Why Are Cash Sales Declining?

first_img The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago About Author: Kendall Baer Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago 2016-08-25 Kendall Baer Home / Daily Dose / Why Are Cash Sales Declining? Cash sales accounted for 30 percent of total home sales in May 2016, down 2.5 percentage points year over year from May 2015, with resales having the biggest impact on total cash sale shares, according a recent report from CoreLogic.The report shows that on a month-over-month basis, the cash sales share fell by 1.7 percentage points in May 2016. This was compared with April 2016. Additionally, for the first five months of 2016, the cash sales share averaged 33 percent. This was the lowest start to any year since 2008, compared to the cash sales share peak in January 2011 when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally and prior to the housing crisis, when the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent.  CoreLogic states that if the cash sales share continues to decrease at the same rate that was seen in May 2016, this share will reach 25 percent by mid-2018.It was also noted in the report that real estate-owned (REO) sales had the largest cash sales share in May 2016 sitting at 56.6 percent. Resales had the second highest cash sales share with 29.8 percent. Following resales was short sales with 27.9 percent and then newly constructed homes with 14.6 percent.CoreLogic says that while the percentage of REO sales within the all-cash category remained high, REO transactions accounted for only 5.1 percent of all home sales in May 2016. They do say that resales typically make up the majority of home sales, though, totaling about 83 percent in May 2016, and therefore have the biggest impact on the total cash sales share. With existing home sales down 3.2 percent according to the National Association of Realtors this could attribute to the decline in cash sales.In a further breakdown of the cash sales data geographically, the report shows Alabama as having the largest cash sales share of any state at 45.2 percent. This is followed by New York at 45.1 percent, and then Florida at 42.4 percent. New Jersey follows that lineup at 36.4 percent and Indiana rounds out the top five at 36 percent.CoreLogic also provides a breakdown of the nation’s Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population. They found that Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, MI had the highest cash sales share at 53.4 percent, followed by West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, FL at 52.3 percent, Philadelphia, PA at 52 percent, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL at 50.3 percent, and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL at 49.3 percent. The report also shows Syracuse, NY as having the lowest cash sales share at 13.7 percent. Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News. Share Save Previous: New FHA Changes Streamline Loss Mitigation Protocols Next: CFPB Arbitration Rule Faces Opposition Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Why Are Cash Sales Declining? August 25, 2016 1,494 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

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Cowboys back Spillman pending assault probe

first_imgThis June 4, 2013, file photo shows then-San Francisco 49ers safety C.J. Spillman at an NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)IRVING, Texas (AP) — With his coach’s backing, C.J. Spillman returned to the Cowboys practice field Thursday as he awaits the results of a police investigation into his role in an alleged sexual assault last month at a suburban Dallas hotel.“I’m not going to make any comment on an investigation where there’ve been no arrests or charges made,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Having said that, we’ve been very clear with our team about consequences that there will be if there is a situation where charges or arrests are made for a crime. We’ve been clear about that. That doesn’t apply in this particular case.”Garrett declined to say when the team was made aware of the allegation. Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling said Wednesday night that the alleged assault took place early Sept. 20 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine.The team flew to St. Louis later that Saturday, and the 28-year-old Spillman played against the Rams the next day. He has played in all four games, including last weekend at home against New Orleans, and is listed as a safety though he hasn’t played on defense this season.Spillman’s agent, Ron Slavin, and attorney Bruce Ashworth declined to comment. Eberling said no other details were being released because the investigation is ongoing.“He’ll take part in everything with our football at this time unless the circumstances change,” Garrett said. “You have to be careful with just accusations and allegations in this situation. When someone is officially charged or arrested for something, that’s when it becomes a different situation in our minds. For now, he’s a member of our football team and will take part in everything we do to this point.”The NFL has offered to interview the alleged victim “on a confidential and appropriate basis to obtain more information.” League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL has been “looking into the matter and will continue to do so.”The Cowboys signed the 28-year-old Spillman on Sept. 1, two days after the sixth-year player was among the final cuts by San Francisco. The former Louisville defensive back spent most of his first five seasons with the 49ers.The alleged assault came less than 24 hours after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference to address concerns about the way the league has handled domestic violence cases. Goodell and the league were widely criticized over a two-game suspension for Baltimore running back Ray Rice after he knocked out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.The commissioner later acknowledged the punishment was too light and said future first offenses in domestic violence cases would result in six-game bans. When an explosive video surfaced showing Rice punching the woman, he was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league.The NFL also has been rocked by a pair of assault cases last month that sidelined running backs Adrian Peterson in Minnesota and Jonathan Dwyer in Arizona. Peterson was indicted in Texas on felony child-abuse charges for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son.Dwyer won’t play again this season after his arrest on aggravated assault charges. A law enforcement report says he head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she refused his sexual advances, and punched her in the face the next day.Peterson and Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy are on a paid leave through a special roster exemption granted by the league. Hardy is appealing his conviction in a domestic violence case involving an ex-girlfriend in North Carolina.San Francisco defensive lineman Ray McDonald is playing after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence at a home he shares with his fiancee. He hasn’t been charged.___Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

