‘A good day for insurance policy holders’ – Doherty welcomes passage of bill

first_imgPearse Doherty TD has welcomed the passage of Sinn Féin’s Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill through the Dáil.This legislation, which would reform insurance contracts, passed Report and Final Stages in the Dáil on Wednesday.“This is a good day for insurance policyholders, for consumers and businesses,” Deputy Doherty said yesterday. “Rip-off insurance costs are squeezing incomes and closing down businesses across the State. People are wondering how their premiums can go up every year even though they haven’t even made a claim.”He explained: “Our Consumer Insurance Contracts Bill, which passed Report and Final Stages of the Dáil today, will tilt the balance in favour of the consumer. By increasing transparency and strengthening the hand of the policyholder before, during and after the terms of their insurance contract.“This Bill will require companies to inform the customer of the past 3 years of premiums paid and claims received for all non-life insurance contracts. This would increase transparency and strengthen our hands when we look for a better deal each year.“Any company that cancels a policy would have to pay the customer the outstanding balance of the premium paid and make it easier for the customer to withdraw from a contract. “It would also require a company to inform customers of any claim made against their policy, allowing them to submit their own evidence and informing them of the cost of any claim against their policy that has been settled.“The legislation would also make it harder for an insurer to wriggle out of paying valid claims on grounds that have nothing to do with the accident or loss incurred by the policyholder.“In short, this would bring huge benefits to policyholders.”The legislation will now go the Seanad and Deputy Doherty expects it to become law before the end of the year.“Sinn Féin want to take on the insurance industry and ending the rip-off. By stamping out fraud, protecting consumers, banning dual pricing and bringing down premiums. The passage of this Bill today is a part of that work.” ‘A good day for insurance policy holders’ – Doherty welcomes passage of bill was last modified: November 14th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Seeing Is Believing, or v.v.

first_imgWhat you see is not what is out there in the world – not exactly, at least.  Scientists have shown that your brain is tweaking the light coming in from your eyes and making predictions about what you expect to see.    The “blind spot” experiment is well known to students.  That’s where it can be shown that your brain “fills in” the blind spot of each eyeball (where the optic nerve leaves the retina, with no photoreceptors) with imagery from the surrounding field.  A brick wall pattern, for instance, continues seamlessly into the blind spot even though your eye actually receives no light from that part of the retina.    Researchers at the University of Glasgow performed four experiments on participants, and monitored brain activity with functional MRI, to see what parts of the visual field were doing when shielded from visual input.  Their findings were published in PNAS.1  It appears that the context influences what we “see.”  The primary visual cortex (V1) uses context and memory to prepare the image presented to the mind.We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and pattern-classification methods to show that the cortical representation of a nonstimulated quarter-field carries information that can discriminate the surrounding visual context.  We show further that the activity patterns in these regions are significantly related to those observed with feed-forward stimulation and that these effects are driven primarily by V1.The way PhysOrg put it, “What our eyes can’t see, the brain fills in.”  And it fills it in from prior experience: “The results show that our brains do not rely solely on what is shown to the eyes in order to ‘see’.  Instead the brain constructs a complex prediction” of what it expects to see.”    One neuroscientist called this “predictive coding.”  Dr. Lars Muckli from U of Glasgow explained how this is helpful: “If you are driving a car and a pedestrian is suddenly obscured – say by a pillar box or your rear view mirror – your brain still knows where they are and where they will reappear in your line of vision.  Without that ability, we would be lost in everyday life.”    For more on image processing done by the eye and brain, see 05/22/2003, 12/30/2003, 05/12/2005, 07/27/2006 and 03/31/2008.1.  Smith and Muckli, “Nonstimulated early visual areas carry information about surrounding context,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print November 1, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000233107 (open access).  Note: the paper was published Nov 1, 2010, but PhysOrg reported on it April 4, 2011.Unfortunately, Dr. Muckli tossed in this Darwin stinkincense bomb: “The brain’s main function is to minimise surprise – that is what it has evolved to do.”  Were you surprised?  That not only violates logic, it violates Darwin’s own principle of Stuff Happens.  Things don’t evolve to do anything in Darwinland; they just evolve.  Implying a purpose for anything invokes teleology – something Darwin and his disciples wanted to eliminate.  Enough of that distraction.    Findings like these bear on important philosophical questions about the relationship of our senses to external reality.  Philosophers have long wondered to what extent we can trust our senses.  There is a long chain of causal phenomena interceding between the photons emitted by an object and our perception of that object by the mind.  Here we see that our brains are manipulating reality for us in ways that can be tricked by experience or novelty.    Those who say they only believe what they can see should realize they cannot see the whole electromagnetic spectrum, for one thing, and the narrow range of visible light they can see is being transformed by their brains.  The only worldview that provides grounds for trusting our senses comes from the Bible.  Our eyes and brains were created by a Creator who loves honesty and truth, and has equipped his creatures with sufficient equipment to have reasonable, though not exhaustive, access to external reality.  Otherwise we would be “lost in everyday life” and unable to respond to him by perceiving his works.  Even so, we need to train our equipment to discern the truth, and not deceive ourselves.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Taxis for Confed Cup fans

