Hiring Evans’ replacement should challenge Giants in unexpected ways

first_imgThat process began with the dismissal of general manager … SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants don’t build search committees.They don’t fire and they rarely need to hire. Instead, the Giants reassign and promote from within.They don’t look outside the organization, because for so long, others organizations viewed the Giants’ model as the one to emulate.But after back-to-back losing seasons, the organizational blueprint is changing. And before the Giants can say hello, they must say goodbye.last_img read more

49ers’ Nick Bosa relishes Ohio State reactions more than NFL award

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Rookie Nick Bosa is the first 49ers defensive lineman in nearly 15 years to win NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. In his words, he couldn’t care less.What Bosa did relish was the reaction from fellow Ohio State alumni for Monday night’s dismantling — and flag-planting celebration — against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.“That was the real thing. We wanted some revenge there,” Bosa said Wednesday, alluding to Mayfield’s antics in leading Oklahoma over Ohio …last_img read more

Name an African elephant and save it

first_imgAmarula’s Name Them, Save Them campaign fights elephant poaching and gets society to understand these mystical creatures.There are two subspecies of African elephants—the Savanna (or bush) elephant and the Forest elephant. Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants, and their tusks curve outwards. In addition to being smaller, forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and point downward. (Image: Amarula)Ray MaotaThere are less than 400 000 African Elephants left in the wild and one is lost every 15 minutes to ivory poaching. Should this carry on, the majestic creatures will be extinct by 2030.This will not happen without a fight. Amarula, a cream liqueur from South African beverage producers Distell Group Limited, is working closely with Kenyan-based conservation organisation WildlifeDirect to protect Africa’s elephants with their Name Them, Save Them campaign.Losing an elephant a personal lossThe campaign will allow viewers to actively participate in preserving the African elephant by casting a spotlight on ivory poaching. On the campaign website, users will be guided through a virtual savannah where they can choose an elephant, design it with a range of colourful patterns, then name and share it with friends online.This makes the prospect of losing an African elephant personal to users.According to WildlifeDirect CEO, Paula Kahumbu, the campaign will show people how similar elephants are to humans.“Just like humans, each elephant is an individual with a unique personality. We share many similarities with elephants. They are intelligent, emotional and have a strong sense of family – just like us.”Amarula will donate US$1 to WildlifeDirect for every elephant named and shared per unique user.Kahumbu said: “The world needs to know that the only way to get ivory is to kill an elephant. Once you know them by name, you would never dream of hurting them.”She appears in an extraordinary video shot in front of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli Park, Kenya, and introduces viewers to elephants by name, showcasing their behaviour in their natural habitat and likening their traits to those of humans.The short film, shot by Felix Seuffert from Butterfly Films, has been specifically crafted to raise awareness of the plight of the African elephant, whilst building the bond between man and elephant.Kahumbu, who is internationally acknowledged for her conservation work, said: “The African elephant is an integral part of our African heritage and culture…This campaign is about creating a connection between us and elephants and becoming actively involved in raising awareness and saving our elephants.“By getting to know elephants by name, we want people to realise that they are more important than an ivory trinket. They say an elephant never forgets, but now they need us to remember them.”Amarula’s conservation effortsIn addition to funding this global campaign, Amarula has been committed to protecting the African elephant since 2002 and has donated $642 000 (R9.4-million) to the cause over this period.The partnership with WildlifeDirect is expected to add impetus to Amarula’s conservation efforts.Dino D’Araujo, Amarula Global general manager, said the partnership with WildlifeDirect will help them continue to protect the continent’s elephants. “Our objective is simple – to make sure that for generations to come, we continue to meet the elephants beneath the Marula trees.”last_img read more

