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How and Why You Should Stop Complaining

1-respect

How and Why You Should Stop Complaining

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

Woman writing in a notebook

Complaining is a natural part of human communication. It is often a response to problems or a way to communicate dissatisfaction. Sometimes, however, people might find themselves wondering if they complain too much.

It’s probably not realistic to decide to never complain again, but setting limits can be beneficial. This article explores some of the reasons why people complain, the impact it can have on well-being, and steps to minimize daily complaints.

1. Nourish A Positive Attitude

Change the way you think. Of course, this is far easier said than done, but it is quite possible. Cultivate a positive spin on how you perceive the problem. For example, it is easy to stress over having the perfect child, job, or date. Accept that life is just plain messy. No one and no situation is or can be ‘perfect.’ Accept the situation for what it is and move forward. Keep the pro side heavily weighed against the negatives. When you inevitably experience set-backs, move forward and remember that everyone has them.

The only sure thing about life is that nothing stays the same. Change is coming whether it’s tomorrow, next month, or next year. Some life changes are significantly sad. Allow a period of grieving. Sometimes, setting a daily time to be sad about the change can help. Acceptance of a situation helps you to adapt positively to life’s changes. Take up the challenge of seeing the positive in a situation, even if it is a small good. Think of the experience as an opportunity rather than an untenable obstacle.

Challenge yourself.

For the natural competitors reading this, consider your no-complaining goal a new challenge. Can you go one whole day without complaining? What about a week? A month? Make it a challenge and enlist a friend or co-worker to join with you for increased accountability.

Remember, though, that this isn’t a time to beat ourselves up when we fall short. If you can’t make a day or even an hour, remind yourself that this is a habit that’s been ingrained in you for years; change takes time. The important thing is that you recognize a complaint when it happens, identify the source of the coping mechanism, and then shift your brain (and face) to a more positive outlook. Keep a journal during your challenge and write down your daily thoughts and feelings. With each day, you’ll get more practiced at ditching complaints. Before you know it, you’ll be the positive one in the room uplifting everyone else.

Source:

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-and-why-stop-complaining-3144882
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-effective-ways-stop-complaining.html
https://www.success.com/5-steps-to-stop-complaining/

Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

Content Campaign Plan

Top 5 Content Marketing Strategies + Trends And Challenges For 2022

In this article, we address the five most effective types of content marketing strategies, their best practices and where they stand in user journey.

  • Drives traffic to key landing pages:
    • 72% of B2B buyers turn to Google during the awareness stage
    • Companies with blogs see 97% more links to their websites
    • 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading about it
    • 68.5% of users claim that a blog enhances website credibility
    • 81% of US users find blogs to be a trusted source of information
    • 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions
    • Over 80% of B2B buyers view at least five pieces of content during the purchase process, and half of them view more than eight pieces
    • 62% of B2B companies make a business decision based on digital content alone

    5 Top Content Marketing Strategies For 2022

    1. Web Content Strategy

    From awareness to consideration and conversion, use your web copy across the sales funnel to educate your audience about your services, share your message and influence prospects to make a final purchasing decision.

    • Make your audience feel at home: To deliver a great copy, understand your audience and their reasons for browsing your brand’s website. Define their pain points and needs and deliver exactly the type of content they are looking for at each stage.
    • Be brief: To create copy packed with value, use short sentences and small paragraphs. Focus on what’s really important to your audience. Don’t forget that most users only skim through your web pages.
    • Highlight your unique value proposition: Motivate your readers to keep engaging with your business by showing them what makes your offers better than your competitors’.
    • Present your unique brand personality: To e n s ure b rand retention and memorability , use a consistent tone of voice to help your customers identify with your brand’s values and personality.

    9 out of 10 B2B buyers say that content can affect their purchasing decisions.

    2. Blog Content Strategy

    Other types of content, such as case studies, demo videos, product descriptions, tutorials and client testimonials are also highly effective, especially when combined with blog articles.

    Blogs belong at the top – or, at the beginning – of your conversion funnel, where your objective is to educate your potential customers who come into contact with your business for the first time.

    Blogging

    Blogging best practices include covering both evergreen techniques and rising trends based on the evolution of search engine algorithms and changes in audience behavior.

    96% of B2B buyers want content from industry thought leaders.

    3. Email Marketing Strategy

    Meanwhile, the B2C segment sees a reverse of this: higher average open rates of 19.7% and lower CTRS of 2.1% – due to usual customer behavior and typical offerings of broadly general products.

    Email marketing

    Email marketing has 60% higher success rate at converting leads than other top-of-the-funnel methods.

    4. Digital PR Strategy

    Digital PR is about raising awareness using traffic to the campaign or boosting the brand’s visibility by improving your ranking positions, which is why it belongs to the top of the marketing funnel.

    Digital PR

    Over 80% of B2B buyers view at least five pieces of content during the purchase process.

    5. Video Marketing Strategy

    However, it can belong at any stage of the conversion funnel and user journey, depending on the content it contains. Video content can be adjusted to the specific needs of a prospect on different stages of their journey.

    Video marketing belongs in all stages of the user journey.

    Video landing pages can increase conversion rates by over 80%.

    Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

    In this chapter, we cover the basics of a successful content marketing program, including methods and metrics, the business roles that should own your content marketing, and the lingo you’ll use to talk about it.

    For instance, for the software company Freshbooks, this web page represents perfect content marketing for a prospect who needs pricing information to make an informed buying decision.

    FreshBook Example

    While blogs are a major component of content marketing, they’re only a part of the bigger picture. In fact, in most cases, a blog is not the most lucrative form of content marketing.

    The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing

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    Awareness Evaluation Conversion

    A cold prospect cannot evaluate your solution until they are first aware of the problem and your solution. And conversion is impossible until the prospect has first evaluated the possible courses of action.

    Blogs are fantastic facilitators of awareness, but they do a poor job of facilitating evaluation and conversion. And, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, evaluation and conversion are super critical to your business.