first_img11 June 2009More than 3 000 minibus taxis and 450 buses, branded with the GauRide logo, will be made available to transport soccer fans to stadiums across Gauteng province during the Fifa Confederations Cup.The GauRide vehicles, complemented by the recently launched iTransie 2 Ellispark! Service, will ensure that spectators can travel safely to Confederations Cup games.PartnershipBoth iTransie 2 Ellis Park! and GauRide are run in partnership with the taxi industry.“Central to the hosting of the tournament will be the effectiveness and efficiency with which we help transport thousands of soccer supporters to the match venues,” said provincial Transport Minister Bheki Nkosi.He was addressing over 100 invited guests who braved the chilly weather to witness the launch of the GauRide initiative in Johannesburg on Wednesday.GauRide, which kick offs on Sunday when Bafana Bafana take on Iraq at Ellis Park, will transport fans from five hours before the match starts and up to three hours after the final whistle.Extensive trainingNkosi said the drivers to be used for the GauRide initiative had undergone extensive training on competency driving, customer care and loading and offloading skills.“Drivers who have not undergone the training will not be allowed to operate,” he said.He added that the department would distribute 100 000 public transport maps to help travellers during the tournament and beyond.The provincial government, he said, had also bought 2 000 Confederations Cup tickets to be distributed for free to disadvantaged communities across various townships.Nkosi said his department was working with experts from previous host countries and other transport authorities to ensure that Gauteng was ready to contribute to the success of both the Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Visible policingMeanwhile, provincial Safety Minister Nkabisi Mosunkutu said security would be beefed up to ensure the safety of supporters in and around the stadiums.“It is vital that we understand that safety comes first during the tournament … and traffic officers, police and emergency officials will need to come on board,” Mosunkutu said.He said police vehicles would be visible at all the venues throughout the tournament, while strict crime prevention strategies would be applied to protect soccer fans.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

