Tag: 上海419龙凤最新

SETI Camp Promotes Make Believe

first_img“Every kid loves to play make believe,” wrote Lisa Grossman for Space.com’s “SETI Thursday” feature.  How did Lisa spend her summer?  Playing make believe with 16 undergraduates at a NSF- and NASA-funded SETI camp.  “For many of us, the experience was nothing short of fantasy fulfillment,” she cheerfully said in her report entitled, “How I Spent My Summer at SETI.”  The SETI Institute organized the event.    Her report, in fact, seemed long on make-believe and short on evidence.  For Grossman, fantasizing began in third grade and carried through non-stop to SETI Camp (or, more formally, the Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates).I imagined a universe full of tiny, hardy life.  Why not?  Microbes can live comfortably in the most absurdly unfriendly reaches of the planet.  If these little creatures can survive in volcanoes, at the bottom of the ocean, embedded in glacial ice, and even in countless human guts, then they must be able to exist on other planets!  Life must be absolutely everywhere!    I didn’t know then that there was an entire community of scientists who felt exactly the same way.  I certainly didn’t expect that before I’d even graduated from college, I’d be working with them.(Cf. 03/29/2007 entry.)  She mentions what some fellow campers worked on: searching for extrasolar planets, studying the geology of Europa, working on a Mars lander instrument, watching meteors, and other projects.  Nothing Grossman mentioned, though, provided any direct evidence for life beyond Earth.  What the projects did do was to harness youthful euphoria for otherwise mundane research:Another student spent her days studying the geology of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.  Scientists believe that it has a vast liquid water ocean beneath a layer of ice at the surface.  She analyzed images of Europa from the Galileo mission, looking for areas of the surface whose appearance changed over time and trying to determine if those changes are what you would expect if there were a liquid ocean.  She thinks the possibilities for life on Europa are especially exciting.  ’As soon as I heard about Europa, I thought, ‘Oh, awesome.  Let’s look for lobsters!‘’ she said.  So far, she hasn’t discovered any Europan crustaceans, but she’s enjoyed learning more about geology and approaching biology and chemistry from an astronomy perspective.Grossman discussed all the fun the others were having with their experiments – not one of which found any evidence for life out there.  Just the possibility that might play some role in the hunt was enough to make their scientific work a thrill of lifetime.  Why, it’s just like in the movies:All of us got to take a week-long field trip to the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, home of the Allen Telescope Array, where Jill Tarter, SETI’s director of research and the inspiration for Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, explained how the telescopes work and what research they’ll be used for.  Several of us even camped overnight in tents under the array.  It wasn’t very scientifically useful, but it was definitely something to write home about.So the hunting came up entirely empty; “Nevertheless, whether we continue on in astrobiology or not, this summer of playing alien hunters will stay with us.”  Thanks for the memories; sorry about the data.    She ended on a missionary appeal, encouraging readers to spread the word about next year’s SETI Camp.Here’s a suggestion for them.  The name “Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates” is way dullsville and has no catchy acronym.  Nor does it convey what the SETI Camp is all about.  It fails to encapsulate the experience of being there.  They need something that connotes vivid imagery and action, where anything can become vibrant and moving and animated, where even stars, bubbles and volcanos can spring to life.  Maybe they should call it Fantasia.    Should you awaken someone who is enjoying a fun dream?  What’s the harm of a blissful fantasy?  Even if life is never found, and if the evidence continues to go against them (read Michael Egnor’s comments and see the 07/27/2007 and 02/15/2007 entries), why spoil someone’s party? (read Larry Caldwell’s comments).  After all, lots of internet gamers and denizens of Second Life take their fantasies very seriously.  Maybe SETI Camp keeps them away from a life of idleness and crime.  Maybe something good will come from it, like chemistry did from alchemy, even if the hoped-for dream never materializes.  Their youthful zeal will advance our knowledge of extrasolar planets, the geology of planetary moons, the adaptations of extremophiles, and mineral content of meteors, with or without mythical lobsters under Europa’s ice.  And the Intelligent Design community can continue to harvest the irony of Contact (12/03/2005) whether or not the dreamers catch on.  What’s the matter, isn’t this all worth a little taxpayer money?  Still, it’s kind of sad….(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Tennis SA overhauls its Fed Cup system

first_img18 March 2014Earl Grainger, South Africa’s newly appointed Fed Cup captain, is on a mission to improve women’s tennis in the country. On Monday, Grainger, together with Tennis South Africa, announced a complete overhaul of the Fed Cup system in the country.A Fed Cup squad comprising of 15 of the country’s top senior and junior players has been confirmed for 2014, and for the first time in years it includes South Africa’s highest ranked women’s singles player, Chani Scheepers, who last made herself available for Fed Cup duty in 2005.Grainger said that he had held long discussions with Scheepers, who was very excited by the new plans.‘Totally committed’“Chani assured me that she is totally committed to South African tennis,” Grainger said in a statement.