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WDFW Approves Razor Clam Dig Starting May 6

first_imgFacebook46Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) State shellfish managers have added four days of razor clam digging at Mocrocks to a previously scheduled opening at Long Beach to offer a full week of digging starting May 6.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at Long Beach and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.The department added dates at Mocrocks after evaluating harvest levels and determining there are still clams available for digging, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:May 6, Friday, 6:51 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long BeachMay 7, Saturday, 7:39 a.m.; -2.0 feet; Long BeachMay 8, Sunday, 8:26 a.m.; -2.1 feet; Long BeachMay 9, Monday, 9:14 a.m.; -1.9 feet; MocrocksMay 10, Tuesday, 10:03 a.m.; -1.5 feet; MocrocksMay 11, Wednesday, 10:55 a.m.; -0.9 feet; MocrocksMay 12, Thursday, 11:49 a.m.; -0.3 feet; MocrocksAyres recommends that diggers arrive at the beaches an hour or two before low tide for best results. However, digging is not allowed on any beach after noon with the exception of Mocrocks on May 12, when digging will be allowed for an extra hour, until 1 p.m., due to the later low tide, Ayres said.Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.WDFW also is proposing three days of digging at Mocrocks and two days at Copalis later in the month. These will be the final days of digging on those two beaches this season, Ayres said. The department will announce whether the digs can proceed, pending the results of marine toxin tests, about a week before the digs are scheduled to start.Below is a list of proposed digs, along with low tides and beaches:May 20, Friday, 6:37 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, CopalisMay 21, Saturday, 7:12 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks, CopalisMay 22, Sunday, 7:47 a.m.; -0.8 feet; MocrocksDuring all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks by observing posted vehicle speed limits and avoiding nest sites. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.” Both species are listed as “endangered” in the state and as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.last_img read more

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Family Resource Associates Gives Hope And Help To Families

first_imgby Gretchen C. Van BenthuysenNearly 30 years ago Maire Merritt gave birth to her second daughter, Eileen, who has Down syndrome.“I knew nothing about Down syndrome or cognitive development (the ability to think and understand),” said Merritt, a retired high school teacher. “I had no background in the area.”But a friend of his knew Sue Levine, the program administrator and a founder of Family Resource Associates (FRA), a nonprofit agency based in Shrewsbury dedicated to helping people with disabilities reach their full potential and independence through therapy, technology and education, while also supporting their families.“Sue came to the hospital and offered to help me in any way she could,” Merritt said. “For parents of newborns, this is a frightening experience. You feel isolated. Sue proved to be invaluable to me and a tremendous resource over the years.”
Executive director Nancy Phalanukorn also is one of the original five professional women along with a group of 30 parents who founded FRA in 1979. They were frustrated by bureaucratic inertia and lack of services for pre-school children with disabilities, especially children age three and younger.“One area we specialize in is caring for infants,” she explained. “But what happens after age three and before they enter public school? Those kids were just sitting at home.”Growing and changing to meet the needs of a growing and changing population of chil- dren and adults with special needs became FRA’s mission.“We started with 30 kids with Down syndrome and genetic disabilities,” Phalanukorn said. “The second year we had a boy with autism. Now we serve 150 infants a week and of those 30 are on the autism spectrum.”FRA has an annual budget of $1.6 million with a relative- ly small administrative staf f of seven, Phalanukorn said, with 92 percent of the budget spent on programming. The infant program, which includes home visits, has a staff of 38 professionals and 15 people teach the adult classes. Volunteers donate about 8,000 hours per year and that includes a tech team that refurbishes donated personal computers to give to needy families. Annual fundraisers include a golf outing and a gala dinner-dance. “It’s always a balance of donations, fundraising, grant writing and fees,” Phalanukorn said. “And we have an extremely active board of trustees that help us grow and meet the needs of students and families.”
FRA’s adult services also have grown with facilities in Eatontown and Brick featuring studio apartments for independent living and life skills classes such as preparing meals using a microwave and toaster oven and maintaining personal living space.Designed like 12-week college semesters, classes are offered twice daily with 10 to 14 students per class. For ty topics are available, including money skills, nutrition and hygiene, how to look your best, getting ready for a job inter view, self-advocacy and self-expression, current events, as well as fun classes such as yoga, dance and karate.
One service Phalanukorn said FRA is very proud of is the TECH Connection, a computer lab with 20 stations open to the public and designed to make technology more accessible to people with limitations due to accident, illness or aging.People with special needs can sample specialized soft- ware and adapted devices before making a purchase. Assistive technology training for professionals and thera- pist is available as is a lending library for special needs people who may borrow more than 450 assistive devices and specialty software.FRA’s focus is not entirely on the disabled child or adult. Family support includes individual counseling, workshops, monthly meetings for siblings ages 4 to 9 and 10 to 15, plus monthly meetings of Moms of Young Children with Down syndrome and Parents of Children with Multiple Impairments.Maire Merritt said she had her husband Bill learned more from other parents than they ever learned from books.“We went to several parent workshops held at FRA to become informed parents and knowledgeable advocates for our children,” she said. “FRA also helped us to see the whole child and not just the disability. They guided us.”Eileen Merritt will celebrate her 30th birthday on Jan. 30. She graduated from Old Bridge High School, attended four different proms, is still friends with people she met in grammar school, volunteers in the children’s section at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library system, plays golf, and participates in the Special Olympics New Jersey in sailing and earned medals in rhythmic gymnastics. She serves as an FRA ambassador making public appearances. She also has a boyfriend. And that’s the short list of her accomplishments.last_img read more

