Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week: What Thou Doest, Do Quickly

first_imgThis award should be for last week since the article on EurekAlert was dated Jan 29.  From a press release at Rice University, it begins:It’s a mystery why the speed and complexity of evolution appear to increase with time.  For example, the fossil record indicates that single-celled life first appeared about 3.5 billion years ago, and it then took about 2.5 billion more years for multi-cellular life to evolve.  That leaves just a billion years or so for the evolution of the diverse menagerie of plants, mammals, insects, birds and other species that populate the earth.It’s clear the author of that line was not asking if the speed and complexity of evolution increased, but why it did.  The article tries to make a rather logically incestuous point that evolution selects for faster evolvability (see 08/04/2004 entry and 10/04/2005 commentary).    Later on in the article, a quote by Michael Deem implies that the whole complex human immune system was a simple mistake: “For example, we can trace the development of the adaptive immune system in humans and other jointed vertebrates to an HGT insertion1 about 400 million years ago.”  Elementary, my dear Michael. 1HGT = horizontal gene transfer.  Some other creature’s gene for immunity from some unknown source inserted itself into the line leading to man – so the story goes.  How that gene provided immune function is left as an exercise (for speculation).Evolution is the omniscient, omnipotent, inscrutable deity of the Darwinists.  At least Christians have a real God instead of a virtual one.  If you pray to a virtual deity, you only get a virtual answer.  Dictionary.com also indicates that virtual can mean: “Simulated; performing the functions of something that isn’t really there.  An imaginative child’s doll may be a virtual playmate.”  Interpretation: Darwinists are still playing with Tinker Bell dolls and should grow up.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Doomed Worlds: Planets Seen Disrupting, Not Forming

