already bidding £35 million (€40m/$46m) for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.The club are also keen on Jean Michael Seri and Jamaal Lascelles, with incoming manager Maurizio Sarri also likely to target a number of his former Napoli players. Suso offered to MadridThe agent of AC Milan midfielder Suso has offered his client to Real Madrid, according to S port .The 24-year-old is expected to be available for around €40 million (£35m/$47m).Suso’s chances of moving to Madrid are higher because of the club’s appointment of Julen Lopetegui, who coached Suso with Spain’s youth national teams. Sevilla and Dortmund battle for Ben ArfaSevilla and Borussia Dortmund are both looking to land Hatem Ben Arfa as a free agent, according to Mundo Deportivo. The midfielder is preparing to leave Paris Saint-Germain, where he fell out of the club’s plans entirely last season. In addition to the Spanish and German clubs, Ligue 1 sides Lyon and Saint Etienne are also keen on the 31-year-old. Chambers nears new Arsenal dealDefender Calum Chambers is in advanced talks with Arsenal over a new contract, reports Sky Sports News. The 23-year-old has failed to lock down a regular role with the Gunners, but new manager Unai Emery is high on the former Southampton man. Chambers has been capped three times by England at senior level. Valencia want Fosu-Mensah on loanValencia are looking to land Manchester United full-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah on loan for next season, according to Marca .The 20-year-old made his first-team debut for United in 2016 but has yet to establish himself with the squad, spending last season on loan at Crystal Palace. The arrival of Diogo Dalot could make playing time more difficult to come by for Fosu-Mensah next season. West Ham near €15m Marlon dealWest Ham are closing in on a €15 million (£13m/$18m) deal to sign Barcelona defender Marlon, claims Sport. The 22-year-old has only made one appearance for the Blaugrana since signing from from Fluminense for €6m two years ago. Marlon spent last season on loan with Ligue 1 side Nice, where he made 27 appearances. City beat Spurs to Ipswich starletManchester City have signed 16-year-old Ipswich Town attacker Ben Knight, reports The Telegraph. City held off a late charge from Tottenham and have landed Knight in a deal worth £700,000.Knight is considered an undersized creative forward with excellent technical ability. Newcastle land Ki Sung-yuengNewcastle have announced the signing of midfielder Ki Sung-yueng as a free agent. The South Korea international was a free agent after leaving Swansea City following their relegation from the Premier League.Read the full story on Goal! Krkic demands stymie Revs moveStoke City attacker Bojan Krkic’s salary demands prevented a move to MLS side New England Revolution, reports journalist Frank Dell’Apa. The 27-year-old spent most of 2017-18 on loan with La Liga side Alaves, but is still on the books at Stoke, who were relegated to the Championship last term. According to the report, the Revs could return for Krkic.Bou set for Racing Club returnTijuana forward Gustavo Bou is set to make his return to Argentine football with former employer Racing Club, reports Ole . Bou is fondly remembered by Racing fans after forming a strike duo with Diego Milito that took the club to the 2014 Primera Division title. And with the departure of Lautaro Martinez to Inter, La Academia have moved to bring him back to Avellaneda on a one-year loan deal.