    The Content Lifecycle

    As a result, you need content with a low barrier to entry—because at this stage, they have little to no motivation to put skin in the game (such as giving your contact information or money).

    Most businesses will post content to a blog and to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Once you’ve mastered these two content types, you’ll want to add more top-of-funnel content to the mix, like a podcast or a print newsletter.

    Whole Foods Example

    Kitchen Designs Example

    Facebook Ad Template Example

    CloudMargin Example

    Your lead may be reading your blog and downloading lead magnets (and it will help convert her), but you’ll need content that helps her decide between you and your competitor to move her through to purchase.

    Customer Success Example

    QuickBooks Example

    But Quickbooks could earn some points by comparing their tools to their competitors’ tools as well. For instance, a Google search suggests that a comparison sheet between Quickbooks and their competitors (such as Xero) is another piece of content that should be on the radar of the Intuit content marketing team.

    Google Xero Example

    Xero Example

    More Customer Stories Example

    Xero BOFU Example

    The key to perfect content marketing is understanding existing intent and anticipating future intent, and then, creating the content “assets” needed to address that intent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    FreshBooks Example

    The truth is the most lucrative content assets you’ll create (if you have an existing business) are assets that meet intent at the bottom and middle of the funnel. Optimize for this existing bottom and middle of funnel intent before going to work on generating awareness at the top of the funnel with an expensive and time-consuming blog roll out.

    That’s not to diminish the power of a business blog. Over the last 24 months, we’ve been adding content assets (articles and podcasts) at the top of the funnel and we’ve increased website traffic (think awareness) by 1053%.

    Facebook Lead Ads Example

    When a prospect visits a piece of content (spends time) they have raised their hand and indicated interest. And, because of the magic of ad retargeting you can follow up with these prospects with a relevant ascension offer without even acquiring their contact information.

    Ad Retargeting Example

    Frequently asked questions about content marketing.

    What does a content marketer do?

    A content marketer is generally responsible for creating and managing campaigns that use content to deliver against set marketing objectives. For example, a content marketing campaign may aim to increase website traffic to key product pages by 10 percent.

    The content marketer will collaborate with craft specialists such as SEOs, copywriters, designers and PRs to produce and execute the campaign and then report back on performance.

    What are examples of content marketing?

    Good examples of content marketing include informational-style articles which answer questions people have asked search engines about topics relevant to the brand’s products and services.

    For instance, a bank creating guides around applying for a mortgage. Another example is a whitepaper, created for specific leads to provide thought leadership and an argument for securing buy-in on new products and services.

    What is a good content marketing definition?

    A good definition of content marketing is that it’s a marketing approach that uses various forms of content to attract potential customers and engage their interests in the brand. The idea is to use content types like blogs, videos and whitepapers to show you understand a customer’s needs and problems.

    Resource:

    https://www.digitalsilk.com/content-marketing-strategies
    https://www.digitalmarketer.com/digital-marketing/content-marketing-strategy/
    https://www.marketo.com/content-marketing/

7 Simple Steps to $1 Million

make a million dollars

Stop Senseless Spending

Unfortunately, people have a habit of spending their hard-earned cash on goods and services that they don’t need. Even relatively small expenses, such as indulging in a gourmet coffee from a premium coffee shop every morning, can really add up and decrease the amount of money you can save. Larger expenses on luxury items also prevent many people from putting money into savings each month.

That said, it’s important to realize that it’s usually not just one item or one habit that must be cut out in order to accumulate sizable wealth (although it may be). Usually, in order to become wealthy, one must adopt a disciplined lifestyle and budget. This means that people who are looking to build their nest eggs need to make sacrifices somewhere; this may mean eating out less frequently, using public transportation to get to work, and/or cutting back on extra, unnecessary expenses.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go out and have fun, but you should try to do things in moderation and set a budget if you hope to save money. Fortunately, particularly if you start young, saving up a sizable nest egg only requires a few minor (and relatively painless) adjustments to your spending habits.

Fund Retirement Plans ASAP

When individuals earn money, their first responsibility is to pay current expenses such as rent or mortgage, food, and other necessities. Once these expenses have been covered, the next step should be to fund a retirement plan or some other tax-advantaged vehicle.

Unfortunately, retirement planning is an afterthought for many young people. Here’s why it shouldn’t be: funding a 401(k) and/or an IRA early on in life means you can contribute less money overall and actually end up with significantly more in the end than someone who put in much more money but started later. How much difference will funding a vehicle such as a Roth IRA early on in life make?

If you’re 23 years old and deposit $3,000 per year (that’s only $250 each month) in a Roth IRA earning an 8% average annual return, you will have saved $985,749 by the time you are 65 years old due to the power of compounding. If you make a few extra contributions, it’s clear that a 800 million goal is well within reach. Also, keep in mind that most of your earnings are in interest— your $3,000 contributions alone only add up to $126,000.

Now, suppose that you wait an additional 10 years to start contributing. By this time you have a better job than when you were younger, you earn more, and you know you’ve lost some time, so you contribute $5,000 per year. You get the same 8% return and have the same goal to retire at 65. But by starting to save later, your compounded earnings won’t have as much time to grow. In this scenario, when you reach age 65, you will have saved $724,753. That’s still a sizable fund, but you had to contribute $160,000 just to get there, and it’s nowhere near the $985,749 you could’ve had for paying much less.

Run An E-commerce Business

eCommerce

A business capable of earning at least one million dollars within the next five years. This information isn’t about “How to make millions on the Internet without trying” because that was never true. It doesn’t happen overnight.

The Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) e-commerce model means you ship your inventory to their fulfillment centers, and they manage everything else after that, including customer service queries.

Perhaps the biggest thing to consider very carefully from the start is your profit margin. Join a race to the bottom with your competitors to attract customers while earning less money and you may find your bank account empty.