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Ceres rips Davao; Global triumphs

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next At Rizal Memorial Stadium, Global Cebu scored two late goals to subdue Stallion Laguna, 4-3, and complete the cast in the Finals Series.The result allowed Global to seal at least a fourth place finish at the end of the regular season after increasing their tally to 43 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Ceres Negros leaned on a first half hattrick from Spanish striker Fernando Rodriguez to whip Davao Aguilas, 5-1, and climb to second spot in the Philippines Football League at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.Captain Patrick Reichelt and Bienve Maranon were also on target for the Busmen who moved within six points off leader Meralco Manila ahead of their 7 p.m. duel on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Trillanes accused of harassment, hiring social media trolls PLAY LIST 01:38Trillanes accused of harassment, hiring social media trolls01:45Big firm products top worst plastic litter list — report03:28Hurricane Dorian lashes South Carolina, Great Abaco Island01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion With sweep beckoning, Baldwin refuses to look past Tigers LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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Masterful Venus oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LONDON – Venus Williams became the oldest Wimbledon finalist for 23 years on Thursday as the American star ended Johanna Konta’s history bid with a masterful 6-4, 6-2 win.Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut, five-time champion Williams is into her ninth final at the All England Club and her first since 2009.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The 37-year-old’s sublime display of power-hitting on Centre Court stopped Konta becoming the first British woman to make the final for 40 years and set up a title match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars LATEST STORIES Venus Williams of the United States returns to Britain’s Johanna Konta, during their Women’s Singles semifinal match on day nine at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Thursday, July 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Muguruza reaches another Wimbledon final  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucenalast_img read more

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How to Optimize a PDF for Search

first_img On-page SEO The debate rages on about whether or not your marketing content such as ebooks and webinars should be gated behind lead-capture forms. However, there is plenty of content such as case studies, FAQs, fact sheets, and brochures that aren’t very suitable for lead generation and can benefit from being ungated and readily available in organic search.This type of content is frequently published in PDF form, and as an important part of your inbound marketing strategy, it should get the same SEO treatment as everything else you publish. The next time you’re ready to release new PDFs out into the world, follow these 6 steps to quickly optimize them before you publish to ensure crawlers can find and index them for searchers.6 Steps to Optimize a PDF for Search1.) Create your PDF in a text-based program. When you use Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, crawlers can read and index the content.2.) Follow SEO best practices when writing your content. Optimize your content as you would any other content for your site. Use relevant keywords in your content, H1 and H2 tags in the copy, and make sure your images include alt tags.3.) Crawlers can read links in a PDF, too. Build in links to relevant pages on your website so readers can get back to your site from the PDF. This is particularly important if your PDF is shared via email or social networks, as those readers may not have been to your site before.4.) Save the file as a PDF with a relevant file name. For example, my PDF on vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes would be called Vegetarian-Thanksgiving-Recipes.pdf. This will also help users identify the content of the PDF if they share it with others or save it for later use.5.) Fill out the Document Properties. Open your PDF in Acrobat, and fill in the document properties by going to the Menu and clicking File >>> Properties.You’ll see a screen pop up called Document Properties. Make sure you’re on the Description tab, and fill in the Title, Author, Subject, and Keywords fields.What you write in the Title field will be what appears in search results. If it is empty, search engines will auto-fill it with something in the content of your PDF, which will likely be less relevant for a searcher. Use keywords in your title for which you want your PDF to rank.Unless you yourself are a brand name (which you very well may be!), fill the Author field with your company’s name. Most people see more searches on their company than their own names.Treat the Subject field like a meta description. Write it for users to help drive conversions.Fill in the Keywords field with 3 or 4 keyword phrases you’re targeting in your PDF, separating each phrase with commas.6.) Find popular pages on your site. Once you click OK, publish your PDF to pages on your site that are frequently crawled so it’s easier for search engines to find and index the PDF.Pretty easy, right? Optimizing PDFs is a quick, simple step you can take to make content like case studies, fact sheets, brochures, product overviews, and other valuable content assets more search engine-friendly.Do you optimize PDFs for organic search? Have you run into problems trying to do so? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 17, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