“We spoke about her not being available for Fed Cup in the past and we discussed the future. Chani wants to help us in every possible way and I was delighted that she agreed to be part of the Fed Cup squad.”SquadTwelve of the 15 squad members were announced on Monday. They are: Chani Scheepers; Chanel Simmonds; Natasha Fourouclas; Madrie Le Roux; Natalie Grandin; Ilze Hattingh; Michelle Sammons; Lynn Kiro; Zani Barnard; Lee Barnard; Theresa Van Zyl; and Janet Koch. Three more players will be added to the squad shortly.The players in the squad were selected according to their world rankings and participation on the WTA Tour. Juniors with potential were also considered and players that supported the TSA tournament programme were given added consideration.Euro Africa Group 2 tournamentGrainger said that he would announce his Fed Cup team on Friday to play in the Euro Africa Group 2 tournament in Lithuania from 16 to 19 April.“I will be monitoring the players, their progress and their schedules at all times,” Grainger explained. “I will also be at all major local and international tournaments to watch the players compete and be on hand at these events to offer them advice.”ConsultantsTennis South Africa also confirmed that two consultants – seasoned doubles specialist Natalie Grandin of Durban and leading coach Allan Karam of Pretoria – would work with Grainger on the Fed Cup project. Grandin and Karam would be on hand not only to advise Grainger but also to work with the players in the squad.Karam said that the aim was to build for the future. “Let’s not be fooled, there is plenty of talent in our country. All we need to do is identify players, nurture and develop their skills, and look at long term success for our country.“I am optimistic about this new look Fed Cup project. As long as we give the girls every opportunity available to enable them to progress and develop, this added support will for sure assist them in becoming successful professional players, which will in turn be good for our Fed Cup hopes,” Karam added.He warned, however, that the road ahead would be a big challenge. “It’s not going to be easy, but Earl has some really great and positive vision, and Natalie and I look forward to the challenge.”‘This is a great idea’Grandin shared a similar view to Karam, and was feeling positive about her involvement with the project. “I am and have always been happy to help Tennis South Africa,” she said. “I think this is a great idea and I am sure that with all my years of experience playing in the Fed Cup team, and on the pro tour, I will be able to help South Africa move up to Group 1. The team definitely has enough talent to move up and be a strong contender in years to come.”Free of charge training squads for the players are planned to be held at least four times a year, with the players in the squad being given top class technical, physical and mental training to prepare them for the professional tour.‘Hard, dedicated work’“Hard, dedicated work will enable the girls to earn a place in the squad. My plan is to give the girls something that they have never experienced before and after each squad session I really want the girls to have gained enormously from the technical, physical and mental sessions we will offer them,” Grainger said.He warned, though, that the players would have to work hard and win matches to keep their spots in the squad. “I need a hard working bunch of players that are totally committed to their game, to Tennis South Africa and the country as a whole. If they are not committed and show signs of poor performance they will stand a chance of losing their spot in the squad,” he said.The first squad session will be held at Johannesburg’s Bedfordview Tennis Club from 9 to 12 April.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Genuine Progress Indicators

first_imgThe problem with GDPPerhaps no one has articulated the problems with measuring our society’s success using the metric of gross domestic product (GDP) or gross national product (GNP) better than Senator Robert Kennedy, way back in 1968:       “Our gross national product — if we should judge America by that — counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.       “Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”Gross domestic product emerged as a metric of our country’s total economic performance following the Great Depression. It is the value of a nation’s goods and services produced over an entire year. That single metric became the default measure of our society’s well-being, a job for which it is poorly suited. The second annual Slow Living Summit was held in Brattleboro this past week. Featuring such presenters as David Orr of Oberlin College, Woody Tasch, the founder of the organization Slow Money, and Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, along with Governor Peter Shumlin, and Senator Bernie Sanders, the conference advanced alternatives to fast food, fast money, and the fast pace of life — with an emphasis on local food, local economies, resilient communities, and sustainability.According to the Slow Living Summit website, slow living expresses the fundamental paradigm shift that is underway in this age, recognizing the transformative change from faster and cheaper, to slower and better — where quality, community and the future matter. It’s about slowing down and becoming more mindful of our basic connection with land, place, and people, taking the long view that builds a healthy and fulfilling way of life for the generations to come. It is about common good taking precedence over private gain.While there were many inspiring sessions at the Slow Living Summit, I’ll focus here on just one: a session addressing alternative metrics of success: genuine progress indicators. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also coauthored BuildingGreen’s special report on windows that just came out. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.center_img Introducing GPITo address this concern, there have been various alternative metrics proposed to measure societal well-being. These efforts were covered at the Slow Living Summit session I attended. Tom Barefoot, founder of the Waitsfield, Vermont-based organization, Gross National Happiness USA, provided context on this type of accounting, and Chelsea Ferrell, previously of the School for International Training in Brattleboro, provided (via Skype) some personal observations of this mindset from her travels in the Buddhist nation of Bhutan, whose king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, coined the term “Gross National Happiness” in 1972.In the same session, Jon Erickson, a professor and managing director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, described Vermont’s ground-breaking approach to such alternative metrics of well-being. Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill passed by the Vermont Legislature to develop and test a genuine progress indicator for the state.As described in the enabling legislation, “the purpose of the genuine progress indicator (GPI) is to measure the state of Vermont’s economic, environmental, and societal well-being as a supplement to the measurement derived from the gross state product and other existing statistical measurements.” The legislation instructs the Secretary of Administration to work with the Gund Institute to establish and test this GPI — initially by January 15, 2013 and every other year thereafter.A similar GPI was developed in Maryland in 2010 as an initiative of Governor Martin O’Malley, but the Vermont action is the first time a state has taken formal legislative action to create such a metric.The exciting thing about genuine progress indicators is that decision-making and policies will be able to be based on data that considers not only the monetary value of transactions, but also metrics of health and well-being of residents, environmental protection, natural resources, and sustainability. When we are able to base decision-making on such indicators of genuine progress, momentum will likely increase for natural resource protection, energy conservation and renewable energy sources, income equality, public health, and a host of other issues that will help to ensure a healthy, prosperous state.last_img read more

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Which Inbound Marketing Tools Are Most Powerful? All of Them, Together.

first_imgIf you were paying attention two years ago, you knew that the fastest way to turn your company into an online marketing juggernaut was to master search engine optimization. , i.e. improve off-page SEO. Content gives people a reason to link to your site. If you only have five pages on your website, there are only five reasons to link to your site. If you’re creating new pages every day, there are new reasons to link to your site every day. On-Page SEO Goals Listen to customers and prospects.  The conversation in online marketing swings faster than  Social Media Goals SEO, blogging or social media — the components of inbound marketing — can’t be done in isolation. Businesses need to focus on getting found by customers, and using these tactics together to achieve that goal. inbound links . If you follow it, your business gets whiplash — one minute focused on one set of tools and tactics, the next focused on a completely different set. You end up spending all your time dabbling in the latest approach to marketing, but moving on before you really figure out how to make it work. Photo:  David Ortiz Distribute our content, which builds our reach and increases the liklihood of links coming back into our site (links improve both direct traffic and seo). Increase our company’s reach (its ability to drive direct traffic) via RSS & email subscriptions. At HubSpot, we encourage our customers to experiment with new technologies, but to do it in a methodical, analytical way. The  What are your goals for each of your inbound marketing channels? How do you avoid getting swept up in the hype that surrounds each specific channel?  Originally published Jan 15, 2009 8:52:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Increase our website’s keyword density, keyword volume and freshness. More content means more content with keywords for Google to index.  Inbound Marketing Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Last year? Blogging. Topics: Increase our company trust and transparency. Huge reach and great SEO is useless if nobody trusts or understands our company.  framework helps keep these tactics clear. fallsroad on Flickr Download the free webinar Blogging & Content Goals Develop trust and transparency. This improves conversions once you get people on your site, and makes people more likely to spread your content and come back to your site. Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR If you’re a curmudgeon or a Luddite, you don’t pay too much attention to all this fuss. You don’t take any risks with new-fangled techniques, so you don’t get caught up in useless hype. Of course, you miss useful hype, too. When other businesses figure out how to use new techniques profitably, you get left behind. Increase search engine traffic to our site. for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Inbound Marketing Create more  To keep from getting swept up in the hype surrounding any one of these tactics, we focus on a series of specific goals for each channel: This year? Social media. Create content that we can share on social networks. Networks like Twitter and Facebook are better when you have content to share. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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HubSpot TV – Social Impressions and Engagement 2.0