You can actually make that much money with nothing more than a handful of profitable affiliate websites, either directly from commissions earned, or by selling off your profitable websites within our 5-year time frame.

Look for Stocks on Steroids

The surest way to make a million bucks in stocks is to go for growth and not worry so much about the price. Your chances of earning spectacular returns improve if you hop aboard companies that are generating equally spectacular sales and profit growth. And you don’t need to take a flier on small technology firms.

Consider the 30 best-performing stocks over the past 15 years. Not surprisingly, the roster includes such familiar tech firms as Apple (symbol AAPL) and Amazon.com (AMZN). But their returns pale beside that of retailer Tractor Supply (TSCO), which we recommended in our October 2001 issue. If you had invested in Tractor back then, you’d have earned 9,222%, an average of 36% per year. And if you hit the jackpot with the top 15-year stock, Monster Beverage (MNST), you’d be up by more than 48,000%, turning a $10,000 investment into $4.9 million today.

Finding the next monster stock isn’t easy; if it were, we’d all be multimillionaires. But dynamic, innovative companies that have long runways for growth offer the best chances of supersized returns. Consider Acuity Brands (AYI, $200), one of North America’s top makers of lighting products, such as LED bulbs and fixtures, sensors and control systems. Sales for commercial buildings are growing steadily. Acuity is also developing digital lighting products for the “Internet of things” (the expanding web connecting everything from buildings to appliances). Analysts see sales rising 20%, to $3.3 billion, in the fiscal year that ends in August, and profits soaring 39%, to $7.50 per share.

Also compelling is Icon PLC (ICLR, $71), an Ireland-based company that helps drugmakers test their products in laboratories and conduct late-stage clinical trials. Pharmaceutical firms are contracting out more of their research to try to bring products to market more quickly and less expensively. That creates long-term “growth tailwinds” for Icon, says Morningstar analyst Stefan Quenneville. Wall Street expects sales of 800.8 billion this year (an increase of 8% from 2015) and forecasts that profits will jump 19%, to $5.25 per share.

Source:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/younginvestors/08/millionaire-mindset.asp
https://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-make-a-million-dollars/
https://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/t023-c000-s002-10-ways-to-make-1-million-dollars.html

How to Start a Blog

If you make money along the way, that’s great. In fact, if you help people solve their problems, you’re all but guaranteed to make money from your blog—eventually. Let’s just remember there are at least four resources that are more important than money: skills, time, energy, and attention.

wordpress appearance theme

How to Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog

In 2010 when I was learning how to create a blog, I spent a lot of time searching for helpful information online. I was only able to find it piece by piece on a variety of websites. To save you time, I’ve created this free step-by-step blog tutorial to teach beginners how to make a blog quickly and easily. It’s not as complicated as many people think!

Mark Schaefer

Mari Smith

Neil Schaffer

Step 1 Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting

Blogging Quick Start – Step 1

Choose your domain name

Your domain name is an important part of your blog because it creates a first impression—it is the name of your blog. Also known as your URL, your domain is also your address on the web. For example, our domain name is www.theminimalists.com.

So, what do you want to call your blog? Maybe it’s YourName.com. Maybe it’s YourBusinessName.com. Or maybe it’s a creative brand name you thought up. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a good domain name, try Wordoid, a wonderful naming tool that will give you plenty of great options. Just make sure you don’t buy the domain from them since Bluehost will give you a free domain. (If you’ve already purchased a domain elsewhere, that’s okay, too, because Bluehost will make it easy to transfer your existing domain during the setup process.)

Set up blog hosting

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you’ll need to set up hosting for your blog. While WordPress itself is free (see Step 2 below), you need a reliable place to host your WordPress blog (your blog needs to be on a server somewhere on the Internet).

  • We Use Bluehost. We personally use Bluehost to host The Minimalists. If you recommend a company, you better be willing to use their product yourself. We also use them to host several other websites of ours.
  • Outstanding Customer Service. Bluehost’s customer service is 100% US-based. With hold times that average less than 30 seconds and 100% in-house, on-site staff in their Texas offices, you can rest assured that the person helping with your site knows how to help. In other words, if you have any questions, they will help you through the entire setup process.
  • Great Pricing. TheMinimalists.com is a Bluehost affiliate partner, which means that in addition to using their service, we also receive a commission for referring new customers. To be fair, though, we would still use Bluehost even if we weren’t an affiliate—we’ve used them for a long time. Ergo, we don’t recommend Bluehost just because we’re an affiliate (every hosting company offers a similar affiliate program); we recommend Bluehost because they are the best, most reliable option. Plus, because we’re a partner, Bluehost offers a 50% discount for The Minimalists readers: only 5000.75 a month for the first year.
  • Free Domain. When you sign up for hosting, Bluehost will give you a free domain name, which allows you to avoid the upfront and recurring fees associated with purchasing a domain on your own. If you’ve already purchased your own domain name, don’t worry; you can still use your domain with Bluehost (it’s just one extra step).
  • Money-Back Guarantee. Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk if you change your mind.
  • Reliability. Bluehost’s facilities are world class. They have their own custom-built 20,000-square-foot datacenter with enough backup generators to power a city.
  • Friends & Family. Many of our friends and family also use Bluehost to host their blogs.

Step 1 - Get Started Now

Step 1 - Choose your blog hosting

Step 1 - Sign Up Now

Step 1 - Create Your Account

Step 1 - Welcome to Bluehost

How to Start a Blog Ebook

Step 3 Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own

A theme allows you to pick a design for your blog without the need for coding expertise or design knowledge. In other words, a good theme helps you to design your blog exactly how you want it to look. If you’re not a coder (I’m certainly not a coder), then a theme makes the design work a million times easier.

Blogging Quick Start – Step 3

Our blog design is from BYLT, a platform created by our good friends at SPYR. They have several beautiful, simple WordPress themes to choose from, and, in fact, you can purchase the same theme we use if you like.