first_imgMuch as astrobiologists would like to see the birth of a new planet, the ones we observe seem to be dying, not being born.“Newly found planet may turn into dust,” reads a headline on NASA’s Astrobiology Net.  This does not bode well for any inhabitants the astrobiologists would like to meet.  Echoing a press release from MIT, the article described how a planet around a star 1,500 light-years away appears to have a comet-like tail, evidence of a cloud of dust following the planet as it disintegrates.  The press release includes a 40-second animation of how the “doomed world” is shedding its material, and ends with this statement:“This might be another way in which planets are eventually doomed,” says Fabrycky, who was not involved in the research. “A lot of research has come to the conclusion that planets are not eternal objects, they can die extraordinary deaths, and this might be a case where the planet might evaporate entirely in the future.”PhysOrg today described another place where planets are doomed.  Too remote to be observed directly, this system’s dust disk appears to be tugged at by a black hole at the galactic center.  No need to worry about the inhabitants there; there aren’t any.  “Yet, even if planets do form, living near a supermassive black hole is still not a hospitable place for life,” the article said.  “The extreme amounts of UV radiation emitted as the black hole devours gas and dust is likely to sterilize the region.”As referenced in the May 14 entry, New Scientist warned that dust disks around stars can no longer be assumed as planet maternity wards.  “Dust rings not ‘smoking gun’ for planets after all,” wrote Maggie McKee.  (Sorry for the unfortunate mixed metaphors; the thought of a smoking gun in a maternity ward may be disturbing – unless nothing was being born there in the first place.)  The dust surrounding a star can form sharply-defined rings without congealing into a paradise for aliens.Astrobiologists and planet hunters have a new worry announced in Nature today:1 “Startling superflares.” Bradley Schaefer, referencing a study done by the Kepler Spacecraft team published in the same issue of Nature,2 said, “Stars that are just like our Sun have flares more than a million times more energetic than the biggest flare ever seen on the Sun.”  A couple of minutes of exposure to one of these flares would doom the Earth, but some of these flares from other sun-like stars can last for half a day or several days.  The astronomers found no correlation of superflares with hot Jupiters or with rotation rates, leaving them clueless about the causes of the flares.Statistically, superflares are not common on sun-like stars.  Nevertheless, our sun is special, as Schaefer explained:The possibility that the Sun has superflares is not realized. Historical and geophysical records show that the Sun has not had any superflares in the past two millennia, and no superflares with more than roughly 1036 erg for perhaps a billion years. Maehara et al. show that only 0.2% of Sun-like stars have superflares, so it is unlikely that the Sun has such events. With their average rate of occurrence (once every 100 days for 1035-erg flares) and their observed size distribution (with a power-law index of roughly −2.0), the expected frequency of 1032-erg flares on all superflare stars should be very high. In stark contrast to this, the Sun has one 1032-erg event roughly every 450 years and so is completely different from superflare stars.While recognizing the deadly force of a superflare, Schaefer exercised a vivid imagination by thinking of ways they might be good for evolution:Superflares have implications far beyond being just a challenge for stellar physics. If a superflare’s energy is linked to the orbital energy of a hot Jupiter, then three events a year on the star would make its planetary companion spiral in towards it on a timescale of a billion years. The huge energy output of superflares could make any planets around the star uninhabitable for far-future human colonization, and astrobiologists will have to consider the effect of the superflares on possible alien life. Superflares might provide the high-energy radiation required to create organic molecules, so perhaps superflare systems are a good place to look for alien life that has evolved to avoid the effects of the huge flares.1. Bradley Schaefer, “Startling superflares,” Nature 485 (24 May 2012), pp. 456–457, doi:10.1038/nature11194.2. Maehera et al., “Superflares on solar-type stars,” Nature 485 (24 May 2012), doi:10.1038/nature11063.Preach it, Bradley; Darwin comes to the rescue to create aliens that evolve the ability to avoid being fried to a crisp.  Why not test your idea by looking for imaginary friends on Venus or the Sun?The findings do not support the bottom-up view that everything emerges from nothing.  Instead, they are consistent with the top-down view of the universe: the universe, stars and planets were created perfect and are degenerating under entropy.  Planets and stars are not being formed now; they are disrupting and getting fried.  Were it not for providential design of our star and planet, it could happen to us, too.The findings are also consistent with the Privileged Planet hypothesis of Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez, that our planet was designed for life and for scientific discovery.  The only place in the universe we know about where sentient beings can observe distant stars and see that they have superflares is Earth.  Those same beings can notice that our sun is remarkably stable and life-sustaining.Intelligent design, of course, is not at all surprising to Biblical creationists who read the words of Isaiah, revealing God’s purpose in making the Earth:For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.  (Isaiah 45:18)With great privilege comes great responsibility, as the Lord, speaking through Isaiah, continued in the next verses (referring back to Genesis 1 as His revelation):Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.  Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.   I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.  (Isaiah 45:21-24) (Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The comfort of a warm blanket

first_imgSteyn says she never dreamed there would be such a good response. “It started out with me wanting to make a difference with my own two hands and it has transformed into something much, much bigger. This campaign reminds me of something Madiba once said: ‘We must use time creatively, and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right.’ I guess that this is also testament to what I like to call Madiba Magic.” (Image: 67 Blankets)On Nelson Mandela Day, thousands of blankets will be handed to underprivileged people, knitted or crocheted by dedicated “knit wits” around the world. It’s all part of a campaign spearheaded by Carolyn Steyn, who is doing her bit to play her part for the common good.It’s captured the attention of thousands of South Africans as well as corporates and hundreds of people in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US and India. Joining is easy. The only requirement is that the single bed-sized blanket or baby blanket has to be handmade – bought blankets will not be accepted. Blankets can be knitted or crocheted and should measure 150cm x 200cm. “You can decide on your own size squares, your own colour – but preferably a darker colour so as not to show up dirt too easily.” Watch Carolyn Steyn knitting for Madiba here: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more