Early May planting dates better for soybeans

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio soybeans planted from May 1 through mid-May resulted in better yields, according to a study by researchers from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.In the study of 2013 and 2014 planting trials at OARDC’s Western Agricultural Research Station near South Charleston, Ohio, soybean yields decreased by 0.6 bushels per acre per day when planted after mid-May, according to Laura Lindsey, a soybean and small grains specialist with OSU Extension.Those yield results held true if the soil temperatures were 50 degrees or warmer, Lindsey said. However, soybeans planted too early when soil conditions were not adequate resulted in bean leaf beetle defoliation and frost damage.Canopy closure beneficial“There are some exceptions to a yield advantage when planting early, such as if the soils aren’t warm enough or if the fields are too wet,” she said. “In those cases, early planting can be detrimental to soybean yields. “The greatest benefit of planting May 1 to mid-May is canopy closure, which increases light interception, improves weed control by shading out weeds, and helps retain soil moisture.”In a recent posting in the college’s Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (C.O.R.N) newsletter, Lindsey said soybean growers need to consider planting conditions before heading to the field.“Soybean germination begins when soil temperatures reach 50 degrees and moisture is present at the planting depth of 1-1.5 inches,” she said. “With these conditions, emergence can typically be expected 2-3 weeks after planting.”Lindsey cautions growers not to plant early if the soil is excessively cold or wet.Timely planting critical“Slower germination and compaction can negate the benefits of the earlier planting date,” she said. “Timely planting is critical for maximizing yield in soybeans, but using good judgment on field conditions plays a role that is equally important to determining yield potential.”Seeding rates and row spacing are also important to consider to achieve optimum soybean yields, Lindsey said.Preliminary results of another two-year study of soybean seeding rates and row spacing show fields with between 100,000-140,000 plants per acre at harvest will result in yields that generally provide the maximum economic return, she said.“The study also found that soybeans planted at 7.5- and 15-inch row widths outyielded soybeans planted at 30-inch row widths,” Lindsey said. “Soybeans planted in the 30-inch rows yielded on average 15 to 20% lower than those planted in the narrower rows.”The study, which is funded by the Ohio Soybean Council, will also use data from this year’s growing season to compare to last year’s results, Lindsey said.last_img read more

Mahela Jayawardene joins Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara on 34 Test tons

first_imgMahela Jayawardene smashed his 34th Test century against South Africa to match the record of Gavaskar and LaraMahela Jayawardene smashed his 34th test century as Sri Lanka overcame an early hiccup and scored a healthy 305-5 on day one of the second test against South Africa on Thursday.Jayawardene made a splendid unbeaten 140 off 225 balls with 16 fours and a six on a flat pitch at Sinhalese Sports Club and raised his 11th test century at the venue – the most by any batsman at one venue.Dale Steyn (2-55) had Sri Lanka reeling at 16-2 when he snared wickets off successive deliveries before Jayawardene put on 99 for the third wicket with Kaushal Silva (44), and another 131 with captain Angelo Mathews, who scored 63.Jayawardene, who will retire from Test cricket next month, showed brilliant form at his favorite venue as Sri Lanka bid to level the two-match series after losing the first test at Galle.Earlier, Mathews won the toss but a charged-up Steyn had early success when Upul Tharanga couldn’t get his glove out of the way while attempting to leave a short ball and very next ball Kumar Sangakkara top edged an easy catch off another short delivery.But Jayawardene and Silva combined for an attractive stand at a healthy run-rate before J.P. Duminy (2-58) had Silva caught by A.B. de Villiers in the slips in the last over before lunch.South Africa could have removed Silva while he was on 10, soon after Steyn’s double strike, but Alviro Petersen missed a catch at third slip off fast bowler Vernon Philander.advertisementJayawardene completed his 49th test half century off 58 balls and continued to dominate the bowlers after lunch – especially legspinner Imran Tahir. He completed his century by sweeping a full toss of Dean Elgar in the last over before tea and ran for two.Mathews completed his half century off 100 balls soon after the break before Duminy broke the stand when Mathews tried to cut the spinner but got a faint edge to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.Morne Morkel finally had his lone success of the day when nervy looking Kithuruwan Vithanage (13) fended at a short pitched delivery and got the shoulder of the bat to de Villiers in the slips.Sri Lanka made three changes to its lineup and brought in Dickwella, replacing Dinesh Chandimal, while another youngster Vithanage came in place of Lahiru Thirimanne.Ajantha Mendis replaced injured fast bowler Shaminda Eranga as Sri Lanka expected the pitch would aid three spinners.South Africa kept faith in its three fast bowlers – Steyn, Philander and Morkel – with Tahir its specialist legspinner.last_img read more