Simply go to BYLT and find the minimalist WordPress theme that best fits your desired aesthetic. Their themes are feature-rich; plus, once you buy your theme, you will have the same team supporting your work that we trust to support ours.

Step 3 - Blog Designs

Step 3 - Download a Blog Theme

Step 3 - Log In to Blog

Step 3 - My Sites

Step 3 - Upload Blog Design

Step 3 - Install Blog Theme

Step 3 - Activate Blog Theme

10. Purchase backup software

Free options exist, but I’ve never had good luck with them — and for something as important as my entire blog, I don’t mind paying a little extra. (It’s a business write-off, remember?!) Popular backup options include VaultPress, BackupBuddy, and blogVault.

Alexis Grant , founder of The Write Life, agrees with me. “If I could go back and do one thing differently for my business, it would be starting a newsletter earlier,” she writes. “My email list is THAT important for my business, bringing traffic to my website, buys of my products and opportunities I never could’ve expected.”

Even if you don’t have anything to send, just start collecting email addresses. The best way to entice people to sign up is by offering a free ebook or resource. For a great example, check out The Write Life’s Freelance Writer Pitch Checklist.

Once you’ve created your list, encourage your readers to sign up by adding a subscription box to your sidebar, and maybe even install a plugin like PopupAlly. Or, if you use ConvertKit, they have pop-up options built-in.

13. Promote, promote, promote

You’re almost there! Now that you’ve started writing, it’s time to get readers. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for many writers, this is the most surprisingly time-consuming aspect of blogging. Though it’d be nice if we could just write (that’s what we love to do, right?), it’s nicer to have people actually read your work.

You can try guest posting on other blogs , reposting on sites like Medium and LinkedIn, or including links when writing responses in forums, Facebook groups, or on Quora. Just make sure you’re adding value — and not spamming people with your URL.

Social media is another great way to get more traffic and grow your author following . Instead of merely tooting your own horn, be sure to interact with editors, writers and bloggers, too.Share their content with your community, comment on their posts and support them when and where you can. Hopefully, they’ll return the favor!

In the end, creating a successful blog is about hard work and consistency. Keep posting helpful and engaging content, optimizing it for SEO, and sharing it with your networks — and you’ll soon see your new blog start to blossom.

Authorship:

https://firstsiteguide.com/start-blog/
https://www.theminimalists.com/blog/
https://thewritelife.com/how-to-start-a-blog/

Email automation

GoViral (formerly SmartBribe) is a 100% free tool that encourages new email subscribers to share your opt-in with their friends. It customizes your thank you page to include a “bonus” incentive for them to share on social media and email. Once they share, they get access to the free bonus.

welcome email pipcorn

How to Grow Your Business with Email Marketing Automation

It’s no secret that the strongest relationships are built on personal connections. Without a personal connection, relationships are usually short-lived and unfruitful for both parties. The same is true in marketing. According to SmarterHQ, “72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.” But how can you personalize at scale? Enter email marketing automation.

Email marketing automation is a series of triggers along the customer journey that will spontaneously send the customer a personalized email. Each email is curated specifically for each touchpoint, organically moving the customer along in the sales funnel.

Here at Campaign Monitor, we’ve found that automated emails create 320% more revenue than non-automated emails. What differentiates an automated email campaign from any other email marketing campaign is that it’s personalized to the consumer, rather than just a mass mailing with broad messaging. According to Accenture, consumers are over 90% more likely to shop with your brand when they have a personalized experience. So, if you’re wondering how you can use email automation to grow your business, you’re in the right place. Let’s dig in.

How does automated email sending work?

  1. Install an email marketing tool. To start, you’ll need easy-to-use email automation software (like Omnisend).
  2. Build and segment an email list. Have a list of subscribers to send automated emails to—it can be built organically with signup forms. Break up your list into smaller segments based on information like interests or behaviors.
  3. Set up an automation trigger. A trigger is an event or condition that will activate the automated campaign (this includes a newsletter signup, an abandoned cart, a subscriber’s birthday, a lack of engagement for X days, etc.)
  4. Create email campaigns. Design the automated email by creating images, texts, call-to-action-buttons, discounts, brand logos, etc.
  5. Activate the automation. Choose the time to send the automated campaign and turn it on. Later, monitor how well it performs to find opportunities to improve.

Email Automation Tools

Email Automation Tools for List Building

1. OptinMonster

optinmonster is the best lead generation software ever!

OptinMonster is a premium WordPress plugin that gives you the power to automatically collect and segment email addresses. These can be segmented based on the user’s activity, inactivity, cookies, geographical location, and more.

It also offers seamless integration with many of the leading email service providers. That means you can exponentially grow your email list with OptinMonster and then send personalized automated emails via your email service provider.

optinmonster campaign examples

Email Marketing Automation with OptinMonster

OptinMonster also offers a Real-Time Behavior Automation engine. This powerful engine identifies what users are looking for and shows the perfect optin campaign that’s more likely to convert them into customers.

cookie targeting real time behavior email automation

2. RafflePress

rafflepress is the best wordpress giveaway plugin

Integrated Email Marketing Automation Tools

3. Contactually

contactually real estate crm

Contactually is one of the neatest tools on the list. It’s a CRM platform that focuses on vetting contacts. First, it gathers contacts from your email inbox, website, and social media profiles. Then Contactually collects as much information as possible to guide your messaging.

4. HubSpot

hubspot

Pricing: HubSpot has several marketing automation tools for free. Paid plans range from $50/month for the Starter plan to the Enterprise plan starting at $1200/month. Their pricing will increase on November 1, 2019.

5. Intercom

intercom automated email conversations

Suppose you’re trying to teach your customers/users about your app. In that case, Intercom lets you send automated email conversations directly in the app. This gives them assistance where they’re most likely to see it.

6. BenchmarkONE

benchmarkone crm automation

7. E-goi

e-goi homepage

8. Act-On

act-on marketing automation

9. LeadSquared

leadsquared lead conversion platform

Pricing: Plans with marketing automation features start at $150/month (billed annually). However, automation workflows are only in the Basic plan and above, starting at $400/month (billed annually).