Unfriending: Are People Online Shedding Friends? (Debate)

first_imgRelated Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos I think “unfriend” is a very appropriate word for the year as it fits with the way people are becoming more sophisticated in their social networking. People are deciding to do some editing of the friends lists they rushed naively into.7 out of the top 10 searches performed on the Facebook Help Center page are about getting rid of your own social network profiles or your friends. Admittedly “unfriend” isn’t one of those words, but you get the idea.It’s easy in this new web to sign up for things, getting overwhelmed and ignoring streams of information is par for the course. But choosing to cancel receipt of a person’s updates? That’s a meaningful move. People fall for those “see who’s searching for you” ads on social networks all the time. You’d better believe they appreciate the control that unfriending gives them. I’ll bet that just about anyone online, no matter their level of technical knowledge, could tell you these days what it means to “unfriend someone.”What do you think? Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Analysis#social networks#web marshall kirkpatrick The New Oxford American Dictionary announced its Word of the Year today and like everyone else, the organization is keeping an eye on the internet. Its selection? unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.Has Oxford Dictionary made the right selection? ReadWriteWeb’s Founder Richard MacManus thinks not. I disagree with him; I think this is a very valid Word of the Year. We make our cases below and invite you to cast your vote in a poll.Richard MacManus, ReadWriteWeb founder:“I think that’s an odd choice for word of the year, as all the trends indicate there has been more social networking activity this past year – not less, as ‘unfriend’ implies. Facebook and Twitter have both rocketed in popularity in 2009. I’d suggest that more people have left MySpace and migrated to Facebook, than unfriended people on Facebook.“I also think that ‘unfriend’ is an ugly word, so for that reason it shouldn’t be Word of the Year. What’s more, I don’t think my Mum or Dad would be familiar with the term ‘unfriend.’ Perhaps my father will pop into the comments and tell us for certain. But I look forward to the results of the poll!”Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb lead writer: A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

The Online Anatomy of a Spreading Story

first_imgLast night, U.S. forces killed “the most wanted face of terrorism,” Osama bin Laden. However, this is not a political blog post or a commentary on the event. Instead, it is an examination of how technology has drastically changed the word-of-mouth spread of information. Traditional media, TV and print newspapers, couldn’t keep up with the story as fast as new, social media could draw the evolving picture. This dynamic teaches important marketing lessons about the power of self-publishing, diffusion of news and the future of information gathering. Twitter: Where the News First Leaked As you might have already learned, the news about Bin Laden’s death first leaked on Twitter. The White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, announced on Twitter that the President of the United States will address the nation at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, May 1. This act demonstrates the power of self-publishing tools and the subduing power of media as the messenger. The marketing takeaway is that today, you don’t need to knock on the door of journalists if you want to get the word out about something. If you build a large following, you can publish a story yourself and expect the press to come to you. Facebook: How the News Spread Don’t know about you, but I first learned about the story from Facebook. The status updates of all my friends had started to reflect the evolving story. They were leaving comments and heatedly discussing the news. In fact, Adam Ostrow wrote that within hours of the reported death, ‘a Facebook Page titled “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD” had already accumulated more than 150,000 ‘likes.’’Who you learn from hasn’t changed, it is still friends and family. But today, they won’t make a phone call to spread the news–they might post it on Facebook and expect to see a discussion take place. The marketing takeaway here is to realize the increasing potential of the Facebook news feed in delivering information and prompting action. Online Video: Where the Announcement Took Place Lots of people watched Obama’s speech on their televisions. But if you happened to learn about it online, you could have as well gone to www.whitehouse.gov and watched the live streaming of the announcement there. CitizenTube, YouTube’s channel on news and politics, was also broadcasting the President’s live address. In other words, the video was one click away from your current view.From start to finish, the story progressed on the Web. One could learn everything there was about it without turning the TV on. The virtual ecosystem carried the news from it’s leak on Twitter, to its spreading on other social media channels, to the actual video announcement and to the post-analysis on news sites and blogs. What has this event taught you about the spread of information online? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Newsjacking Topics: Originally published May 2, 2011 12:01:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