Optimization Testing: Don’t Obsess Over Conversion Rates

first_img Gross margin Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Revenue per visitor Lose Your Gut (Feel) in 60 Minutes: Site Optimization Testing Boot Camp More traffic was driven to your site, conversion rate decreased, revenue increased Conversion Rate Optimization @getelastic More people purchased, but a percentage would have purchased anyway without the discount Pre-checked email opt in test: What does conversion rate mean, anyway? Price and promotions test: Like this post? Register for the upcoming HubSpot & Get Elastic Webinar on 6/9 at 4pm ET: One of the biggest mistakes you can make with A/B or multivariate testing is to have conversion rate myopia. It can cause you to draw the wrong conclusions about success, and apply the wrong elements to your site which can actually cause you to Revenue Originally published Jun 6, 2011 7:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 . Linda is chief blogger at the Email price, promotions or coupon test: The cure for conversion rate myopia is to embrace the other important metrics, like: More people initiated checkout, but abandonment the same because the real problem lies in the funnel do is entice the visitor to stay on your site for more than one page view. This means a successful home page test reduces bounce rate and wins a higher percentage of clicks deeper into your site. can Know a Test Page’s Goal Some sites’ conversion goals are a completed “contact us” form, for example. In cases where there is a very short conversion funnel, home pages may have more influence on the holy-grail-conversion for your business. While it’s always important to measure conversion rate improvement with any test, it’s not the only (and not always the most important) metric to consider in testing. There are different data points you can use to construct a conversion rate, but essentially it is expressed as the number of conversion actions (sales, completed forms, Facebook Likes, email sign ups, etc) divided by the number of visitors. Where conversion rate can become convoluted is when you have to decide whether a conversion rate applies to total visitors or unique visitors, or to a particular traffic segment (e.g. exclude customers outside of your shipping area). Other examples of analytics relationships: More people signed up for email, but reported your messages as spam because they signed up unwittingly More people purchased the item, but more tried to refund because item wasn’t explained truthfully, negative reviews suppressed money. Merchandising test:center_img Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog Elastic Path Software . lose For most folks, the conversion goal measured is sales. So a home page test would be tied to ultimate sales. But is it fair to hold, for example, a banner on a home page responsible for higher or lower conversion percentages? The home page is simply one page in a long conversion funnel. Unless you can purchase directly from the home page, it does not influence ultimate conversion. What a home page  Margin per customer Remove negative reviews test: Banner ad test: Repurchase rate More people bought, but items per sale were lower – profit did not increase This is a guest article written by Linda Bustos, director of eCommerce research for Cart button test: It’s always important to consider the revenue improvement, not just conversion rate improvement. Removing product recommendations from shopping cart pages, for example, may improve conversion by 20%, but if average order value fell by 30%, it’s not a winner. Average order value Are you measuring the right thing with your website optimization tests? Items per order and Margin per visit (profit) The Other Other Metrics Revenue less returns Return rate Understand the Relationship Between Metrics Lifetime customer value The challenge is, some of these gold nuggets of data are not available from your analytics tool out-of-the-box with Google Analytics. (Some tools like Yahoo Web Analytics and Omniture allow you to import COGS – cost of goods sold – for example). You may need to integrate your data sources together to get a clearer picture. At the very minimum, you should be looking at revenue, revenue per visitor and average order value. More people bought, but at a lower price – profit did not increase @roxyyo , the Internet’s most read eCommerce blog. You can find Linda on Twitter Topics:last_img read more