Here is my May column for Fundraising Success.Put down your iPhone, close your Facebook profile and stop Twittering for just a second. I have something to say to you, head to head and heart to heart.Technology is cool. It can be incredibly effective way to promote your cause. But hard wires don’t necessarily create human bonds. Your social media strategy can’t simply be a toolset – it needs to be a conduit to living beings. “Java” doesn’t inspire people unless you’re talking about the kind you get from Starbucks. Technology doesn’t compel people. People do.I’m taking this precious space to make this point because I think it goes in the forgotten fundamentals category that is the focus of this column. It is all too easy to fall in love with all the sexy social media tools out there and forget WHY people are attracted to social media in the first place. If you don’t stay grounded in the basic human needs that fuel the success of those shiny tools, you will be – in the words of Nicole Engelbert from Datamonitor – a fool with a tool.There are a lot of lengthy and overwhelming definitions of social media, social networking and Web 2.0 out there – pick your jargon. I will not quote them here. Let me give you my definition.All that social media stuff is simply people using the Internet to:1. Be seen and heard2. Connect with each otherThat’s it. And that’s as basic and human as you can get. Social media is about the social, not the media.Here are some examples.Bloggers and vloggers want a platform for personal expression, and they like connecting with people who care about their content. (In case you’ve been living off the grid for the last few years, blogs are personal online journals/columns. Vlogs are video blogs.) Everyone can be a pundit in the world of social media. Even I have one.Social networkers want a platform for personal expression (think a MySpace page), and they want to connect with others (think online “friends”). So do people (including your kids) who love instant messaging.Being seen and heard and connecting are the emotions that drive social media, and they should drive your online outreach strategy. This should be a relief to all of us who think we lack the technological chops to successfully participate in the online world. You don’t need to be under age 20 or an IT director, you just need to grasp what makes it work.Here’s a six-step way to make that happen. And you need to make it happen. Why? Because online outreach is a cost-effective and efficient way to reach people at a time when we’re all low on resources. Because it’s a way to find new constituencies and reach a new, younger generation of donors. Because giving up control of the message and having a conversation can strengthen your relationship with the people with support you. And if none of that moves you, remember that people tend to donate more money online.The Six Steps to Winning Hearts and Minds on Web 2.0:1. STOP! If your Executive Director is commanding you to start a blog or get a Facebook presence today, stop right there. Spend a bit of time thinking more strategically. You want to figure out WHO you’re trying to reach online, WHERE they are, and HOW to best communicate with them. If starting a new blog (and there are already tens of millions of them), you want to be sure there’s a case for it. 2. LOOK AND LISTEN! The beauty of the Internet is you can quickly find the people online that are predisposed to your cause. In a world where there are active online communities of people fascinated by medieval pottery or support groups for people struck by lightning (really), there is surely is a constituency that loves your cause, somewhere out there. Find those people, watch where they are congregating and listen to what they are saying. This is very easy to do by setting up simple alerts so that each time someone mentions your organization or anything related to your cause online, you will be notified. Check out www.google.com/alerts and watch lists on www.technorati.com 3. SEE AND HEAR! Start acknowledging what potential supporters are saying. Post friendly comments on their blogs with constructive thoughts and useful information, openly identifying who you are and your organization. Bloggers love those kinds of comments. They like having an audience! Do the same on online communities, MySpace pages, etc. Give online communities useful tools and interesting content from your organization. Be generous.4. CHOOSE! At this stage, you’ll have a growing sense of whether there’s a need for you to blog or participate more formally in a social network. Be strategic about concentrating your efforts in a few high-yield areas.5. BE EASY TO FIND! Part of social networking is going out and connecting to people. Also make sure you’re easy to find so people can connect to you. Be sure your website can be easily located via search engines. If you decide to have a social networking page, give it an obvious name. Don’t be so clever you don’t show up in search.6. ASK! Once you have relationships with supporters on social media, give them different ways to help you – not just by giving money, but telling their story, spreading the word and expressing their opinion about your issue – in their own words. Turn the conversation into collaboration for social change. Give up control. You never had it anyway.