6 Tips for Building Great Product Pages

first_img On-page SEO If you run an online business, chances are you understand search engine optimization, traffic reports, and meta data as general concepts. However, what you may not realize is that you need to optimize every single page on your website — especially your product pages.Here are 6 great tips for building effective product pages for your ecommerce website.1. Turn Product Pages Into Great ContentIn the product pages of your website, always use original images and videos with creative descriptions that are both entertaining and informative. Make your pages unique in order to separate you from your competitors. And always avoid duplicate content at all costs. 2. Design Your Pages So They Focus on ConversionsLayouts should be three columns with the most important content on the left and center, as close to the top as possible. Make it very easy for the user to add the product to a cart with just one click. Keep the checkout button near the images or videos and away from user-generated content, like comments, that you can’t always control. 3. Create Unique Content and DescriptionsDescriptions should always be your own, but you can add to them with charts, graphs, fun facts, or anything else entertaining that gives the user information and adds to the user experience on your site.4. Optimize Your URL StructureIncluding the product name with the category in your page’s URL is the easiest way to attract targeted traffic because search engines take URL structure into account, and your product page will look more relevant to them it includes keywords for the product name.Think: https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/B2046/IMG13042.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Everything You Need to Sell Your Boss on Business Blogging

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Business Blogging Topics: You’re an inbound marketing convert. You believe in the importance of creating relevant and interesting content for your prospects to consume. You’ve been reading up on search engine optimization, and have started applying the best practices to your website. You even opened up a company Facebook page and Twitter account, though your venture into Google+ is still tenuous. All of that has been pretty easy to integrate into your day to day marketing responsibilities, but there’s one thing you really want to make more time for: blogging.There’s just one problem. Writing blog content on a regular basis requires time that you just don’t have. To get the time, you’ll have to lobby your boss for more resources, and that means convincing your boss that blogging is actually worth your time, your effort, and his money. So how do you go about doing that? This blog post (how meta is that?) will give you the facts, research, and know-how to explain the benefits of business blogging to a tentative boss and debunk many of the common myths inbound marketing professionals are frequently faced with during these difficult conversations.Is blogging really effective? What results will we see?Nothing like some cold, hard data to prove a point. How does this sound?The average company that blogs generates 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages. (Tweet This Stat!)HubSpot’s 2011 ROI Study shows that 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging. (Tweet This Stat!)57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog. (Tweet This Stat!)The Nielsen Company shows that US internet users spend 3X more time on blogs and social networks than in email. (Tweet This Stat!)Inbound marketing, of which blogging is a crucial part, costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing. (Tweet This Stat!)Bet you got your boss’ attention now, eh? You can find more statistics to impress your boss and make your point in this compilation of 100 interesting inbound marketing data points.But won’t blogging open us up for negative comments?Whenever you put anything out on the internet, you open yourself up to negative comments. You can’t let that stop you from creating a meaningful internet presence. That being said, blog comments are not only far less frequent than they were even just a few years ago, but the importance with which they are regarded has also decreased. If you’re operating your business on the up and up and your content is honest and genuine, you have little to fear in terms of commenter backlash.And just as with any reputation management issue you’re confronted with in business, if you face it head on and operate as a compassionate human being instead of a faceless corporation, you have the opportunity to turn those naysayers into your biggest fans.This sounds like a huge time investment. Who is going to write it all?To determine how much time you’ll need to dedicate to your blog, you have to take a look at the competition. Are your organic competitors blogging twice a week? Multiple times a day? Not at all? To outperform them with your inbound marketing, you need to also outperform them with blogging.Once you’ve determined the frequency, you’ll know how much support you need. Can you handle this yourself? Or do you need a new hire dedicated exclusively to blogging? Many organizations, including HubSpot, require specific employees to contribute a minimum number of blog posts a month. This solution helps feed your blog with quality content, provides more than one voice for a valuable mix of perspectives, and doesn’t put undue burden on any one member of your organization.Does anyone here even know how to blog?Blogging doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but the barrier to entry is very low. Think of it this way. If you’re in sales, you can answer questions about your products and services, right? If you’re in marketing, you can write copy that positions your company correctly, right? If you’re a C-level exec, you sure didn’t get to that position without knowing a thing or two about your industry, right? You have the knowledge you need to blog, you just need to learn the best practices that make up a great blog post. Luckily, those best practices are not only simple, but we’ve already written them all down for you.The best blogs aren’t long, complex, and full of stuffy language and industry jargon. They’re succinct, specific, and engaging. As long as your topic is helpful, you can write just like you talk — and your prospects will love it. Oh, we also came up with 100 content ideas to make it even easier for you to get started.Will this help with our SEO and social media presence?Yes, yes, yes. Not only is blogging one of the most important means of achieving SEO greatness, it will be extremely difficult to see consistent and meaningful SEO improvements without blogging. One of the most important ways a search engine knows to return your website in search results is based on the quality of your content and the frequency at which you publish it. Blogging is a simple, low-cost solution to this. Blogging also makes it far more likely that your content will be shared on social media networks and receive inbound links from other websites, two more crucial aspects that boost your SEO street cred.Speaking of social media, you can (and should) add social media share and follow buttons to every blog post you write. If you don’t know how to create these buttons, here’s a cheat sheet that will tell you everything you need to know. Your blog content will not only help you get more followers on your social media networks, but your social media networks will help you get more blog readers. Blogging and social media are two peas in a pod; as your reach expands on one, so it does on the other.What questions have you faced when trying to explain blogging ROI? What answers helped you convince your boss or clients?Image credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com Originally published Dec 29, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How to Make a Visual Call-to-Action for Social Media [Quick Tip]