Foursquare Launches ‘Promoted Updates,’ PPC for Local Businesses

first_img Topics: Foursquare Originally published Jul 25, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Foursquare explains that the algorithms used to power the ‘Explore’ tab’s normally personalized recommendations are the same ones Foursquare uses to determine which Promoted Updates get delivered to each user. These Promoted Updates could come from businesses that are on the user’s lists, places their Foursquare friends have visited or liked, or places a user might want to check out depending on their location or the time of day.For now, Foursquare is testing Promoted Updates with a group of pilot partners including both local businesses and nationwide brands such as Best Buy, Gap, Walgreens, and Dave & Buster’s. Over the upcoming months, Foursquare will be tracking how businesses use them and how users interact with them in order to make improvements, eventually rolling the feature out to all businesses on Foursquare. Companies looking to learn more about Promoted Updates can sign up using this form.We don’t know anything more about Promoted Updates or how much they cost, but one could assume that, since Foursquare likens them to Google AdWords, payment is likely pay-per-click style, based on keyword bids. And if you’re a business that has had success with location-based social media promotions in the past, it might be worth it to test Promoted Updates once they’re more widely available.What do you think about Promoted Updates? Will you experiment with them for your business? Looks like Foursquare has been a busy bee lately, announcing the second of two new features in just one week’s time. Today, the location-based social network is launching ‘Promoted Updates,’ similar in nature to the “Promoted” features we’ve seen from Facebook and Twitter.But because we never covered Foursquare’s other launch of ‘Local Updates’ last week, let’s do a quick summary before we move onto Foursquare’s latest announcement.What Are Local Updates?Local Updates allows businesses to share updates with the Foursquare users who frequent their business. So if a user has checked in to a business often — or liked it — they’ll be able to access the latest updates from that business via their ‘Friends’ tab whenever they’re in the same city as the establishment. This enables users to get the latest news from places where they’re loyal customers about things like new specials, products, or other promos. It also enables businesses to better connect with and cater to the customers that repeatedly bring them business. Local Updates is now available to all companies that have claimed their business on Foursquare. What Are Promoted Updates?Okay, now that we’ve gotten last week’s update out of the way, let’s talk about Foursquare’s latest announcement — Promoted Updates.Whereas Local Updates provide Foursquare users with a better way to keep up with the updates from businesses they already like, Promoted Updates help them discover new places. These updates look similar to Local Updates, except they can be found in Foursquare users’ ‘Explore’ tab, and businesses have to pay to promote them there. Get it? ‘Promoted Updates’? These updates can include anything from a money-saving special, news about a new product line, or a photo of a restaurant’s latest menu item.How Promoted Updates WorkFoursquare compares the way Promoted Updates work to the way Google AdWords works. In other words, if I searched for “Mexican food” in Google, I might see an ad for a Mexican restaurant in the PPC results. In Foursquare, similarly, searching for “Mexican food” in the ‘Explore’ tab might result in a Promoted Update from a local Mexican restaurant about its new summer menu items. 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