South African-born film editor wins Oscar

first_img29 February 2016The dystopian action movie Mad Max: Fury Road already has more than one Southern African connection: it was filmed in Namibia; some of the post-production was done by BlackGinger, the Cape Town animation and visual effects studio; and it stars South African-born actress Charlize Theron.Now, Margaret Sixel, the South African-born film editor, has won the Oscar for Best Editing in a Feature Film for her work on it. Her win was one of six Oscars that it picked up.Oscar for Best Editing: Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road pic.twitter.com/jJc9oYh05q— FilmmakerIQ.com (@FilmmakerIQ) February 29, 2016Filmed in the Namibian desert, the blockbusting Australian action film Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the most surprising critical and commercial successes in 2015.Starring Tom Hardy and Theron, and directed by Australian George Miller, the film has won numerous awards over the past year, including Bafta and Critics’ Choice awards, culminating in several wins at the 88th Academy Awards, known as the Oscars, held in Los Angeles on Sunday, 28 February 2016.Margaret Sixel wins Best Editing for Mad Max, the first action film she’d ever edited. #Oscars2016 pic.twitter.com/M7rb8VDgWb— GamesRadar+ (@GamesRadar) February 29, 2016Sixel’s frenetic editing was described by the Los Angeles Times as “Herculean”, considering the amount of footage shot by Miller to bring his masterpiece to life. Miller, who is also Sixel’s husband, used up to 20 cameras to shoot more than 480 hours of film. Sixel spent over 6 000 hours crafting 2 700 individual cuts, helping to create what the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) praised as a two-hour “cerebral post-apocalyptic car chase”.Asked about her editing style in an interview in the run-up to the Oscars, Sixel justified the editing process as part of storytelling philosophy, saying: “I don’t like meaningless cutting. It must enhance the story and the characters.”.@MadMaxMovie director George Miller with wife Margaret Sixel walking the #Oscars red carpet. #9Today pic.twitter.com/Ae7odLSXU1— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) February 28, 2016According to a variety of filmmaking experts, the soul of the film came down to Sixel’s strong working relationship with Miller to find the heart of the film and her intuitive eye in creating thrilling tension without sacrificing the film’s narrative. Sixel has previously worked with Miller on his films Babe: A Pig in the City and the animated hit Happy Feet. Mad Max: Fury Road was her first action film.Asked by the Huffington Post why he choose a woman to tackle the intricacies of editing a large scale action movie, Miller answered that if he had used a male editor the film would “look like every other action movie”.The film was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning six, including Best Production Design, Costume Design and Sound Editing. The wins make Mad Max: Fury Road the most successful Australian production since The Piano in 1993. It also gives it the most wins at the Oscars for an Australian film since the Baz Luhrmann musical Moulin Rouge in 2001.On accepting the award, Sixel thanked her husband for his vision for the film, as well as his confidence in allowing her to experiment with the art of editing to give the film its unique feel. She added that the cast and crew involved in the most unlikely of Oscar winners had “incredible courage and guts to make this film”.Margaret Sixel wins Best Film Editing for “Mad Max: Fury Road” https://t.co/wvvnWW6pFt pic.twitter.com/jqbueVpJ0L— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 29, 2016Source: News24last_img read more

Does Your Website Pass The .7 Second Test?

first_img websitegrader Technical SEO Originally published May 21, 2007 11:37:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It is important you choose the words in your title carefully.  You really want the words in your page title to match what the searcher is looking for.  Choosing the keywords in the title is rather tricky.  You should look at four different variables to make the title phrase decision: 1.  Frequency of search — if no one is search is searching on the phrase, then you are wasting your time. 3.  Fit — the phrase should be as close a fit to your business as possible. The page title is the piece of meta data on the very top of your browser.  In the picture below, the page title is “HubSpot: Internet Marketing Software.”  The title is an interesting beast because when most humans read a web page (see first picture below), they do not ever look at the title; therefore, many marketing people do not pay any attention to it.  However, when you do a search (see second picture below), the organic results you are looking at and potentially clicking on is the page title you used on your site. websitegrader If you have any questions on page titles, feel free to leave them here.  If you want to see some additional data on how to set your website up, so that people searching in your niche can more readily find you, I suggest you run your site through our free When crafting titles, make sure you carefully pick a title for every page on your site.  The title of the home page is likely the most important one as that page likely has the most links into it, but every page title on your site is a potenial search result that will get the .7second test.  Do not just use the same title on every page as you are wasting a golden opportunity. 2.  Competition — if the phrase is very popular and you are competing for a spot on the first page of the results with major players like Wikipedia, CNN, etc., then you better have high page rank if you want to play that game. You need to write your titles with the search engines in mind.  The average human spends .7 seconds per page title on a Google search results page.  That means, someone scanning down the list of 10 results on the first page of Google makes up her mind very quickly as to which link she is going to click on.  Through our 4.  CPC cost — if the phrase that best matches your business has high competition, but a relatively low cost to buy an advertisement, it might be worth buying that one and optimizing around another similar phrase. . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack property, we are now tracking over 30,000 websites and their page titles.  When those titles change, we are able to watch behind the scenes to see what kind of impact that has on the rankings for the keywords entered or removed from the titles.  In terms of “on page” analysis, our data suggests that Google values the page title more than most people (and seo consultants) think.  The easy way to think about it is that Google is looking for clues as to what your website is about, so it can deliver your site as a result on searches.  It turns out that the keywords in the page titles of your site are a major clue that Google takes, so make sure you get the right keywords in your titles if you want to “get found” by prospects. If your company is a well-known brand in your niche, it might make sense for you to put it in your title as it will increase the likelihood of someone clicking on it after their spending .7 seconds looking at it.  If your company is less well known, then I would advise leaving your company name out of the title completely. Topics: When crafting titles of your site, make sure you keep it short and sweet.  Our data suggests that the first words in the title matter more to Google than the last words in the title.  In addition, it seems like the more words in your title, the less “value” each word has.  Outside of Google, no one knows, but from our data it looks like Google discounts by the number of words in title. — Brian Halligan.last_img read more