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6 Ways to Spice Up Bland Email Marketing Campaigns

first_img Email Marketing Campaigns Topics: This is a guest post written by Kimberly Lindquist. Kimberly is a project manager and in-house social marketer at ListEngage, a full service interactive marketing firm. She can be found tweeting about marketing, content, Boston, and other ramblings @lindquik.Do you remember creating your first email marketing campaign? Those emails were going to catapult your business to new levels, blow your content’s ROI through the roof, and make you an instant digital mogul in your industry.How long did that excitement last? Are you still in the honeymoon phase, or do you find yourself staring at your email templates bored, uninspired, and unsure of where to go next?Whichever way you feel about your email marketing, whether you’re on your first campaign or the hundredth, emails can fall flat and lose the appeal they once had for both you and your subscribers. So how do you bring the spark back into a boring email program and inject some va-va-voom into your campaigns? It’s all about approaching your email with a little creativity. Here are 6 ways to spice up your email marketing the next time your creativity (and email marketing ROI) needs a jolt.1. Try On-the-Fly A/B TestingFor a marketer, there are few things more appealing than knowing whether your campaigns are successful while they are still in motion. In this sense, A/B testing is the sexiest email marketing feature there is! Nowadays, many email service providers (ESPs) have a feature built into their platforms that allows marketers to send and compare the performance of variables like subject line and “From” sender names to sample audiences, with the winning email getting deployed to the remainder of the audience.2. Crowdsource Your Next Email CampaignAs hard as you try, it’s sometimes impossible to know exactly what your subscribers want, which is why your next email should flat-out ask them. Survey your customers to see what they want more of, less of, or what would make them visit your site more. Not only do prospects and customers appreciate your consideration of their opinion, but you may also be handed a brand new email campaign that your marketing department never would have thought of.Although many ESPs have basic survey tools included, you can also collect information on your website through a customized landing page or a survey collection tool. Suggestions for what to ask might include their topic preferences for articles you produce, what sorts of deals would entice them to purchase more often, what additional products and services they’d like your company to offer, and what sorts of service updates would be helpful to hear from your company.3. Send “Secret Code” EmailsEverybody enjoys the thrill of a good scratch off ticket now and again, so why not give the same offer to your email recipients? Segment your subscribers, and send each segment a “Secret Code” or “Hidden Discount” email that requires them to click through to see what they’ve won. For example, the owner of a bar or restaurant might send a quarter of recipients 10% off their next dinner purchase, another quarter might receive a free appetizer, some subscribers could receive an entry into a grand-prize vacation drawing, and maybe a small percentage win a free meal. By simply changing the link in the “Secret Offer” image, your recipients won’t know what they’ve won until they’re actually on your site. And who knows, maybe they’ll get a hankering for some potato skins while they’re there.4. Compile Your Products or Services Into Themed EmailsEveryone knows that the best way to get subscribers to read your emails is to provide value, but that’s sometimes harder than it sounds. What do your customers struggle with? If you own a hair salon, do you get lots of questions about the best hair treatments and conditioners? If you help run a home improvement store, do your customers have seasonal questions that you can compile to help answer their questions?One of the best ways to make a surprisingly valuable email for your customers that can also overlap with your blog is to compile “theme” emails. Your home improvement store might send a “Winter Home Care Preparation” in late October that highlights the best tricks-of-the-trade plus some of your best selling products. Your beauty salon could do a series of emails highlighting the best products for straight, curly, and wavy hair. Instead of putting all of the copy in the email, link them to blog posts on the subject to help drive traffic to your website and increase the chance customers can convert with one of your stellar offers.5. Send Real-Time Triggered MessagesNothing shows you care like quick responses in the form of real-time triggered messaging. Whether someone’s downloaded a whitepaper from you or left your site with a shopping cart half full, there’s no better time than the present to seize the moment and shoot them a quick email to let them know you’re thinking of them. Not only are you showing someone you care, but the convenience of receiving additional information in real time will show you’re attentive and “in-the-game.” Most major ESPs have APIs that developers can send data to which can trigger messages based off of online behavior. So, check into the details, and really wow your subscribers with your proven interest in their actions.6. VIP Status and Special TreatmentNo one, absolutely no one, dislikes the royal treatment; your subscribers are no different. Charm your biggest advocates and admirers by making them feel like they’re the only one in the room. Whether you email these “special” subscribers totally different offers or just give them a special status like “VIP” or “Elite Member,” they’ll eat up your email program and spread their love for you everywhere they go.This also provides you with another opportunity to share content. Let your VIP subscribers invite their friends and family to be part of the elite group. Your subscribers will relish the chance to look “in the know” with their inner circle, and you’ll expand your subscriber list, too.What do you do to spice up your email marketing when it’s feeling a little lackluster?Image credit: dark.Reactions Originally published Jan 4, 2012 11:20:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! 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How 5 Companies Are Using Inbound Marketing to Succeed in Competitive Markets