first_img karenrubin Chick-fil-A is running a unitwith “a call to action to “Get a free chicken biscuit now.” When a userclicks on the link, a form solicits his or her shipping address.” Marketing Takeaway : Find your niche audience and engage with them! Originally published Sep 5, 2009 9:01:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 How Companies are Benefiting from Web 2.0 : Unless you are a media company.  Then you have bigger problems.  Create as much content as you can, unless you’re a media company… Have You Ever Seen an $11,000.00 Tweet? “Howlong does it take Google to recognize new inbound links? Check out thisreport from website grader…it says that I have as many as 423 inboundlinks. “Thiswas not planned, it was spontaneous.  It happened because Amandacreated something and invited her fans to help her mold that creationand share in the ownership of the finished product.” Alternative Marketing Takeaway: Doing It Right Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers Closing 48% found value in using video and Headlines with Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Snail Mail Comes to Social Networks Inbound Link Discrepancy 48% found value in suing social networking Marketing Takeaway Amanda Palmer tweeted “i hereby call THE LOSERS OF FRIDAY NIGHT ON THEIR COMPUTERS to ORDER, motherf*cker.” : If you advertise, try to use direct response ads whenever possible. Subscribe in iTunes: NFL bans tweeting before, during, after games Marketing Takeaway 25% conversion rate for the past year – on a joke! ComScorereports that “social networking sites accounted for more than 20percent of all display ads viewed online, with MySpace and Facebookcombining to deliver more than 80 percent of ads among sites in thesocial networking category” Episode #56 – September 4th, 2009 (Episode Length: 23 minutes, 40 seconds) Marketing Tip of the Week: #LOFNOTCcenter_img Forum Fodder Big factor driving success: integrating web 2.0 with othertechnologies and processes – 75% of people who saw a benefit of web 2.0said this was important. Over half the companies said they were planning on increasing their investment in web 2.0 technologies. www.Jonahsgerms.com Another section The $11,000 Tweet “TheNFL said that it will let players, coaches, and other team personnelengage in social networking during the season. However, they will beprohibited from using Twitter and from updating profiles on Facebookand other social-networking sites during games…In addition, they willnot be allowed to tweet or update social-networking profiles 90 minutesbefore a game and until post-game interviews are completed. The ruleseven extend to people “representing” a player or coach on theirpersonal accounts.” Marketing Takeaway How to interact on Twitter: @ : Organic social network activity drives more engagement than advertising. SocialNetworking Sites Account for More than 20 Percent of All U.S. OnlineDisplay Ad Impressions, According to comScore Ad Metrix NFL Throws the Flag on Social Media How companies are benefiting from Web 2.0: McKinsey Global Survey Results and learn how to generate more business using social media. only shows that I have 259 links. Why this discrepancy? Google has beenshowing I only have 259 IBL’s for a while now, even though I know Ihave many more. Do they crawl Inbound Links in spurts?” “AT&T ranked as the topdisplay advertiser on social networking sites in June with more than 2billion ad impressions, which accounted for 30 percent of the company’stotal number of display ads delivered during the month” Marketing Takeaway http://itunes.hubspot.tv/ in your tweet. Try to find a small or niche audience that no one else is talking to, become one of them, and do something really cool for them. : Start integrating web 2.0 into your business today to get ahead of your competition. Facebook debuts direct response ad units Download the free video Learn how to use social media to attract more customers. www.HubSpot.tv “Facebookhas released a new set of direct response ad units, updating itsengagement ad platform that lets brands offer coupons and free samplesto the social network’s users.” Intro 51% of people found value in using blogs Social Media Accounts for 20% of all Ad Impressions In terms of finding value in communicating with customers mvolpe & @last_img read more

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Why IT SHOULD Be Involved in Marketing Software Decisions

first_img Why do you need to bring in IT? Join the debate!  Do you think IT teams should or Topics: This is part of 2 articles regarding the debate about the role Internet technology (IT) departments should play in making marketing software decisions.  Read part one, ” At the end of the day, your IT department will appreciate you for getting them involved in the process.  If you don’t, Photo courtesy of 2. IT may not want the maintenance but will be called in anyway prepare to buy lots of donuts 3. Marketing does not understand IT a full strategy Decision Making . in place is the key to any large Web project.  I even agree with Matt that IT should not make the final decision.  However, failing to bring IT into the process after you’ve narrowed down your software choices to 3-5 different products or platforms practically guarantees failure.  At the very minimum, it guarantees a lack of IT resources dedicated to you and continues to sour the already contentious IT/Marketing relationship. and learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Learn how to redesign your website with an internet marketing strategy in mind with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing. Originally published Feb 22, 2010 12:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 1. Your IT team needs to plan for your project Download the Webinar Now Erin Vermeer . Let’s face it: any software or Web project is going to touch IT somehow.  Even something as simple as moving your website requires IT to do something.  By bringing in IT early, you can allow them to plan to dedicate some of their resources to your project. . If you want IT’s time and attention (you know you will need it at some point during the project), try to understand their priorities.  Businesses cannot survive without their technology, so IT’s primary purpose is to keep the virtual lights on.  That puts your request at the end of a very long list.  If you get IT involved in your decision-making process early on, you have a better guarantee of IT’s resources when you need them. have a hand in making marketing software decisions? I agree with Matt that having shouldn’t Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Why IT Shouldn’t Be Involved in Marketing Software Decisions ,” written by HubSpot Inbound Marketing Specialist, Matt Sullivan. Free Webinar: Website Redesign for 2010 . Matt’s 7-hour car trip aside (7 hours in a car, 7 years as head of two IT departments — same thing, right?), anyone in IT can tell you that, despite trying to get out of it, they’ll have to help you out with maintenance of anything that touches computers.  Very little is as frustrating as being surprised with product questions for a product you didn’t know existed.  Oh, and don’t forget that the marketing department just might complain to executives that IT doesn’t know what it’s doing when IT can’t answer that surprise question…last_img read more