Doing a Website Redesign with Search Engine Optimization in Mind

first_imgSo, you’re doing a website redesign ?”Why?” is the question I always ask. Unfortunately, I usually get the wrong answer. However, if you’re doing a website redesign in order to increase traffic and generate more leads and sales from your internet marketing activities , than you should continue reading.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignThe other day I argued that most web design firms don’t design and develop websites with business goals in mind . The biggest area where these firms *generally* lack know-how is how to do a website redesign with SEO in mind. If done wrong, here’s what happens:You could lose your rank for keywords you are already ranking for. Whether you’ve put much effort into SEO already or not, most websites generate a good portion of their traffic from their organic search listings. Don’t screw it up.You could be rewriting content for no strategic reason. If you have an existing website, chances are that you’re *almost* ranking for at least a handful of relevant keywords. When you’re rewriting content, you should find out what those keywords are and then use them to guide your content creation.You could lose the value of your inbound links. Existing links from other sites usually point to different pages on your site. They drive direct traffic and support your SEO. Make sure you map and redirect old pages to new ones.You could do a lot of things that need to be redone again. SEO affects how you organize the pages on your site, your navigation, the words you use to name your pages and many more things that are more expensive and time consuming to change after you build your site.  So, if you’re a marketing manager or a business owner relaunching your website, it’s important for you to understand this process. Since this process requires thorough keyword research and since keyword research requires knowledge of the business, this should be a very collaborative process.The company you hire should have these skills and collaborate with you, or you should find someone that will.As I mentioned in my last post, there are parts of your internet marketing strategy where you need to be intimately involved . This is one of them.   Topics: Originally published May 7, 2008 8:15:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Website Redesignlast_img read more

Dwight From “The Office” Reveals Meaning Of Microsoft Bing [cartoon]

first_img Search Engines Originally published Jun 8, 2009 10:57:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Liked it? Please share it on twitter. 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:last_img read more