first_img Inbound 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 Topics: Originally published Apr 17, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated April 18 2013 Rocky Balboa. Susan “I Dreamed a Dream” Boyle. The 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. What I’m trying to say is … no one can resist an underdog.Small businesses with limited marketing budgets have always been at a disadvantage against big-name competitors. When you’re the shop on the corner, good luck competing with corporations with quarterly marketing budgets larger than your entire annual revenue.At least, that’s how the story used to go. But watch out Goliath — David just got a slingshot. Inbound marketing helps level the playing field for marketers with less budget, and more brains. To show you just how effective inbound can be, we’ve identified some companies that are crushing it against larger competitors. You know, for a little inspiration. So grab your pom-poms and get ready to cheer on some underdog companies dominating giant competitors with inbound marketing.Main Line Family Law Center, LLC Earns National Media Attention With Keyword StrategyHusband-and-wife team Chris and Sharon Pastore of Havertown, PA founded Main Line Family Law Center, LLC in 2011 to provide painless legal assistance for couples going through separation and divorce. For clients, they summarize their goal as “restoring sanity and dignity to the divorce process.” The Pastores were a small business of only two people where the marketing and business management fell on Sharon’s shoulders.Divorce and separation can also be a very private process that clients would rather Google than ask a friend about. Sharon understood her clients’ desire for privacy, and focused her marketing on keyword strategy. She discovered people were searching “legal separation in PA” without seeing a lot of valuable content, so she started targeting that phrase and similar ones with blog content. The results paid off. Main Line Family Law reached a #1 rank for dozens of keywords, saw a 30% quarterly growth in web traffic, and because she used calls-to-action and landing pages to convert all that traffic, she saw a quarterly 30% lead growth, too.The wins didn’t stop there, either. When the Oprah Winfrey Network (Oprah, you guys!) was browsing for divorce and separation clients for a show, guess who came up on the search engine results page? Not a huge legal firm. Not Law.com, The New York Law Journal, or any other legal publications. Main Line Family Law came up.Main Line Family Law shows that no matter how big your business, understanding your customer’s online behavior and nailing down a persona-driven content strategy is incredibly important, and can drive Oprah-level results. (I’m going to try to make that a new form of measurement; I hope it catches on.)The Rodon Group Receives Presidential Recognition for an EbookThe Rodon Groupis a B2B third-generation family business that has manufactured small plastic parts and molds at a high volume since 1956. As one of the largest operation injection molders in the country and manufacturer of over 30 billion parts for K’NEX Brands (the famous toy construction brand), The Rodon Group hardly seems like an underdog. What gives? The Rodon Group now has to compete on a global scale, and U.S. manufacturing isn’t known for offering the best prices for high volume, small plastic parts in comparison to competitors in other countries. Many potential customers turn overseas before fully exploring the cost-effective options available in the U.S.The Rodon Group decided to address this problem head-on with its “Cheaper than China” campaign. The centerpiece of the campaign was an ebook titled “Top 10 Critical Reasons to Brign Your Plastic Injection Molding Back to the U.S.” that explained how The Rodon Group beat overseas pricing. Here’s a quick sample of some of that campaign’s content:This approach not only addressed a concern The Rodon Group’s potential customers were facing, but something the entire country was worried about. Their marketing messaging even earned the attention of President Obama, who personally flew to the plant in Hatfield, PA to deliver a speech.This wasn’t a campaign that The Rodon Group spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on. All they did was embrace inbound marketing by creating a content-based campaign that addressed customer concerns. It earned them an in-person endorsement for the President of the United States, not to mention coverage from top tier publications. Talk about powerful.Jackson Coffee Company Consistently Beats Corporate Giants With Email MarketingJackson Coffee Company is a Michigan-based coffee shop that describes their mission as simply “roasting and brewing really great coffee” since September 2006. The business has three locations in Jackson, MI, but no chains outside the city as of now.What makes Jackson Coffee Company so special? They have consistently won “Best Coffee House” awards in all the years from 2007-2012 against giants such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McCafe as well as five other independent coffee houses. Even better? They report never having to explicitly ask their customers to vote.Sure, they focus on great coffee (read more about their coffee quality assurance methods, or the “J” way here), but Jackson Coffee Company emphasized email marketing to help drum up support. And instead of spamming the same list over and over with interruptive messaging, Jackson Coffee followed the make love, not spam email methodology by keeping multiple, separate lists for things like newsletters, or