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10 Festive Holiday eCards for the Sharing #HoHoHubSpot

first_img Topics: Holiday Marketing Originally published Dec 15, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Now that the holiday season is in full swing, Hu, our sometimes naughty, sometimes nice  HubSpot Unicorn has some more festive holiday eCards to share with you. So as you’re decorating your tree, wrapping presents, or lighting the menorah, share some laughs and marketing cheer with family, friends, and co-workers with a HubSpot Holiday eCard from the HubSpot Unicorn!Here are 10 cheerful holiday eCards for your enjoyment. If you’re looking for more holiday-inspired unicorn fun, you can find more eCards to share here or follow @HubSpotUnicorn on Twitter.Happy holidays from HubSpot and the HubSpot Unicorn! Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(The 2nd day is going to be a bit of a let down.)  Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(Okay! I admit it! I admit it!) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(‘Just in case’ is never a good idea.) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(Well maybe he should have been checking in more.)  Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(I assume the more drinks, the better I am at spelling anyway.) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(I’d be careful. He is a mean one.) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(I bet you’d look good in a tutu.) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(What? Is that not how the song goes?) Tweet this eCard  Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(But I didn’t ask for rainbow stickers?) Tweet this eCard   Share on Facebook  Post on Google+(That seems a bit harsh, but thanks!) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Everything Marketers Need to Know About Creating Exclusionary Personas

first_imgYou know those people who poke around your website for hours? Download every lead generation offer you have? Comment on every blog post you write? ‘Like’ every Facebook update you’ve ever posted?They are sooo gonna be a customer.Except they might not be. What they might be is a lookey-loo. Or a fan-girl. Or someone with no budget. Or a student dreaming about their future job. Or a reader who just thinks you’re really funny.What I’m trying to say is, sometimes, despite every single indicator otherwise, some leads will never, ever buy. And if you spend precious sales and marketing resources trying to convert that segment of your audience into customers, you’ll end up with two things: a closed lost and a bummed out attitude.But you can sidestep this problem — by creating some exclusionary personas for your business. “Exclusionary personas?” you may be muttering … “What on earth are those?” So glad you asked! Let me write a blog post to explain.What’s an Exclusionary Persona?To explain what an exclusionary persona is — sometimes also called a “negative” persona — let’s first briefly revisit the definition of a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an archetype of who your ideal customer is. It helps you identify who they are and what matters to them so you can market and sell to them more effectively. You create an exclusionary persona to do, essentially, the exact opposite; that is to say that exclusionary personas are archetypes of who you don’t want as a customer that will help you identify who you should not spend time marketing and selling to.Why Should You Create Exclusionary Personas?Now, when I say you shouldn’t spend time marketing or selling to these less-than-ideal customers, a little clarification is in order. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t retweet their content if it’s good. Or engage with them on Facebook if they post a good comment. Or thank them for commenting on your blog post. It’s still important to grow your reach, even if some of them will never buy — if you don’t believe that, just read this blog post.What I mean is that some leads just aren’t a good fit for your business. Here are some reasons why:They may never actually buy your product or service.They may become a customer, but they were an inordinately expensive customer to acquire.They may become a customer, but you never recoup the costs of acquiring them because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again from your company.So while you can still engage with those who fall into your exclusionary persona bucket (and absolutely should — they could still be influencers, after all), you don’t want to spend significant sales and marketing budget converting them into leads and customers. If you have identified who these people are, however, you can quickly segment them out from the rest of your buyer personas, achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer, and see higher sales productivity as a result.Walking Through the Creation of an Exclusionary PersonaIf any of these scenarios sound familiar, you might need an exclusionary persona for your company. But how do you create one? Let’s make up a fake company — we’ll go with HR Solutions Galore — and a fake exclusionary persona to show you how to create one for your company. To ensure you really understand how the exclusionary