Confessions of a Closet Slug

first_imgThis is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, bestselling author of I like telling people I’m crazy-busy. It makes me sound important. Necessary. In demand. SNAP Selling What are trigger events? They’re happenings either in a company, industry or general business climate that create opportunities for someone to use your products or services. Selling to Big Companies Because efficiency is not my strength, I developed other strategies to be successful. You see, being productive isn’t just about being a disciplined taskmaster. It also is about being highly effective. But it all comes down to this. For maximum impact, we need to be both efficient and effective.And, most of all, to lead the kind of life you really want to live – meaning having time for all the things you want to do – it’s important to gain control of how you spend your time. That’s what I working on right now. Join me on Thursday at the th That’s what’s going through my mind right now. I’ve been at my desk since 7:30 this morning. I ate lunch in my office because there was no time to go out. I was on the computer or on conference calls for hours. Yet, at the end of the day, I’ve barely made a dent in my To Do list. Is it any wonder that I’m feeling overwhelmed? But here’s the truth. on March 24 amongst her many other responsibilities. And, even worse. I use my time poorly. I make bad choices all day long that contribute to this predicament I’m in. Just this morning, a hyperlink in newsletter article resulted in me squandering a half hour on interesting but low priority work.I let this happen too often. I know better. On days when I identify my key priorities upfront, barricade myself from interruptions and don’t check email all the time, I get a tremendous amount done. Plus, I have lots of time left over to do fun things. But in reality, I default far too often to this slothful behavior. I know I’m not alone in this area. That’s why I’m putting on the Using these “alert services” is the best way I know to get good business – quickly. Sales Productivity Summit . (If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t miss the March 24 How I Learned to Compensate for Being a Slug and popular speaker at annual sales meetings. Hardly considered a “slug”, she’s also hosting the  Free Online Sales Productivity Summit st 1. Precision Prospecting Working with companies that have urgent and compelling needs leads to shorter sales cycles and less competition. When I stumbled across the concept of “trigger events” over 20 years ago, I was ecstatic. When I first started using this strategy, I leveraged the local business press to identify those opportunities. It’s still a good resource. But today you can Google Alerts as well as services offered by technology companies. Here are two strategies I leveraged to achieve sales success. To me, every contact with a prospective customer is invaluable. I’m talking about every email, voicemail, phone call, online meeting or presentation. I know the key concerns of my primary decision makers. I invest time doing research on the company or industry.I spend time planning, to ensure that ruthless relevance in my messages. I try to quickly demonstrate my knowledge so they know I’m a credible resource. I write down the questions I want to ask. And, I know what the logical next step that I’ll suggest at the end of a conversation. What is the impact? Fewer phone calls or emails. Fewer prospects. But more sales and bigger sales. to get more ideas on how to do that! Slug Parts, Swirrl quarter earnings, a new strategic direction, new legislation, increased gas prices or multiple visits to your website. 2. Quality Connections How will I get it all done? There’s more here to do than is humanly possible. All this email is killing me. & session. It’s worth it.) Sales Productivity Summit Inbound Sales Image credit: Topics: Examples might be a new VP of Sales, stagnant 1 The Big Challenge Originally published Mar 23, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Sales Productivity Summit 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

Inbound Marketing Vs The Yellow Pages [Cartoon]

first_imgWhen I talk with most marketers about how they generate leads and fill the top of their sales funnel, most say outbound marketing.However, in 2019, a lot of innovative and successful businesses are actually embracing the art of inbound marketing. But, what’s the difference between inbound and outbound? This post will walk you through it. First, we’ll talk about the more traditional outbound marketing strategies.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns. What is Outbound Marketing?Outbound marketing is a traditional method of marketing seeking to obstruct potential customers. Outbound marketing includes activities such as trade shows, seminar series and cold calling. It is costly and the ROI is much lower than inbound marketing.Outbound marketing included trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing, and advertising. I call these methods “outbound marketing” because marketers push his or her message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack. I think outbound marketing techniques are getting less and less effective over time for two reasons.  First, your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day and is figuring out more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Tivo, and Sirius satellite radio.  Second, the cost of coordination around learning about something new or shopping for something new using the internet (search engines, blogs, and social media) is now much lower than going to a seminar at the Marriott or flying to a trade show in Las Vegas. Transforming Your Marketing from Outbound to InboundRather than doing outbound marketing to the masses of people who are trying to block you out, I advocate doing inbound marketing where you help yourself “get found” by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.  In order to do this, you need to set your website up like a “hub” for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, blogging, and social media.  I believe most marketers today spend 90% of their efforts on outbound marketing and 10% on inbound marketing, and I advocate that those ratios flip.Outbound vs. Inbound MarketingOutbound marketing is when a marketer reaches out to people to see if they’re interested in a product. For example, this could include door-to-door sales or cold calling where a sales rep or marketer approaches someone without knowing if he or she is even a qualified lead. Inbound marketing is a strategy where you create content or social media tactics that spread brand awareness so people learn about you, might go to your website for information, and then purchase or show interest in your product.While some outbound strategies take lots of time and effort and may yield no leads, inbound strategies allow you to engage an audience of people that you can more easily qualify as a prospect of lead.The best analogy I can come up with is that traditional marketers looking to garner interest from new potential customers are like lions hunting in the jungle for elephants.  The elephants used to be in the jungle in the ’80s and ’90s when they learned their trade, but they don’t seem to be there anymore.  They have all migrated to the watering holes on the savannah (the internet).  So, rather than continuing to hunt in the jungle, I recommend setting up shop at the watering hole or turning your website into its own watering hole.Editor’s Note: A more detailed version of this article has been published here: “Inbound Marketing and the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web.”  This post specifically was originally published in 2010 but was updated in October 2019 for comprehensiveness.   Originally published Oct 30, 2019 3:05:00 PM, updated October 31 2019 Topics:center_img Switching to 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