Author information:Winston Bowden, email himVisit the website: www.contactology.com Nonprofits are confronted with many of the questions that any other enterprise, small or large, often ponders: How do I connect with my customers? Which communication vehicle will provide my organization with the highest return on investment? How can I determine what my target market wants?While many of our corporate friends have turned to email marketing to help answer these questions, the concept is comparatively new to nonprofits. Email marketing may not be the silver bullet for every problem, but it provides us with an efficient and affordable tool to communicate with our constituents.Whether you’re launching a membership drive, soliciting donations, or selling tickets to a fundraising event, email marketing can provide the biggest bang for your buck. This article provides information on how to develop successful email marketing tactics and strategies that can be applied both to nonprofits and to businesses. Step 3: Avoid too much of a good thing-email only as often as your list wantsSimply blanketing a general contact list with too many untargeted emails may be doing your organization a disservice. A recent survey by Convio found that 36% of significant donors said they are more likely to donate again if the organization permits them to say how often they’d like to be emailed.As the email marketer for your nonprofit, you should make it a top priority to identify the unique frequency-based groupings in your list and make sure you’re sending them exactly what they requested and when they requested the information.VAE has several email lists:Call for ArtistsCall for SponsorsCall for VolunteersEvent UpdatesBy making an effort to keep content in line with the list descriptions, VAE has maintained a consistent open rate of more than 50% and a click-through rate of 9%.In the past, VAE did not utilize an email marketing software package and had no means of measuring campaign effectiveness. Today, VAE consistently tracks each campaign’s results so that email marketing strategies can be adjusted as needed. Step 2: Building buzz with email marketingFrequent newsletter communications keep your interested members in the loop. Whether you are driving event attendance, seeking volunteers, or requesting online donations, a regular email newsletter keeps your membership engaged.VAE recently used email marketing tactics to increase online tickets sales from 8% to 20% for its gala, which serves as the organization’s major fundraiser. Regular email updates were a critical part of the ticket sales strategy. Each message provided something new and fresh about the gala. VAE didn’t bombard members with the same announcement, but provided them with new data on the event each email blast: Who are the new sponsors this month? How many tickets have been sold? How many artists will have work in the silent and live auctions? What can you tell your members to excite them, and ultimately allure them to follow through with the appropriate action? Step 4: Keep the feedback loop openIt is a good practice to request feedback from your email recipients regardless of what you are sending. Give your receivers a place to talk back. Make it short and simple and place it toward the bottom of your communication. Comments from your audience make for great content for future email newsletters and also allow you to gauge the pulse of your members. Step 1: Building your contact listThere are dozens of articles on how to build an effective email list, and most will identify similar strategies:Face-to-face sign-up sheetPaid searchSearch engine optimizationA link to your subscription center on your signature lineA link on your online donation or event-registration checkoutThese tactics are tried and true. There are dozens of others, but as email marketers know, the biggest taboos are rented or purchased lists. Our goal when helping a nonprofit build its initial contact list is to create a strong group of members who have specifically requested information from the organization.The Visual Art Exchange (VAE) is a Raleigh, NC-based nonprofit that supports emerging artists in the local community. VAE receives the majority of email sign-ups not from the Web but from visitors to its art gallery in downtown Raleigh. Whether you have a retail face to your nonprofit or you simply have a pen and paper at your office’s front desk, do not underestimate the power of face-to-face sign-ups.However, Web site sign-up forms are also important. Most email marketing providers automatically generate a sign-up link that can easily be placed on your homepage. Summing UpWhether you are sending an email campaign or conducting a survey, listen to your list. Your email list represents an active portion of your membership. They have requested content, so they have an immediate interest in what you have to say. Providing them with value-added material will reinforce their dedication to your nonprofit.After implementing a basic email marketing strategy, the Visual Art Exchange was able to increase traffic to its Web site 200%, increase the size of its membership 40%, and double its annual revenue.By thinking like a marketer, you too can help your nonprofit grow its programs, services, and offerings, enabling you to serve your members better.Copyright 2000-2008 MarketingProfs.comAll Rights Reserved Step 5: Conduct regular surveysSurveys are structured requests for feedback and can be a great way for you to gather feedback on what your readers want to see. Send them out sparingly and with deliberation, as they take a greater time commitment from your list. If you would like to conduct surveys more than quarterly, consider creating an advisory segment and send more frequent surveys to that group.VAE recently surveyed its members to determine what new program offerings members wanted to see. Some 40% of email recipients responded. In addition, the email VAE sent to its member list received a 44% click-through rate and a 48% open rate.Members want to have the opportunity to provide feedback. A quarterly survey, performed online, is an efficient and inexpensive way to gauge members interests.