10. SAP Sales Cloud (Formerly CallidusCloud)

calliduscloud lead qualifying tool

Another great lead qualifying tool is SAP Sales Cloud (formerly CallidusCloud). This technology automates the process of identifying promising leads while weeding out ones that are deemed to be unqualified or high-risk/low-reward.

11. Marketo

marketo automated email marketing

Tracking and Monitoring Tools for Email

12. GetNotify

getnotify

GetNotify is a free tool that notifies you the instant your email gets read by the recipient. You just send your marketing emails like normal, but add “.getnotify.com” to the recipient’s email address. Your recipient will not see this, and they will not know that you are tracking their opens.

Sources:

https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-automation/
https://www.omnisend.com/blog/email-automation/
https://optinmonster.com/31-best-email-marketing-automation-tools/
Email automation

Mailshake offers excellent automated email tools, especially if you’re doing cold outreach. With lots of plugins, it allows you to build out your mailing list, clean it to make sure you’ve got live emails, and schedule the perfect email sequence. It’s also got great social integrations!

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Newsletter email from Neil Patel

What is Email Automation and Why You Should Use it in Your Campaigns

Your business is likely familiar with transactional email and marketing email as critical tools used to provide operational updates (such as a receipt) or promotional messages (like a newsletter or coupon). In this “how-to” guide, we introduce and explain how to send a third category of email that can add tremendous value and complement your existing email campaigns: automated email.

Automated email, also referred to as triggered email or behavior-driven email, is any message automatically sent from your email service provider (ESP) in direct response to an individual user’s specific actions made (or not made) on your website or web app.

Transactional emails are highly valuable to consumers because they provide crucial information like receipts or password resets, but because of CAN-SPAM and CASL rules and guidelines, these emails can’t provide or contain much promotional content. Traditional marketing email is critical for sending announcements to large segments of your customer base, like promotions or newsletters, but they don’t offer the one-to-one communication customers have come to expect.

Email automation provides benefits from both transactional and marketing email because it allows you to follow up with individual customers automatically, like transactional email, but also allows for more robust messaging opportunities like you get from marketing email. By bridging the gap between transactional and marketing email, automated email provides a scalable and efficient method for marketers to send extremely user-specific messages in a responsive way.

Relevance – When a user receives an automated email, it’s because they’ve taken an action which triggered a workflow. As a result, the message they receive is highly relevant to them and they’re more likely to open and engage with the email.

Engaging content – Automated email content is designed to increase user engagement with your app or website. This could mean teaching new customers how to use your product, encouraging users to give feedback, or providing a lapsed customer with an incentive to return. For example, you might want to set up an automated “how-to” email trigger if certain people have signed up for your service but have yet to start using it.

Brand building – As a highly personal communication channel, automated email serves as an extension of your brand. It gives you the opportunity to strengthen the connection between you and your customers by communicating thought leadership, assisting with cross-sells, or by sharing timely updates about features they haven’t used yet. Simply put, email automation drives user engagement. Customers are much more likely to open, read, and take action with an automated email.

email automation

Loyalty – Customers who’ve been helped through the onboarding process or who have received timely cues to follow through on desired actions are more likely to feel successful and recommend your brand to others.

Retention – Customers feel more valued when they receive personalized assistance and real-time communication, which translates to sticky users who you can count on as consistent, long-term users.

Revenue – Customers are more likely to finish entering their billing information, upgrade their account, or return as an active user when they’re messaged at the perfect time with just the right prompt.

Action – One of the reasons automated email is so powerful is that it targets people who have already engaged with your brand’s website or app. This means they are further down the sales funnel and more likely to take the steps you want them to as customers.

When to Use Automated Email Marketing

1. Abandoned Carts

2. Sending Automated Email Newsletters to Subscribers

If you’ve got their email address, you’ve got an opportunity to keep the connection alive and build a relationship (hopefully until they become a repeat customer). Just having someone’s email doesn’t achieve this, though, and instead, you’ve got to be able to offer something valuable.

3. Promotional Emails

4. Welcome Emails

It allows you to set expectations and explain the value proposition of receiving your emails. Once someone has a good idea of what they’re going to receive from your emails, they’re more likely to open them and interact with your content.

5. Automatic Replies to Customer Complaints

You can’t be monitoring your inbox 24/7, so it’s just not possible to be able to respond to each complaint right away. What you can do is set up an automated email that explains your complaint process and ensures you’re working on fixing the issue.

When to Not Use Automated Emails

You can personalize automated emails, but there’s a limit to what you can do. With automated email marketing, you’re reliant on segments to personalize your communications. While putting someone in a segment means they’re not just any person, it still doesn’t mean they’re an individual.

In many cases, segmenting email subscribers works because it’s an effective way of offering them personalized content. However, there are times when you need to treat people as an individual, and automated emails don’t work in these cases.

This is something you need to keep in mind when setting up your automated email marketing. In what situations does it pay to address people as part of a segment, and when do you need to address them as an individual?

Sources:

https://sendgrid.com/resource/what-is-email-automation-and-how-to-use-it-in-your-campaign/
https://neilpatel.com/blog/automated-email-marketing/
https://adoric.com/blog/email-marketing-automation-20-tools-to-try/
Email automation

For instance, AWeber created a guide to help podcasters with their email marketing. The first email delivers the guide, and the rest of the series provides other resources and tips just for podcasters. This highly targeted email campaign works well when you know what your audience is most interested in.

ActvieCampaign email automation software

What is email automation?

Email automation is the process of automatically sending marketing and sales emails to subscribers. All based on the actions—or inactions—of the people receiving them. Rules are pre-set about which emails get sent, when to send them, and what personalized information to include. So marketing and sales teams can reach leads with personalized messaging at the right moment—all while doing less work.