Answers to 5 of Marketing’s Most Frequently Asked Questions #AskTheExpert

first_img— Jay Acunzo, Senior Content Manager (@Jay_Zo)Q: I have a pretty limited search budget — should I spend it on social PPC or Google PPC? Is one better than the other?This seems to be a big question among marketers who want to try out some paid campaigns but are constrained by budget. It’s tough to know right off the bat which network will be the best investment of your spend, so I’d recommend a few things.First and foremost, identify your goal and your metrics.Are you looking to run an awareness campaign and generate as many clicks to your page as possible? Are you focusing on generating leads and aiming to advertise at the lowest possible cost-per-lead? Or are you simply looking to build up your following on social media by increasing your engagement metrics? Once you’ve identified your goals and the metrics you’re solving for, see if you can rule out any ad platforms that may not be a good fit with your campaign or your audience.For example, if you’re trying to gain more followers for your t-shirt company, LinkedIn ads are probably not the best option, but Facebook and Twitter might do well. Or if you’re marketing to enterprise companies, maybe more of your prospects are on LinkedIn than on Twitter, and you want to focus your attention there.My best recommendation is to run a small test campaign on each of the platforms. If you don’t have enough budget to spread between them in one month, do one test each month for the next few months. Then do the math! My goal is to generate leads through paid advertising, and by testing each of these platforms, I’ve been able to optimize for the lowest cost-per-lead.Remember, though, there may be value in advertising on a certain platform even if it’s not your cheapest option. For example, paid search ads can help supplement your organic search rankings, making it more likely that you’ll get found by interested prospects on search engines. It’s up to you to determine what works best for your marketing!– Sarah Goliger, Head of Paid Marketing (@SarahBethGo)Q: What metrics should I be using to measure email effectiveness?When it comes to metrics for individual email sends and A/B tests, the open rate (OR) of an email send is a vital one to monitor. It’s the measurement of total emails opened divided by total emails delivered. Use ORs to A/B test best send times, reactions to the sender name and email, and subject lines.Benchmarks can vary depending on the segment you send the email to (if you send a relevant email to a few, very specific people, it will have a much higher open rate than if you send an email to a large audience).The clickthrough rate (CTR) of an email send measures total clicks in an email send divided by total emails delivered. Use the CTR as a way to gauge engagement of a particular email send as well as to A/B test the various components within your email: Was the call-to-action effective? Was the copy persuasive? Was plain-text more engaging than rich format? How did a particular type of content perform?Now, when it comes to metrics for discovering trends and monitoring collective effectiveness, that’s a different story.Keeping track of the deliverability rate (how many emails were delivered/how many emails were sent) will help you spot an unhealthy list that has old, unresponsive contacts. Prune your lists by excluding unengaged contacts (for example, anyone who hasn’t opened an email in over six months).Another metric, the lead-to-opportunity rate, will tell you how effective your emails are at moving a lead down the funnel. Divide the total number of new opportunities created (marketing-qualified leads, such as those who have signed up for a demo or reached a certain lead score) by the total number of new leads created during a certain time period, such as the last 30 days.Also, measure your unsubscribe rate (total unsubscribes/total contacts over a time period). A high unsubscribe rate should be a red flag that you need to change your email strategy, because you’re clearly not reaching the right audience with the right message. A good benchmark is 2%.– Niti Shah, Head of Email Conversions (@nitifromboston)Inbound Marketing doesn’t have to be a maze. You can use us as your expert marketing advisors by tweeting us your questions with the hashtag #AskAnExpert! And you can even go one step further and enter for the chance to win a 1-on-1 consultation with one of our marketers — you choose the expert, we’ll set it up. You can find the details here!What are some marketing questions you’ve been looking to get expert answers for? Tell us in the comment section below. We may even focus a future post around one of your questions or concerns! Trying out this whole inbound marketing thing? I bet you have some questions. Where do I start? What should I know? What are the best practices?If you could ask a top marketing expert any burning question you have, whether it’s about content creation or social media, or perhaps paid marketing or email — what would it be?Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could just ask a marketing expert and actually receive some … well … expert answers? Luckily, you can.Here at HubSpot, we’ve got an arsenal of experts at the cutting edge of inbound marketing, and we’re here to answer your detailed questions. It’s as simple as tweeting us your marketing questions with the hashtag #AskTheExpert. This is a great resource for marketers — whether you’re just starting out and learning more about inbound marketing or knee-deep in the most complicated (and cool) components (such as analytics or list segmentation).To get started, I asked our own inbound marketers to answer questions they’re often asked in their respective areas of expertise (and I even provided an answer to a question I often hear) — so check ’em out!5 Expert Answers to Your Inbound Marketing QuestionsQ: How often should I blog?As much as you can. (That sounds flippant, but it’s not meant to. Here’s what I mean.)Blogging must be done consistently and frequently to see results. But here’s the kicker: You must be able to sustain that frequency. In other words, if you set out to start blogging really great content five times a week, but that’s too high a frequency for you to sustain over a long period of time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So, before you settle on a weekly or monthly number to hit, think about what frequency you can actually sustain based on the type of content you’re creating.Now, to come up with that magic number, I’d do a couple of things. First, take a look at what some of your competitors are doing with blogging. This includes not just your typical list of the people you sell against, but also search competitors — those who appear in SERPs for the terms for which you’d like to rank. See how often they’re blogging, and how good it is. If they’re blogging once a week or not at all, you can probably start off at a lower pace. If they’re blogging aggressively, you’re going to need to match or approach their pace.Usually after I get a question like this, the next item we discuss is content quality. To learn more about that, here are some resources that might help you out:On improving content qualityOn evaluating content qualityOn why quality matters– Corey Eridon, Senior Blog Editor (@Corey_bos)Q: How much of my own content should I tweet vs. content from other sources?The general rule of thumb is that you should tweet about your brand 20% of the time and about your industry 80% of the time.This 80% could include your own blog posts about the industry (not about your products/services), content from credible sources within your industry, user generated content, etc. The source of the content is up to you, as long as that 80% is helpful, educational, or entertaining for people in your industry (and not sales-y). The 20% includes more direct information about your products/services, which can be slightly more sales-focused.If you’re just getting started on Twitter, try focusing on following people in your industry and target audience first. Retweet their helpful and relevant content to build up your profile, and give your followers a feel for what type of content you’ll be providing.Once you feel more comfortable, start posting some of your own content, such as blog posts, infographics, or entertaining images and link back to your site. The goal here is to build your following first, gain trust, and make quality connections. Then, build up a solid Twitter content strategy once your social following starts snowballing to fuel your inbound marketing machine.– Brittany Leaning, Social Media Manager (@BLeaning)Q: How can a marketer or marketing team sustainably create content and with ROI in mind?Strategy and infrastructure. Without these, you’ll lose steam after awhile and never see results. So, resist the urge to sprint out of the gate and create content haphazardly. Pause enough to plan and be strategic, set your goals, learn what will actually attract the right buyer, and then start producing content. I promise you’ll run faster and longer if you plan first.In your planning, you first need a buyer persona. If you don’t know your ideal customer and what they are struggling with that you can help solve with your content (as well as your product and service), you don’t have product-market fit and will wind up creating content that falls flat. (If you don’t have a buyer persona yet, here’s a free template.)Once you have your persona built, open a free app like Evernote or Trello that syncs between mobile and desktop. This is your idea pipeline. Whenever ANYTHING hits you (a blog post idea, a stat you hear, a photo you take, anything at all that could be content), you want to save it immediately. This helps you avoid starting your next project from scratch. Finally, when you’re ready to create, start by producing a killer content offer — this not only ties to your funnel by requiring a business action of the reader, but it allows you to brainstorm tons more content all based from that one single work. Topics: Marketing Advicecenter_img Originally published Dec 17, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 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