persona relates to the buyer persona, let’s review who this company’s ideal buyer persona is first. We can grab Sample Sally from our persona creation PowerPoint template as the archetype of who HR Solutions Galore wants to sell to:Her biggest challenges are rolling out her initiatives to the entire company without hiccups, and to do that, she desperately needs help from a software company that can help her manage all of her employee data in one place. Right now, it’s kind of a jumbled mess and she doesn’t have the technological wherewithal to fix it. Even worse, she needs to somehow integrate all of that data with existing systems in legal and finance. Managing data and people in other departments? It’s quite a pain in the toosh, to say the least.Feel like you know Sample Sally a little bit better now? Great. Now, who else might come into HR Solutions Galore’s lead queue who looks like a good fit, but in reality, ends up being a total bust?Our fake exclusionary persona, Legalese Leonard! Instead of giving you the brief summary like we did above, let’s break down exactly what kind of information your exclusionary persona would include by showing you how you’d fill in the persona template.Fill in Basic Demographic Information Pay special attention to the “Identifiers” section. This is how your sales team will know when they’ve hooked a Lenny — or your exclusionary persona equivalent — so they don’t invest copious amounts of time trying to close the deal.Provide Some Sample Indicators for Your Sales Team Pay particular attention to that last section, “How We Help.” Even if you’re not selling directly to your exclusionary persona, they may still work within your buyer persona’s organization. That means you have to be able to put their concerns at ease with your buyer persona, too, and your buyer persona may have inklings of this persona’s problems themselves.Gathering Data to Fill in Your Exclusionary PersonaYou may be wondering … where do I get all this information? The same way you got the information when you developed your buyer personas — by interviewing, surveying, and talking to leads, customers, and former customers. In fact, former customers are one of the best places to start! If you’re using closed-loop analytics, you can also reach out to those leads and customers who exhibit the behaviors we outlined in the second section of this blog post — “Why Should You Create Exclusionary Personas?” — to see if they have any common qualities.For example, you might interview a sample of customers who closed, but with a very low average sale price. Or perhaps you could speak with some customers with very low customer satisfaction scores, which might be an indication they were never really a proper fit for your company. And perhaps one of the easiest buckets of people to interview due to their sheer enthusiasm for your brand — you could get in touch with your biggest fans! You know, the ones who download your content incessantly, click through all your emails, and engage with you in social media … and have been doing so for years without ever converting into a customer. You can bet they’ll be pumped to talk to you, and you can learn a lot about them that might help you figure out why they aren’t a good fit for your product or service.As you pick out some of your less-than-ideal leads and customers and learn more about them, you’ll identify common characteristics and habits that will help you shape your exclusionary personas. If you need help with the process, reference our blog post, “Everything Marketers Need to Research & Create Detailed Buyer Personas” for a refresher.Have you created exclusionary personas for your business yet?Image credit: themonnie Originally published Sep 12, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Topics:center_img If a salesperson doesn’t identify an exclusionary persona right away, it’s helpful to provide some more meaty indicators that they’ve snagged a live one. As their conversation continues, they’ll be able to better identify some of the common objections unique to your exclusionary persona, and may even recognize something that sounds pretty similar to the direct quotes you’ve listed.Fill in Your Exclusionary Persona’s Motivators Buyer Personas Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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The Business Blogger’s Ultimate Guide to Mastering Lead Generation

first_img Lead Generation Originally published Oct 19, 2012 1:47:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Within Individual ArticlesIn addition to your blog’s homepage, lead gen opportunities abound within the blog articles you publish themselves. In fact, these are some of the more effective ways to leverage your blog for lead generation, because you have the ability to better target readers based on the articles they’re reading, which are the types of articles and topics that interest them.For example, if you’re a unicorn breeder who typically blogs about 3 main topics — unicorn diet, unicorn grooming, and unicorn fitness/exercise — your blog articles will probably fall under these three main categories. If a reader is reading an article specifically about unicorn diet, you have the opportunity to feature a CTA for an offer specifically geared toward that very topic. Remember: relevancy increases conversion rates!Let’s take a look at how these different types of lead gen opportunities might play out on a blog:4) End-of-Post CTA Buttons: Your blog visitor just got finished reading your article about what not to feed your unicorn. What better time to promote your hit ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Healthy Unicorn Diets? The beauty of end-of-post CTA buttons is that they help you leverage the reader’s interest in that very topic — or a related one. Be sure to choose a CTA for the most relevant offer pertaining to the specific topic you’re blogging about for the best success with end-of-post CTA buttons. In terms of design, optimize these buttons for the width of your blog articles.At