first_imgOne of the most popular social media tips people give is “Make sure you include an engaging image in your posts” … but what does that actually mean? If you’re trying to generate leads with social media, do you need to include a certain type of image to do so? Or is simply including an image enough to increase engagement?Lots of people take the latter path … but think about it for a second. If you’re slapping up any image on social media, you’re losing out on valuable lead generation real estate. What if, instead, you used that image as a visual call-to-action to help you get even more clicks, leads, and customers? That’d be pretty cool, huh?But generating leads from visuals on social media isn’t as simple as attaching a bright red “Download Your Ebook Here” CTA button. Because of the way social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ display images, users can’t just click on an image to be taken to your landing page. You’ve got to use images to spur clicks on the link in the copy of your post. Basically, there’s a huge opportunity to optimize social media images to help generate leads, but we just have to be very particular about how we use them. We’ll walk you through every part of creating a social media call-to-action image below so you can generate even more leads from your social media accounts. Let’s get on with it. The Resources You’ll NeedFirst things first — you need the right resources to create and optimize a call-to-action for social media. Here’s what you need:Your design program of choice. We’ll be using PowerPoint throughout the rest of the post, but you can use anything.Here’s a template that will help you design images for any of the popular social networks.Want to use your cover photo as a call-to-action? Download this template.Spruce up your image with free stock photos! We even have special business-themed ones. :)Go abstract with free customizable icons.Make your image pop with a special call-to-action button.Your URL Shortener of choice. (HubSpot customers, this is under your Reports tab in the Tracking URL Builder.)Now, let’s get started. How to Make an Effective Visual Call-to-Action for Social Media1) Set your background to fit the social network’s photo dimensions.We’re going to do a Facebook Cover Photo in this example (an 815 x 351 picture). Resize your photos to work best for the social network you’re on (here’s how you can resize backgrounds in PowerPoint).2) Add copy to the photo to communicate what marketing offer you’re promoting.Be clear about what you’re offering here. For instance, if it’s an ebook, call it an ebook. People won’t like feeling duped if they see one thing on the social media image and another on your landing page. 3) Add visual imagery to explain the offer.Whether you decide to use a stock photo, a Creative Commons photo, or an icon, make sure your visual is … well … visual. Since the marketing offer I am promoting is our free icon set, I will go ahead and use the icons.  4) Add a call-to-action to the image.This is probably the most important part of your social media image, as it will instruct users how to get your free download. Notice in the image below that I don’t say “Click Here to Get Your Offer.” This is because, technically, users can’t just click on the photo to get the offer. Be explicit here, and clicks will increase.5) Group your images and then save them as a picture.6) When uploading your image to social media, don’t forget to add a shortened link to the offer in the accompanying text.This will allow you to track your content even more effectively than before. And voila! You’ve got a call-to-action image that’s prepped and ready for any social network you like. :)Image credit: LUH 3417 Originally published Sep 27, 2013 11:27:33 AM, updated February 01 2017 Visual Content Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