For example, let’s say you run an ecommerce marketing team. Every visitor to your site is greeted with a webform popup offering a 10% discount on their first purchase when they subscribe to your email list. Every time you get a new subscriber, you manually enter their name into the salutation and send it off with the promo code.

The problem is, there’s no way you can drop everything to send an email every time a new subscriber fills in your webform. It may take hours or even days to respond, depending on your workload. By then, the lead’s interest may have faded, or they’ve already moved on to a competitor who was more responsive.

The goal of automating emails is to eliminate the need to manually personalize and send marketing, sales, and prospecting emails. This ultimately leads to higher conversion rates and a more streamlined workflow for your team. Along with a leg-up on any competitors who are still sending emails the old fashioned way.

Sales email automation tools

A sales email automation tool is a software platform that’s sort of like a secretary for your sales team. You write your sales emails, drop them on the secretary’s desk with a schedule of when they need to go out (and under what circumstances), and then go about your other tasks. While you’re busy closing deals and building relationships with clients, the secretary is putting names and personal details into each message. Then sending emails and follow-ups to leads at the right moment and taking notes about what actions the leads have taken.

The thing is, even a human secretary wouldn’t be able to keep up with sales force automation tools. This type of software is better than humans at handling large volumes of emails. Sending emails at the exact right moment and capturing information about how the recipient responded is impossible without it. Plus, computers don’t take lunch breaks or vacations. The result? You make more sales by doing less work.

Marketing email automation

No matter how much people may complain about emails clogging up their inboxes, the fact is that email marketing works. With a return of $36 for every 800 spent, email marketing remains unmatched in its ability to draw leads into the sales funnel. But even that incredible ROI can be improved upon — which is exactly what marketing email automation is for.

At the top of the funnel, people are still on the fence about purchasing. It’s also likely that they’re checking out your competition and comparing prices and reviews to see which business will bring them more value. But no matter how well your marketing materials show off the quality of your product or your affordable prices, if those materials aren’t seen at the right time, they may as well not exist.

It also allows your marketers to boost their email productivity by putting the task of sending and personalizing messages on autopilot. As long as you set up the correct triggers and rules, the leads at the top of your funnel will be less likely to fall out of it due to disinterest or lack of engagement.

Email automation examples and case studies

Example #1: the welcome email

Let’s revisit the case from earlier with our theoretical ecommerce business. After just two weeks, the subscriber list has grown by 200 emails. Yet strangely, very few of them opened the email and clicked through to the website. And only one took advantage of the 10% off promotional code. To add to that frustration, the owner realizes that now they have too many contacts to manage. It’s becoming difficult to keep them organized with spreadsheets alone.

The owner decides to kill two birds with one stone. They enroll in a free CRM trial, which includes contact management and the ability to automate emails. Using their new customer relationship management platform, they set up the welcome automation trigger.

In this case, the trigger is when a new website visitor fills in and submits the webform in exchange for the 10% promotional code. The owner also adds a personalization tag into the welcome email, so that the subscriber’s name automatically appears in the salutation.

Triggered emails have about 70% higher open rates than traditional emails, and 152% higher click through rates. Let’s apply these real-world statistics to our scenario to illustrate how the simple act of using email automation software could help improve responses.

Without changing the sales email subject line or messaging, the owner has already risen above industry benchmarks for open rates. The key is to send the email at the instant you know the lead’s interest is highest. Like the exact moment they submitted the form.

Example #1: the follow-up email

Sales follow up emails are a vital tool for rekindling interest in leads who need a little nudge to take the next step. For this example, let’s imagine a larger B2B setting. Our theoretical business sells a wide range of industrial machinery. The sales process is very complex, which means the sales reps have very little time for personalizing and sending emails.

One of the company’s salespeople recently attended a trade show where they spoke with dozens of new contacts. While on location, they used their mobile CRM app to collect contact details about each new lead. With a promise to send more information about the specific products that will help them solve their problems.

Before the salesperson has stepped foot back in the office, the email automation tool has already sent personalized follow-up emails. But it’s a busy time of year, and the first round of follow up emails doesn’t get many bites. The company decides to set up a chain of five follow up emails Each one set to be delivered once a week for five weeks. If the lead doesn’t take any action, their contact details are put aside for several months. After which time they’ll try again with a new round of outreach.

Now let’s imagine that one of the leads who does bite. They noticed the first two follow up emails, but were too busy to schedule a meeting. During the third week, however, the lead’s schedule has slowed down a bit. And they finally decide to take up the call to action and schedule a meeting with the sales rep.

Using the sales automation scheduling link in the email, they click through to an automated scheduler and select an available time slot in the sales rep’s schedule. This sets off another trigger — to stop the chain of email follow ups. This is a great way to show courtesy to interested leads, since it would be annoying to see another follow up email the week after they’ve already taken the next step.

What was the salesperson doing that whole time? Not emailing, that’s for sure. The time saved by not sending hundreds of emails might have been spent developing a stronger pitch, mentoring a new salesperson. Or doing any number of other tasks that improve the company’s selling power.

Automated email follow up

Many salespeople don’t follow up with leads either because they’re wary of seeming too pushy. Or they’re too busy to send the appropriate number of follow ups. But not following up with leads can cost you. Statistics show that 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th follow up. That means that if you give up after four follow ups, you’re cutting yourself off from potential earnings.

When it comes to sealing the deal, persistence is key. But persistence takes energy, as well as an “I-don’t-care-if-I’m-bothering-them” kind of approach. Automated email follow ups allow salespeople to be persistent without spending the energy or worrying about being pushy. Plus, if you’re courteous and strategic about how many emails you’re sending and when, you’ll never have to worry again about coming across as too assertive.

Automated email template

There’s no one-size-fits all approach to writing a follow up email. Still, email templates are excellent jumping off points to help you establish a clear, conversational flow to your messaging. Plus, they’re a helpful aid in seeing how many opportunities there are for personalizing your emails, which is key to building stronger customer relationships.