7 Critical Things Every Lead Nurturing Email Needs to Communicate

first_img Originally published Nov 27, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 We use email as a form of communication. In fact, email is one of the most common forms of communication marketers rely on. And yet, a lot of the time when we’re crafting our marketing emails, we neglect to consider exactly what it is we’re communicating, whether it be in terms of the tone we’re using, the email’s design, or most importantly, the content itself.One type of marketing email that deserves particular attention here is lead nurturing emails. The idea behind lead nurturing is to provide your leads with valuable content that targets their needs and goals in order to guide them through your buying cycle until they are sales-ready. These leads are people in your marketing database who you already have some information about, most likely collected from a lead-capture form that they filled out. And because you already have information about certain characteristics and behaviors of these leads, shouldn’t your emails be designed to communicate with them differently than you would if you didn’t know anything about them? The answer is yes ;-)Let’s take a look at how your lead nurturing emails should aim to communicate with your leads.7 Things Every Lead Nurturing Email Should Communicate1) You know something about them.First things first: You need to make sure your emails convey that you actually know something about your recipients. Why? Well number one, people like to know they’re not just providing you with information about themselves for no reason. But more importantly, you capture people’s attention when you make things about them. Show them you’re paying attention to what they’re telling you about themselves. If your form asks where they live, or what size their business is, or their role at their company, use that information!Segmentation is important when you nurture your leads because it allows you to target each individual lead more closely. Let’s say you own a horseback riding school. Some of your leads may be potential students who have never ridden a horse in their lives before. And maybe you also have a bunch of more advanced riders in your database. You’ll probably want to send those very different leads something completely different, right? Just make sure your personalization goes beyond using the person’s first name in your email. You know more important things about them, and you should show them that.2) You are aware of their needs and interests, or are looking to learn what they are.The best marketing is focused around your leads and what they want and need, not what you and your company are looking to get from them. Therefore, your emails should show your readers you care about what they need and what their goals are. If you don’t already know this information, ask for it! A simple “How can I help?” email that doesn’t contain any links to download something actually makes for a great lead nurturing email, because it not only opens up a dialogue with your leads, but it also allows them to provide you with a better understanding of what it is they’re looking for and hoping to get from your company. Once you’re equipped with this information, you can begin your next email with “I understand that your biggest challenge is ______,” and that should have them hooked.3) You have something valuable to offer them.Okay, now your leads know you’re looking out for their needs. So what? So, you have a way to help them! Once you’ve identified these interests and needs, you can start sending them content that helps them learn more about these areas, or any other resources you think they might find useful. Make it clear in your emails that you not only understand what your leads need, but also that you have a way to help. Think back to our horseback riding school example in number 1. Those advanced horseback riders in your database probably wouldn’t appreciate your introductory guide to horseback riding, but that’s probably a great offer for the ones who’ve never ridden a horse before. See what we mean?4) You know why this offer is valuable to them. Arguably more important than simply having a valuable offer for your leads is conveying to them exactly why that offer is valuable to them. Why should they download your ebook? What are they going to learn? What are they going to be able to do differently or better after reading it? Maybe you’re a B2B company, and your offer is to provide a free consultation for some aspect of their business. How exactly is this going to help them? Why should they sign up? Assume that the default reaction to your offer is always “Why should I bother?” and tell them exactly why. It’s not enough to position your offer in terms of its content. You have to position it in terms of its value, too.5) Why they should trust you.You know how much spam is out there these days. Seriously, how many junk emails are you getting? The fact of the matter is, whether or not they think your content is going to be useful is not the only thing your leads are considering when deciding whether or not to open your emails. They’re also deciding how much they trust you.If your company has a strong reputation in your industry, great – you probably don’t have much to worry about. If you’re still building up your authority, your emails need to make it extremely clear that you are a trustworthy source of information. How? First of all, send quality content. Don’t be pushing out unreliable or low-quality content just so you have content to use in your emails. Second, use trust seals (e.g. BBB) and privacy policies on your site, or include them in your emails. Third, make sure the language of your emails comes off as friendly, not spammy. And most importantly, keep your emails relevant. Spam emails are never relevant, and almost never personalized.6) Why they’d be missing out if they didn’t take advantage of this offer.Here’s where the real convincing comes in. To really seal the deal, you have to go one step further than conveying the value of your offer. You have to create a sense of urgency. Don’t just tell them why they should take advantage of your offer, tell them why they’ll be missing out if they don’t. No one wants to fall behind in their industry. No business is comfortable knowing that their competitors are outpacing them, staying more relevant, using better tools, driving more revenue. Even in a B2C context, most consumers these days are concerned with staying ahead of the curve with the latest products and technologies. Use this information to incentivize your leads to take action. Create the need, address it, and then fill it.7) You’re looking to help them, not you.We glossed over this point earlier, but it’s definitely worth more emphasis. This is ultimately the most crucial idea you could communicate in your marketing emails. The second your recipients think you’re just looking to get what you want, you lose them. They’re not interested in being marketed to. They’re interested in solving their problems. Your job as a marketer is to figure out how to get what you want, but by making it about them. Start your emails with “you” instead of “I”. Use the information you have about them. Target your content to their needs. Show them that you’re looking to help.Emails can be pretty complex. You have to find the right content, the best positioning, the clearest language, the most appealing design, and then some. But really, the effectiveness of your emails at engaging and nurturing your leads essentially boils down to one thing: the way you communicate. If you pay close attention to what and how you’re communicating, you’ll be able to optimize your emails to be far more effective, and start converting those leads into customers.How well are your lead nurturing emails hitting these 7 communication must-haves? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Nurturing Topics:last_img read more