18 Email Marketing Stats That’ll Make You Better at Your Job

first_imgDid you know that marketers sent over 838 billion emails in 2013? That’s almost three times the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that statistic is mind-blowing.In a close second to the number of emails sent this year and the total number of stars in our galaxy is the amount of data out there on email marketing. With so many resources, oftentimes in the form of extensive reports, it can be hard to find the time to keep track of important industry stats and information.As a fellow email marketer, I know what types of stats you’re looking out for: numbers on email engagement and frequency, mobile optimization (hint: if you’re one of the 89% of marketers not optimizing email for mobile, you’re not properly reaching 48% of your list), and, of course, ROI.Remember: Data is power. That’s why I’ve put together this list of essential email marketing stats every marketer should know.18 Stats Email Marketers Ought to Know1) As of 2013, there are 3.6 billion email accounts (Radicati). (Tweet This Stat!)2) 54% of emails sent by businesses are marketing messages (Epsilon). (Tweet This Stat!)3) 838 billion marketing messages have been sent in 2013 (Forrester). (Tweet This Stat!)4) 91% of consumers check their email daily (ExactTarget). (Tweet This Stat!)5) 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle). (Tweet This Stat!)6) The average clickthrough rate for B2B marketing emails in Q2 2013 was 1.7% (Epsilon). (Tweet This Stat!)7) 60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI (Marketing Sherpa). (Tweet This Stat!)8) 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association). (Tweet This Stat!)9) Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association). (Tweet This Stat!)10) 59% of companies are integrating email and social channels together (eConsultancy). (Tweet This Stat!)11) 76% of email opens occur in the first two days after an email is sent (Alchemy Worx). (Tweet This Stat!)12) 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)13) Only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile (Equinux). (Tweet This Stat!)14) 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)15) Gmail opens have decreased by 27% since May (Litmus). (Tweet This Stat!)16) 25% of emails are opened on iPhones (Email Client Market Share). (Tweet This Stat!)17) Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your emails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately (HubSpot). (Tweet This Stat!)18) 17% of marketers don’t track or analyze email metrics for their organization (MEC Labs). (Tweet This Stat!)These stats tell a compelling story: that email is still the preferred mode of communication for the majority of consumers, is still biggest driver of new leads, has an astronomical ROI, and should clearly be one of your marketing team’s top priorities for 2014.Happy email marketing! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Marketing Metrics Topics: Originally published Dec 5, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated August 29 2017last_img read more