Sources:

https://www.zendesk.com/sell/features/email-productivity/
https://automate.io/blog/email-automation-campaigns/
https://popupsmart.com/blog/best-email-marketing-automation-software

Is College Worth The Cost? Pros Vs. Cons

According to Rebecca Mead, staff writer for The New Yorker , college teaches students “to nurture critical thought; to expose individuals to the signal accomplishments of humankind; to develop in them an ability not just to listen actively but to respond intelligently.” [24] In 2011 74% of students said college helped them “grow intellectually” and 69% said college helped them grow and mature as people. [25] Jonathan D. Fitzgerald, MA, Visiting Professor at Eastern Nazarene College, argues, “The value of a liberal arts college education –to you, to employers– is that you’ve spent four years in a place where you were forced to consider new ideas, to meet new people, to ask new questions, and to learn to think, to socialize, to imagine. If you graduate, you will get a degree, but if you are not a very different person from who are you are today, then college failed.” [26] Read More

Yes, College is Worth It: Busting Myths about Higher Education

So how do we know what’s a myth and what’s real? Knox Magazine set out to take on a few of the headlines-or bust a few of the common myths-about higher education to help us all better understand why a college degree is still worthy of pursuit.

Tuition, room, and board can add up quickly, particularly if you attend a private school, where the sticker price can exceed $50,000 per year. Even in-state tuition at many public colleges and universities is upwards of $20,000 per year. A college education does cost more today than it did a decade ago, but when you account for inflation, the growth in tuition, room, and board is not accelerating. At Knox, the increase in net price (tuition, board, and fees) has mirrored inflation over the last decade.

Further, the vast majority of students who attend college do not pay the sticker price, thanks to scholarships, federal financial aid, and institutional aid. The average price for a college education is $16,164 per year; at Knox, that average price is $20,804, and 98 percent of our students receive some form of aid, whether that be financial aid or merit scholarships.

Average Annual Percentage Increase in Net Price at Private, Nonprofit Colleges by Decade

MYTH: Colleges spend too much money on fancy residence halls and climbing walls.

As the competition for students has risen among colleges and universities, climbing walls, lazy rivers, and other amenities are now found on some college and university campuses as a means to make their schools more attractive to prospective students. The additions to campus aren’t always paid for by tuition; for example, Louisiana State University covered the cost of its new recreation center, which includes a lazy river, with student fees. But a large number of college and university campuses haven’t entered into what some call the new “arms race,” either because they choose not to or face budgetary or other constraints don’t allow for such amenities. In fact, once you start to read the stories that highlight these amenities, you’ll find that these may be more of an exception than a rule.

At Knox, we are mission-driven in all that we do and have worked diligently to control costs so that our tuition dollars are used to support the core inputs of a liberal arts education- high-quality faculty and staff who are dedicated to undergraduates, small class sizes, modern scientific equipment and instructional technology, and opportunities for students to put their education to practice outside the classroom.

3 Reasons Why College Is Not Worth It

1. You Likely Will Graduate With Student Loan Debt

Because college costs have increased so much, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to cover the entire cost out of your savings or earnings from a part-time job; instead, you’ll probably have to use student loans to cover at least some of the expense. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, 62% of 2019 college graduates left school with student loan debt, with an average balance of $28,950.

2. High-Paying Jobs Aren’t Guaranteed

The average starting salary for college graduates right out of school is about $51,000, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. While that’s a comfortable income for most, many graduates will earn less than that. And if you have hefty student loan debt that exceeds your income, you may struggle to make ends meet.

3. It Can Take More Than Four Years to Graduate

When it comes to getting a bachelor’s degree, you’ll probably anticipate graduating within four years. However, that may not be realistic. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that just 58% of students who enrolled in college in 2012 earned a degree within six years. The rest of the students were either still in school or dropped out.

For every additional year you’re in school, you rack up additional expenses and likely will need to take on more student loan debt to pay for your education. Taking six years or more to graduate can cause you to leave school with even more debt, and it may be difficult to dig yourself out.

Alternatives to College

Community College

At a community college, you can earn an associate’s degree or complete certificate programs that lead to stable careers. For example, the following career paths require two-year degrees and have above-average salaries:

Trade School

Trade schools, vocational schools or technical colleges provide hands-on training for different skilled careers. The programs tend to be much shorter than college programs, with students graduating in six months to two years.

There is an increased demand for trained trade professionals, and you can earn a comfortable income. For example, these are the median incomes for the following trades according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Bootcamps

If you’re interested in software and web development, attending a coding bootcamp can be a pathway to a potentially lucrative career. According to The Course Report, the average bootcamp program lasts for just 14 weeks, and you can land a new job in data science, app development or cybersecurity.

Entrepreneurship

If you have an idea for a business, entrepreneurship may be a better career path than attending college. As an entrepreneur, you can be your own boss and set your own salary. The average salary for entrepreneurs is approximately $43,000 per year.

However, keep in mind that starting your own business can be risky, and it may be several years before your business turns a profit. To get help developing your ideas and creating a business plan, take advantage of resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Con

College stress can lead to health problems and other negative consequences.

40.2% of college students reported feeling “frequently overwhelmed” in a 2012 survey about stress levels. [75] According to the University of Florida’s Counseling & Wellness Center, “The competition for grades, the need to perform, relationships, fear of AIDS, career choice, and many other aspects of the college environment cause stress.” [76] According to the Director of Student Health Services at Biola University, college stress can lead to “headaches, weight gain, chronic digestive disorders, fatigue, increases [in] blood pressure, insomnia, teeth grinding in sleep, general irritability, reoccurring feeling of hopelessness, depression and anxiety and low self-esteem.” [77]

Read More

Sources:

https://www.knox.edu/magazine/spring-2018/features/yes-college-is-worth-it
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/student-loans/is-college-worth-it/
https://college-education.procon.org/

Do what you love, love what you do

Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

How to Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Do what you love

To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We’ve got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it’s not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated.