HubSpot, again, we’ve found that bolder end-of-post CTA buttons that stand out from the rest of the content tend to perform best, but you should experiment with different designs to see what works best for you and your readers.5) Top/Mid-Post CTA Buttons: Besides end-of-post CTAs, you can also experiment with other placement of in-post CTAs if you want to take a more “in your face” approach. The key is to try to do this as unobtrusively as possible. Don’t go overboard — be subtle, and make sure the offers you’re promoting here are educational-focused so you’re helping, not annoying, your readers.6) Anchor Text Links to Landing Pages: Not every lead gen opportunity on your blog has to be achieved through button-based CTAs. Anchor text links to landing pages can be a great way to sprinkle a little lead gen fairy dust into the actual copy of your blog post — and at the same time, help you to optimize your landing pages for search! Link some of the keywords to relevant landing pages, as you can see in the first example below, which links to the landing page for our ebook on dynamic content. You can even be a little bit more obvious about it using a text-based call-to-action to download the offer, as you can see in the second example below.Off Your BlogThat’s right! There are opportunities to generate and reconvert leads from your blog even if a visitor isn’t physically hanging out there. Here are a couple of good ones to note:7) In RSS Readers: Let’s face it — there is probably a good chunk of your blog readers who consume your blog content without actually visiting your website. People who subscribe to your blog via RSS may choose to add your blog’s RSS feed to an RSS reader like Google Reader, eliminating the need to ever come back to your blog. Don’t miss out on capturing these types of readers as leads! The good news is, if you’re already optimizing your individual articles themselves for lead gen using in-post CTAs, your blog will automatically be lead gen optimized for folks’ RSS readers since the full contents of the post will get pulled into those readers. Easy as pie! Furthermore, if you’re a HubSpot user, you can even customize your blog settings to add an additional CTA to your RSS footer, which automatically displays at the end of every post in RSS.8) In-Blog Subscriber Email Notifications: So what about all your email subscribers who read your new articles in full directly in their inboxes? Don’t worry — you can capture them as leads, too! And again, if you’re already optimizing your individual articles for lead gen, there’s no additional work needed on your part here either, since any CTAs or anchor text links will automatically get pulled into the email, too.9 Ways to Optimize Your Blog’s Lead Gen PotentialOkay, so let’s say you’re already taking advantage of all these various blog lead generation and reconversion opportunities. What can you do to give it a little boost? Optimize, that’s what! Here are nine ways to improve you blog’s lead gen potential once you have the basics in place.1) Replace Old CTAs With CTAs for New OffersOffers, no matter how evergreen they are, tend to get stale and decrease in effectiveness after a while. If you’re using the same few CTAs over and over, there’s no doubt about it — your overall conversions on that offer will decline. Make it a regular practice of updating old CTAs with new CTAs for new offers to keep your audience converting. This of course means you’ll need to be creating these new offers, too.2) A/B Test CTA DesignsThe design of your CTAs can also make or break whether visitors click. Experiment with various CTA designs to find out what resonates best with your audience. A/B test CTA button design elements like button color, language, imagery, tone, etc. to optimize for the most powerful CTA design. (Note: HubSpot customers can easily A/B test CTAs using HubSpot’s CTA tools.)3) Refresh Designs RegularlyJust as it’s important to update the offers you’re featuring in your blog CTAs, even A/B tested and optimized CTA design can also get stale when used over and over again since readers get used to designs and train their eyes to gloss over them. Regularly refresh your CTA designs to keep readers on their toes, whether that means hiring a designer, outsourcing design work to an agency, or experimenting on your own with something like PowerPoint or HubSpot’s CTA builder.4) Implement Smart CTAsMost businesses will find that their blog tends to attract a lot of new traffic to their website. This makes sense, since articles commonly get indexed and found in search engines or shared through social networks. Because this is the case, it’s safe to assume that very top-of-the-funnel offers like educational ebook and webinars would make great blog CTA fodder, since most of your new visitors probably know little about your business and are just starting to get to know you.That being said, don’t dismiss the fact that your blog also attracts repeat visitors (particularly if your content is top notch!). These repeat visitors may be a little bit more qualified (heck — they may already even be leads), and it might make sense to show them different CTAs based on what you already know about them. Enter Smart CTAs, or dynamic CTAs that enable you to automatically display different CTAs based on information about a lead and better nurture them with content that appeals to their specific interests and needs. To learn more about how to leverage Smart CTAs, check out this comprehensive blog post guide.5) Experiment With CTA PlacementPerhaps mid-post CTAs just end up annoying the heck out of your readers, or just never get clicked. What happens if you move up that sidebar CTA so it’s above the fold on your blog’s homepage? What if you had not one, but two sidebar CTAs? Experiment! You’ll never know how your audience reacts if you don’t try different things.6) Optimize Landing PagesOkay, so you’ve got some killer CTAs all throughout your blog, and people are totally clicking on them. Fantastic! So why the heck is your blog’s visitor-to-lead conversion rate