Want to Boost Enrollment? Segmenting Prospective Students Can Help

first_img Education Marketing Segmentation has many benefits, especially when attracting prospective students to your school’s programs. The more personalized and tailored your email messaging is, the higher success your email campaigns will have.Let’s talk specifics, though. Segmentation helps you impact critical email metrics, seeing improvements like:Increased open ratesHigher email relevanceLower opt-out/unsubscribe ratesBetter deliverabilityIncrease applicants and enrollmentEven HubSpot’s own research of sending personalized email messaging has resulted in nearly 3X clickthrough rate improvement over general email sends.Get the Right DataSegmentation is only successful if you have accurate data from which to segment your lists. This requires you to find or ask for this information via your website’s landing page forms, or via a survey of your current contacts. When you offer a downloadable content asset and require a form to be filled out, make sure you consider including questions around data you want to segment on, such as:City or country of originIntended area of studyEstimated enrollment yearIf they are currently enrolled in a schoolIf they intend to play a sportThese are just examples of form fields you might consider to get your brain going — customize your form fields based on what you need — and what information your readers are willing to offer.Create Prospective Student SegmentsThen you need to figure out how you are going to segment your contacts. If you’re concentrating your marketing efforts on increasing your prospective students and enrollment, whether your school is serving K-12 or higher education, these are some suggested segments you should consider targeting.Local StudentsLocal students can be those in the surrounding towns of your school, or those in the same state. This segmentation is important because the concerns and questions for local students and parents will be much different than those that are out of state. If you’re a higher-ed institution, tuition will also be different for in-state students.If you’re a K-12 school, commuting and upcoming events will be useful information for those looking to enroll their children in your school. Tailoring this content to those that know the area or the state will make them feel special and connected to the school close to them. You can tailor both your email marketing and your blog content to attract locals, if that is one of your target personas.Saint Leo University offers a great example of this kind of customization, example of which I’ll weave throughout this post. Check out the campus tour call-to-action they offer on their homepage:Domestic, Non-Local StudentsThese are students that are in your same country, but not in the same state as your school. These students and parents will be less familiar with the area around your school, as well as the nearby cities. Providing content to familiarize them with the area, as well as information that those nearby can easily access with a campus trip — like a virtual tour or pictures of the campus — will be important. They will also be more likely to be looking at other schools around the country, so identifying comparable schools that they may look at as well as yours (and comparing the benefits of yours to those schools) is great content to share with that particular segment.InternationalIf your school enrolls international students often, tailor your content to the concerns and questions of those students and parents. If you have exchange programs or special tuition information, for instance, make sure to include that information in your communications. You could even create a guide to your school for students that speak different languages.Segmenting your site and your email communications in this way will make it easier for international students to find the information they need. For instance, Saint Leos offers a virtual tour of their campus, something anyone can take advantage of, but makes an international student’s decision-marketing process far easier:You can also invite current international students to tell their stories of attending your school. Connecting prospective students and parents and current students is a great way for them to get real insight into attending your school.Transfer StudentsIf your offer a transfer program for students currently enrolled in other schools, they will be looking for information on how the process works and what similar programs you offer to those that they are currently studying in. Asking for more information on contact request forms is appropriate since these students will be looking for specific information in return, including what programs they’re looking to enroll in, what courses they’ve already taken, and when they are looking to transfer.AthletesStudent athletes will want as much information about your athletic programs as they can get. Simply asking your contacts if they are looking to play sport and if so, which one, can give you the information you need to create and deliver appropriately targeted content. You can then tailor your email content to updates about your current team’s performances, your training programs, and schedules for upcoming tryouts.If they are also in studying in the area of sports and fitness, provide information around courses you offer around sports medicine, physical therapy, etc. Again, Saint Leo has a ton of information on all their atheltic teams on their website, targeting those prospective student athletes:Graduate StudentsIf your school offers graduate-level degrees, this is another area to focus on for segmentation. Including information on your website and writing articles for them on your blog is important. But when you beginning to share information via email, you want to make sure you are nurturing them with content tailored to the area of study they are considering, including business, law, nursing, medical, and so on. This content will most likely be tailored to just students looking to apply, so you don’t need to think of the concerns of parents.How has your school seen suggest with segmentation — via email, via smart content on your website, or elsewhere? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published May 6, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more