birthday promotions. Robert Ernst, the company’s social media manager, explains that keeping separate lists makes it easy to email customers at the frequency they prefer. While some customers prefer only an annual update for their birthday club cup of coffee, for instance, others want a more frequent update. To learn more about how to do email marketing right — who knows, maybe it’ll be what you need to reign supreme over a big industry competitor of your own — check out our free ebook that teaches you how to optimize your email marketing for conversions.Help Scout Builds Enterprise-Level Authority With Customer-Focused ContentHelp Scout is a B2B customer service software company founded in 2005 with seven full-time employees. While they started off in Nashville, they’re now our neighbors in Boston. Help Scout’s mission is focused on helping businesses deliver scalable, personal customer support. They take this mission so seriously that all of their job titles read “Customer Champion” — even the co-founders.There are some big fish in Help Scout’s pond. Heck, Zendesk has 25,000+ customers, including Disney — the leaders in magical customer experiences. With less manpower and marketing budget dollars comparatively, how does Help Scout get the word out?With fantastic content, of course! Help Scout knows that content is the fuel that feeds the inbound marketing machine, and it shows with their beautiful and comprehensive content, both on their own website and externally through guest blogging. Not only does this content help them build authority with their audience, but it attracts more than enough leads to sustain a steady 10% month-over-month growth rate without breaking the bank on advertising. According to business co-founder Nick Francis, Help Scout experienced a 678% growth in leads from August 2012 to February 2013.Feel free to explore Help Scout’s assets in a little more depth on your own, but I wanted to highlight two here for you — check out their Resources center and their company blog below — before we go into their guest blogging.Help Scout Marketing ResourcesHelp Scout Marketing BlogHelp Scout External ContentAlright, now a quick word on how Help Scout’s guest blogging program has helped them edge out bigger industry competitors. They’re active guest bloggers, reaching out to companies like Buffer (efficiency hack blog) to create content around simple ways to improve customer service. This content strategy exposes Help Scout to new audiences without breaking the bank, and further cements their credibility in a space where they aren’t the biggest provider. This content has helped them build trust with their audience, and as a result, they’ve seen a 265% increase in unique visitors from August 2012 through February 2013. They also saw a 678% growth in leads collected.Takk Takk Puts Icelandic Tourism on the Map With Social MediaClose your eyes and imagine you’re on a dream vacation anywhere in the world you want to be. Where did you go? A café in Paris with fresh croissants? A tropical beach with your toes in the sand?Wherever you chose, I’m willing to bet many didn’t jump right to Iceland. As nice as the country is, Iceland doesn’t naturally pop into people’s heads when they think vacation. Icelandic marketing agency Takk Takk, then, had a challenge — to put a small island in the middle of the ocean on the map for tourists. Enter the “Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend” campaign.Instead of broadcasting Iceland’s virtues on a website with generic pictures, Takk Takk went on a mission to befriend people via social media. Which means they had to have a brand people actually wanted to be friends with on social media. Creating marketing content so interesting and helpful that people actually seek it out for consumption? Interacting directly with people in a conversation instead of interrupting them with broadcasts? Sounds like inbound marketing to me! Takk Takk adopted a fun, silly voice on their social media accounts, landing pages, thank you pages, and emails — even in their calls-to-action. Check out the copy on their subscription CTA, for instance: The agency created a branded personality for the country of Iceland and kept it consistent across social and online platforms, too — even their source code had a bit of personality!Takk Takk carried over the voice of their campaign to social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Vimeo, where they featured regular people enjoying their Icelandic vacations and connected tourists on who were visiting around the same time. Luckily, Takk Takk compiled their social media tips and execution from the campaign in a slideshow that is absolutely worth a view; my favorite takeaway was “Treat normal people like celebrities.”The results? The campaign started in 2009, and by 2012, tourist traffic at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport broke records, with 2.4 million passengers, approximately 1/4 of whom were foreign tourists. Keep in mind, this all happened after the 2008 banking crisis and a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Iceland also just received a 2013 ranking from the World Economic Forum as the world’s most welcoming holiday destination, where part of the ranking relies on how welcome the population’s attitude seems toward foreign visitors — something embodied strongly in Takk Takk’s campaign.What’s your favorite underdog marketing story? Are you using any specific inbound marketing techniques you use to get the edge on your competitors? Tell us your stories in the comments section! We’d love to hear them.Image credit: istolethetvlast_img read more