so darn low? If you notice that your blog’s conversion rate is dismal, yet your CTAs clickthrough rate is stellar, then you likely have some landing page problems. Don’t neglect to optimize your visitors’ post-click experience. Spend some time diagnosing, analyzing, and optimizing your visitors’ landing page experiences. After all, if they don’t ever fill out that landing page form, all your blog lead gen optimization work is all for naught. Furthermore, make sure your blog’s CTAs are well aligned with the landing pages they’re promoting. The quickest way to facilitate landing page abandonment is by promising on thing on a CTA and sending visitors to a landing page that promotes something different.7) Increase Blog TrafficHitting a lead gen plateau? Another way to increase your blog’s lead generation is not to focus on improving conversion, but rather to focus on generating more traffic. And if it’s net new leads you’re after, this means attracting new visitors. If you’re attracting a lot of repeat visitors who have already converted, it’s only natural that the new leads you generate from your blog will start to dwindle. Our new ebook, How to Grow & Scale Your Business Blog, offers some helpful tips for attracting brand new visitors to your blog. Some great tips include increasing the quality and reach of your blog content, seeking guest blogging opportunities, increasing the reach of your social media presence, and leveraging your evangelists. 8) Increase Blogging FrequencyBlogging frequency is an important part of the blog lead gen equation. In fact, according to the latest research compiled in our Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses report, companies that increase blogging from 3-5x/month to just 6-8x/month almost double their leads. Furthermore, an average company will see a 45% growth in traffic when increasing total blog articles from 11-20 to 21-50 articles, and the average company with 100 or more total published blog articles is more likely to experience continued lead growth. Remember, the more articles you publish, the more reasons there’ll be for visitors to come back and convert!9) Convert Casual Blog Readers Into Dedicated SubscribersDon’t overlook the importance of convincing your casual blog readers to keep coming back to for more. Convert your readers into dedicated subscribers who become fans and evangelists of your content, and share your blog articles with their networks of potential new visitors. To learn about the various steps you can take to convert visitors into subscribers, check out this post.What other opportunities can you take advantage of to grow the lead gen potential of your business blog?Image Credit: jeffreyw Your blog is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools at your disposal. In fact, it’s practically a marketing Swiss army knife: it enables you to regularly publish content, boost your website’s search engine optimization, establish your industry thought leadership and expertise, and it also provides content fodder for your other marketing channels such as social media and email marketing.But one of blogging’s biggest benefits is in its huge potential for lead generation and reconversion. So if you’re not taking advantage of all the lead generation opportunities your blog offers — and then optimizing those opportunities — you’re likely missing out on a huge piece of your company’s lead gen pie.But have no fear! In this post, we’ll walk you through all the various lead gen opportunities you can take advantage of on your blog, and even give you some great tips for optimizing those opportunities to make sure you’re squeezing every last lead out of your business blog.8 Lead Gen Opportunities for Your Business BlogOn Your Blog’s HomepageThere are three main opportunities to generate leads from your blog’s homepage — using top and/or bottom banner call-to-action (CTAs), sidebar CTAs, or through links to landing pages in your top nav, sidebar, or footer. These options will be visible whether your readers are visiting the homepage of your blog (e.g. http://blog.hubspot.com) or checking out the permalink of an individual blog article (e.g. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33734/20-Common-Social-Media-Marketing-Myths-BUSTED.aspx).Because these types of CTAs will be shown to visitors no matter what article they’re reading, it’s very important to either feature offers that you know are successful among a broader audience of visitors, or offer a variety of offers that most visitors would find at least one or two appealing. Use your landing page analytics to determine which of your top-performing offers have the best mass appeal and popularity, and feature CTAs for those offers on your blog’s homepage.Here’s a closer look at how these types of CTAs might appear on your blog:1) Top/Bottom Banner CTAs: These CTAs span the entire width of your blog’s homepage, so design them with those wide dimensions in mind. For HubSpot’s blog, we’ve found that banner CTAs that stand out from the rest of the page tend to perform the best. Choose bold background colors that pop out from the rest of your page. Select the offer for any top banner CTAs carefully, as these are the most prominent CTAs displayed on your blog’s homepage.2) Sidebar CTAs: These are smaller CTAs that appear in the sidebar of your blog’s homepage. While they’re a little bit more hidden than your banner CTAs and tend to generate a lower clickthrough rate, they can give your blog a little lead gen boost. Again, design these sidebar CTAs with their smaller width in mind.3) Top Nav/Sidebar/Footer Links to Landing Pages: You can also leverage any links in your top navigation, sidebar, or your blog’s footer to send direct blog traffic to landing pages. On HubSpot’s blog, for example, we use the links in our top navigation to send visitors to targeted landing pages that provide top-performing offers for the main topics we cover on our blog.center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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