The very idea is foreign to what most of us learn as kids. When I was a kid, it seemed as if work and fun were opposites by definition. Life had two states: some of the time adults were making you do things, and that was called work; the rest of the time you could do what you wanted, and that was called playing. Occasionally the things adults made you do were fun, just as, occasionally, playing wasn’t—for example, if you fell and hurt yourself. But except for these few anomalous cases, work was pretty much defined as not-fun.

The world then was divided into two groups, grownups and kids. Grownups, like some kind of cursed race, had to work. Kids didn’t, but they did have to go to school, which was a dilute version of work meant to prepare us for the real thing. Much as we disliked school, the grownups all agreed that grownup work was worse, and that we had it easy.

Teachers in particular all seemed to believe implicitly that work was not fun. Which is not surprising: work wasn’t fun for most of them. Why did we have to memorize state capitals instead of playing dodgeball? For the same reason they had to watch over a bunch of kids instead of lying on a beach. You couldn’t just do what you wanted.

I’m not saying we should let little kids do whatever they want. They may have to be made to work on certain things. But if we make kids work on dull stuff, it might be wise to tell them that tediousness is not the defining quality of work, and indeed that the reason they have to work on dull stuff now is so they can work on more interesting stuff later. [ 1 ]

Once, when I was about 9 or 10, my father told me I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up, so long as I enjoyed it. I remember that precisely because it seemed so anomalous. It was like being told to use dry water. Whatever I thought he meant, I didn’t think he meant work could literally be fun—fun like playing. It took me years to grasp that.

Learning how to do what you love

If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of making drastic changes to do what you love for a living, take baby steps. Getting to know yourself is the first step in learning to love what you do. Here are some ways to get in touch with what inspires you.

1. Focus on your strengths

Before you can learn how to do what you love, you must know what it is that you love to do! This is a process of self-discovery that puts you in touch with your core values, strengths and assets. In his Building the Ultimate Business Advantage course , marketing expert Jay Abraham states that many entrepreneurs are unhappy because they are constantly trying to improve their weaknesses. Jay advocates focusing on your strengths when deciding what type of business to start and putting a growth strategy in place. When you identify what you enjoy doing and the activities you’re able to master relatively quickly, you’ll achieve more meaningful successes that lead to fulfillment.

Creating a career where you do what you love for a living is about spending the majority of your time practicing and acting on your strengths. This isn’t just a recipe for increasing your passion for business, either – when potential customers see how passionate you are, they’re more likely to catch on, which dramatically increases your probability of business success .

2. Find your passions

The next step in developing a career in which you love what you do is in thinking clearly about your purpose . What empowers you ? What do you wish you could wake up and do every day? These answers must fall in line with what your strengths are. For some people, the ability to do what you love means helping others. For a different person, it’s expressing their thoughts and feelings creatively. Others value travel or spending time with their family. Once you’ve really thought about what living an extraordinary life looks like for you, consider how you’ll achieve it.

Start Doing What You’re Passionate About

So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely a lack of passion.

For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about [1] .

Do What You Love Quotes

love-career-quotes

Then you know the story: they dread waking up during the week, live for the weekend, and spend the majority of their waking hours the rest of their life doing something that’s not for them. How awful is that?

2. When asked, “Mr. Gandhi, you have been working fifteen hours a day for fifty years. Don’t you think you should take a vacation?” Gandhi smiled and replied, “I am always on vacation.” — Gandhi

6. Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart, and success will come to you. — Oprah Winfrey

7. Any human being is really good at certain things. The problem is that the things you’re good at come naturally. And since most people are pretty modest instead of an arrogant S.O.B. like me, what comes naturally, you don’t see as a special skill. It’s just you. It’s what you’ve always done. — Stephen Jay Gould

11. I learned many, many lessons from my father, but not least of which is that you can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love. – Jim Carrey

13. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. — Steve Jobs

21. I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. — Steve Jobs

23. The people who make it to the top — whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos — are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid. — Quincy Jones

Do What You Love vs. Love What You Do

What is it about the post-baby-boomer generations who struggle so with having to work for a living, especially having to work a job one doesn’t want to do?

I suppose it has to do with the conflicting modern messages about chasing your dreams. Raised by parents who endured the depression, baby boomers were more often told they were lucky to have a job, any job. Perhaps younger generations have softened.

A friend challenged me and said that there are exceptions, that not everyone can do what they love. After initially feeling sad about this pessimistic notion, especially as one raised to always chase your dreams, more pondering has led me to an expanded view.

No, not everyone should chase their passion. In fact, chasing your passion can be a dangerous game. I’m reading a highly recommended book right now called So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. I think any of you caught in a predicament similar to my friend should read this book. Actually, I recommend it to all of you. Exploring the idea that chasing your passions isn’t always the best answer, the author uses very fine examples like the great surfboard shaper Al Merrick, comedian Steve Martin, and then lesser-known individuals with more common jobs like administrative cubicle work, masonry, etc. Cal is a brilliant guy, and I’m sure I’ll read his next two books, which look equally thought-provoking.

Anyway… are there exceptions? Are we wasting life unless we’re doing what we love? I still say yes, but not exactly in the way that you might think. I suppose I could bring my own life experience in as an example and jumping off point.

Falling in love with the banjo, I majored in music in college and then moved to Nashville with a band. I was doing what I loved. Until I wasn’t. The stresses of making my passion an occupation pushed me up against a wall. Not only did the pressure start to drain the joy of playing, but I was also shown the guts of the music business. Let me tell you, what I saw wasn’t pretty.

References:

http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html
https://www.tonyrobbins.com/career-business/how-to-do-what-you-love/
https://www.lifehack.org/532578/what-you-love-and-love-what-you-thats-the-only-way-succeed
https://takeyoursuccess.com/do-what-you-love-quotes/
http://www.boowalker.com/love-what-you-do/