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74 Compelling Fill-in-the-Blank Blog Post Titles [Infographic]

first_img Blog Headlines It’s one thing to write great content, but it’s another thing to get it read and ranked — which is where nailing the title comes in.Titles are what sell the content. They represent it in search engines, in email, and on social media. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the most common questions we get concern crafting titles.Download data-backed tips on writing catchy titles and headlines. How long should my headline be? What words should I use? What words should I avoid? Should I optimize it for search, or for social? Or both?Luckily, we’ve come up with a simple formula for writing catchy headlines and blog titles that you can reference from here on out. So let’s just dive right in, shall we?A Foolproof Method for How to Write Catchy Headlines and Titles1) Start with a working title.Before you get into the nitty-gritty of coming up with a perfect title, start with a rough draft: your working title. What is that, exactly? A lot of people confuse working titles with topics. Let’s clear that up:Topics are very general and could yield several different blog posts. Think “raising healthy kids,” or “kitchen storage.” A writer might look at either of those topics and choose to take them in very, very different directions.A working title, on the other hand, is very specific and guides the creation of a single blog post. For example, from the topic “raising healthy kids,” you could derive the following working titles:”How the Right Nutrition Can Strengthen Your Kids’ Bones””A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being””X Recipes for Quick & Healthy Dinners Your Teenagers Will Gobble Up”See how different and specific each of those is? That’s what makes them working titles, instead of overarching topics. It’s also worth noting that none of those titles are perfect — they should just be specific enough to guide your blog post. (We’ll worry about making it clickable and search-friendly later.)2) Stay accurate.Accuracy is critical when trying to finesse a title, because it sets clear expectations for your readers. While I’m sure lots of people would love to click into a post that said “10 B2B Companies Killing Facebook So Freaking Hard They Don’t Need Any Other Marketing Channel” … it’s a little bombastic, no?Unless, of course, you truly did find 10 B2B companies rocking Facebook that hard, and you could confirm that all 10 of them had stopped using other marketing channels. First and foremost, your title needs to accurately reflect the content that follows.One way to ensure accuracy? Add bracketed clarification to your headline, like we did in this blog post:In a study of over 3.3 million paid link headlines, we found that headlines with this type of clarification — [Interview], [Podcast], [Infographic], etc. — performed 38% better than headlines without clarification. Again, it’s all about setting clear expectations. Thanks to the brackets, these readers knew exactly what they were getting themselves into before they even clicked.So if you remember nothing else from this blog post, let it be this: The most important rule of titles is to respect the reader experience. If you set high expectations in your title that you can’t fulfill in the content, you’ll lose readers’ trust.Accuracy encompasses more than just hyperbole, though. With the example working title above, you’d also want to confirm all of the examples are, indeed, B2B. Or even that they’re all companies — instead of, say, individual bloggers that target B2B audiences. See what I mean?3) Make it sexy.Just because you have to be accurate doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make your title pop. There are a lot of ways to make a title sexier.Of course, all of this hinges on understanding your core buyer persona. You need to find language that resonates with them, and know what they find valuable. (Haven’t created or refined your buyer personas yet? Download this free template to create your own buyer personas for your business.)Once you’re armed with knowledge of your buyer persona’s preferred style, try testing out some of these tips for making your headlines a little sexier:Have some fun with alliteration. The title and header in this blog post, for instance, play with alliteration: “Foolproof Formula.” It’s a device that makes something a little lovelier to read, and that can have a subtle but strong impact on your reader.Use strong language. Strong phrases (and, frankly, often negative ones) like “Things People Hate,” or “Brilliant” pack quite a punch. However, these must be used in moderation. As one of my coworkers likes to say, “If everything is bold, nothing is bold.”Make the value clear. As we mentioned above, presenting the format and/or contents to a reader helps make your content a little sexier. According to our research, templates tend to be particularly powerful for CTR: We found that adding “[Template]” to our titles got the most average views of all bracketed terms.Make it visual. Is there an opportunity to include visuals within your post? Make that clear in the title. Our research revealed that headlines featuring the word “photo(s)” performed 37% better than