I’m Not You, You’re Not Me. So Why Do We Have the Same Internet?

first_img Topics: Fab is a fast-growing ecommerce company that made its name running daily flash sales. But this week the New York-based e-tailer announced a pretty big change: from now on Fab will drop the flash sales and instead enable its members to “follow what you love,” and only get information about things they care about. Moreover, “We’ll personalize your Fab experience on-site based on what you follow,” CEO Jason Goldberg announced in a blog post.The idea is to put users in control, enabling them to choose what kinds of things they’ll hear about and where they will get that information — mobile, email, onsite, etc. In other words: my Fab will be different from your Fab, which will be different from your best friend’s Fab.To each his or her own is the new motto of the internet. Everywhere you look, in every corner of every industry, companies are looking for ways to create products and experiences that are personalized and customized. “Context” has become the umbrella term, and for internet companies it has become the new Holy Grail.Just last week I met with a top executive at a Silicon Valley tech company whose engineers are working on what he calls “a contextual operating system.” One example of what this could do: when you’re sitting in a conference room with a bunch of people, your phone would know where it was, and who else was in the room with you. Your phone would know when it was in your pocket, and when it was out on the table, and could behave differently depending on where it is.The Age of ContextFab’s decision to double down on customization and personalization could become a model for others, including the news business, says Ranjan Roy, the co-founder of Informerly, a news site that tracks the ecommerce industry. “How come when I go to the NY Times homepage, except for a tiny `Recommended for You’ section way below the fold, I see the same articles as everyone else?” Roy wonders in a blog post titled, “Fab.com and the Future of News.”Maybe someday my New York Times will be different from your New York Times. We already see glimmers of this today. My Amazon.com homepage is not the same as yours, for example. Tech pundits Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are working on a book called “The Age of Context,” which they also believe is right around the corner and will represent a “transformative tsunami, one which will change work and life.”The ability to deliver personalized experiences in the context of who someone is, where they are, what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, and even why they’re doing it, will also force companies to rethink and reinvent their approach to marketing.This is a subject near and dear to our hearts at HubSpot, not only as it relates to our ecommerce solutions but also to the overall HubSpot product. Check out this video from last year’s INBOUND conference where our CEO, Brian Halligan, talked about using content to pull people toward your brand, and then using context to deliver an experience that’s tailored to their interests. (Skip to the 12:00 minute mark.)Says Halligan: “The way I think about the next six years of inbound marketing is if we use content to pull people in, pull people into our website, pull people into our front door, the next phase of inbound marketing is how do you use context to pull people through the funnel.” That was a year ago. You’ll hear even more about context from Halligan at this year’s INBOUND.The Filter BubbleA world that’s completely tailored to your interests could have some drawbacks, of course, chief among them the so-called “filter bubble” where people end up getting isolated by algorithms that only show them what they want to see. Thus conservatives get one kind of news, and liberals get another, that kind of thing. And sheltering people from viewpoints and opinions that differ from their own is a recipe for isolation.From a marketing and ecommerce perspective the filter bubble presents an analogous drawback, which is that you lose out on serendipity, the experience of discovering things outside your set of self-declared interests. Sites like Amazon are great at doing the “If you liked that, then you’ll probably also like this” kind of comparison. It’s wonderful, but it also can have a narrowing effect.But fear not. Techies are already aware of this, and working on ways to address it. What would be really great is a dashboard that lets people dial in how much or how little serendipity they want. After the Age of Content, and the Age of Context, maybe we could call this the Age of Control.How much personalization do you want — as a marketer, and as a consumer? Originally published Jul 17, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Personalization in Marketing 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