headlines without this word.Focus on the “whos,” not the “whys”. Want to intrigue your audience? Focus on the “who”: Headlines including the word “who” generated a 22% higher CTR than headlines without it.For example, let’s say you’re writing a post titled, “15 of Our Favorite Brands on Snapchat.” How might we punch up our accurate-but-boring working title? Here are some options:15 Brilliant Brands Who Are Killing It on SnapchatSnapchat Success: 15 Inspiring Brands Who Just Get It15 Must-Follow Brands That Are Seeing Snapchat Success4) Keep it short.There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long or short your title should be. It depends what your goals are, and where your headline will appear.Do you want this post to rank really well in search? Focus on keeping the title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.Are you trying to optimize your title for social sharing? According to our own analysis at HubSpot, headlines between 8–12 words in length got the most Twitter shares on average. As for Facebook, headlines with either 12 or 14 words received the most Likes.Additionally, headlines with eight words had a 21% higher clickthrough rate than the average title, according to the folks at Outbrain.The lesson? It’s always a good idea to run a few tests to see what works best for your particular audience.Let’s say I was writing this blog post: “Think Social Media Is Just for Kids? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You Wrong.” To shorten it, I would simply try to rephrase it and cut out extraneous words. For instance, I might do something like this:Before: Think Social Media Is Just for Kids? Here Are 10 Statistics Guaranteed to Prove You WrongAfter: 10 Stats That Prove Social Media Isn’t Just for KidsSee? It’s that easy. Try sounding out the title in your head to make sure it’s easily digestible for your readers. The less of a mouthful you can make your titles, the better.5) Try to optimize for search and social.I say “try” because, sometimes, trying too hard to optimize for these things can make your title sound strange. Remember: You want to optimize your title for your audience above all else, but if you can optimize for both search and social, that’s great.The secret to thinking about all three at once? Focus on keywords that you know your audience is already searching for, then look into the search volume for those keywords.Once you have a keyword in mind, you’ll want to be sure to place it as closely as possible to the beginning of your headline to catch your reader’s attention. (Again, you should keep your headline under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in search engine results.)Another important consideration? Make sure your headlines are tweetable: “The 120-130-character range is the sweet spot for high clickthrough rate, according to an analysis of 200,000 tweets with links,” explains my colleague, Senior Marketing Manager Lindsay Kolowich. “This leaves enough space for people to include a short comment if they choose to manually retweet and cite you.” Here’s an example: Let’s say I’m writing a post titled, “X B2B Companies Using Facebook in Cool Ways.” Looks like there’s some wiggle room to optimize it without compromising clarity, right?If the goal is to rank for the term, “Facebook Marketing,” I’d recommend something like this:”New to Facebook Marketing? Here Are 10 B2B Companies Doing It Right”This new title works for a few reasons:It’s 56 characters long. This means that it’s short enough to not be cut off in search engines and it’s short enough to be retweeted.The keyword is in the beginning. By moving “Facebook Marketing” to the beginning of the title, we’re ultimately increasing the odds that we’ll grab our audience’s attention.It’s human. I wasn’t kidding when I said you should focus on optimizing for your audience first. This title presents both a pain point and a solution all wrapped up in one.(Download this ebook for more data-backed SEO strategies we recommend.)6) Brainstorm with someone else.Once you’ve refined your title using the tips above, it’s time to come up for air and connect with another human. Title brainstorming is an essential part of the process.Here at HubSpot, we spend a decent amount of time and brainpower coming up with our titles. The final step before scheduling a blog post is pulling another member of our team into a back-and-forth title brainstorm in a chat room. One member of the duo will post the title they recommend into the chat pane window. The other person will then refine that title even further, or suggest other angles. After several back-and-forths, the duo will agree on the title that’s accurate, sexy, concise, and SEO-friendly.Only when both parties agree on a title do we schedule our post for publishing — which can take as little as five seconds and as long as ten or so minutes. While that seems like a long time, it’s essential to put our best feet forward with each post we publish.What’s your process for crafting titles? Let us know in the comments.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Originally published Jun 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM, updated September 11 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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