What Are Evergreen Ideas All About?

6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

So, say you’re ready for your next project. Congrats! And, say you want to start an online business.

Related: 25 Business Ideas Worth Millions That I Don’t Have Time to Build

But you aren’t sure whether your idea will be viable in 10, five, or even two years.

How do you know what niche your online business should be in? After all, you don’t want to waste your time building a business no one needs.

The first thing to recognize here is that online businesses typically fall into one of four categories: ecommerce, software as a service (SaaS), digital service and content. Examples include:

Whether you are thinking of starting an online business, or already running one, you should strongly consider targeting an evergreen niche. Evergreen niches typically never go out of style, nor are they usually subject to extreme seasonal dips and spikes, which makes them good candidates for starting a business in.

Evergreen niches are also not heavily dependent on trends. You may be doing a roaring trade in Fidget Spinners today, but how sustainable is that demand from consumers? Chances are, it will eventually go the way of the Tamagotchi, the Beanie Baby, and the Pet Rock.

Finding an evergreen niche that isn’t overly saturated is often one of the hardest parts to starting a business. Here are examples of the most evergreen niches and examples of websites that service them:

Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich

Sports and hobbies

Type: ecommerce/ Example: LifeFitness

Belong to a gym? You have most likely seen this piece of equipment before. LifeFitness is an elite manufacturer and wholesaler of exercise machines, such as treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes. This offering plays to the ever-expanding demand in the exercise niche. In fact, market analysis site FranchiseHelp notes that gym memberships rose 18.6 percent from 2008 to 2014, a trend which the article’s writers expect to continue.

Weight loss

Type: SaaS/ Example: Lose It

Lose It is a goal-oriented weight-loss program that helps you track your caloric intake. It allows you to set a target for how much weight you want to lose and how quickly you want to lose it, then offers suggestions based on those goals.

This is a subscription-based service that offers both a free basic plan and a paid plan with advanced features. This model is very common in the world of SaaS.

Gaming

Type: content/ Example: PCGamer

PCGamer is a gamer’s paradise with extensive reviews of all the newest games and hardware. It is the go-to authority for anything PC-game related, which means it is positioned to continually update its content as the industry evolves.

Ubisoft, a mega-player in the industry, recently put out a third quarter earnings report, which pointed to growth opportunities in the $30 billion PC gaming market (according to the company), so it’s a promising industry. PCGamer also previews new game titles before they launch and reports on technology news outside the realm of gaming.

Relationships

Type: SaaS/ Example: OkCupid

There are always people looking for love. OkCupid aims to help them find it. While many dating applications are mobile-based (think Tinder and Bumble), OkCupid is best experienced on a desktop or laptop.

OkCupid employs detailed questionnaires that try to elicit enough information to match you with your soulmate, meaning its offering grows more sophisticated as time passes and the company collects more data. This is sustainable, as it goes far beyond using just pictures to make a match.

Beauty

Type: ecommerce/ Example: Sephora

LVMH-owned Sephora was founded in 1969 and has over 1,900 boutiques worldwide. Sephora revolutionized the brick-and-mortar beauty industry by replacing traditional sales reps with “beauty advisors” and encouraging customers to try before they buy.

The company’s ecommerce store is no less innovative, offering video how-to classes and an extensive community section where customers can interact with brand representatives, influencers and other Sephora customers. Sephora is home to nearly 200 brands as well as its own private label.

Wealth

Type: SaaS/ ExampleeToro

EToro is more than just an online stockbroker. Its OpenBook platform allows you to learn from the trades and portfolios of over five million other eToro traders worldwide. It even gives you the ability to easily copy their trades, all within a  dedicated app.

With this type of social trading, eToro claims, “The collective well-being of the community is fostered through high levels of interaction, the wisdom of the crowds, strategy sharing and trading tips.”

Food

Type: ecommerce/ Example: Seamless

Founded in New York City and now available in over 15 states, Seamless spotted an opportunity and made itself a food delivery option for the millions of people who eat lunch (or dinner) at their desks.

Seamless isn’t good only for consumers. In 2013 it merged with GrubHub, which along with food delivery services offers a point of sales (POS) system to restaurant partners that seamlessly integrate in-house orders with online ones.

Education

Type: Digital Service/ ExampleLynda.com

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 and has been offering online classes since 2001. It was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015 for $1.5 billion. In turn, LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion in 2016.

There is little doubt that online education is a big business. Lynda.com offers over 6,000 video courses that teach business, technology, and creative skills. Other highly successful sites that operate in this evergreen niche include Coursera and Udemy.

Mental health

Type: SaaS Example: BetterHelp

BetterHelp pairs its more than 1,500 licensed therapists with people in need of help. Clients fill out a questionnaire that details how they are feeling. It offers them the opportunity to name problems and areas of concern that they want to work on.

For a flat monthly fee, they get unlimited access to “their” therapist via an app, where they can message that therapist 24/7. Why is this evergreen? It’s a safe bet that humans will never run out of the desire to improve their mental health.

Related: 12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts

Final thoughts

The ten evergreen niches here are among the most consistently lucrative. You can find an even more comprehensive list here. When choosing a niche, remember that competition isn’t always a bad thing. A competitive market indicates that there is strong demand and, thus, money can be made.

In short, there’s always room for someone with a new angle, idea or product. A niche without competition is unlikely to be a profitable one unless you’ve invented an entirely new product for which there is consumer demand.”

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Email Marketing Works

1. Email marketing is easy.

One of the reasons email marketing is so valuable for business owners is that it is an easy way to start reaching consumers on their mobile devices without requiring a big investment in new technology or software.

52 percent of US cell phone owners access their email from their cell phones. (Pew Research Center)

42 percent of retailers’ email messages were opened by consumers on their cell phones. 17 percent were opened by consumers on tablets. (Forrester Research)

Conclusion: Nearly three out of every five email marketing messages doubles as a mobile marketing message. Why is email marketing better than SMS marketing?

why does email marketing work1) It works on a variety of mobile devices (phones and tablets)

2) Emails are free to receive for the consumer (texting can incur a charge)

3) Emails have far more space for content than text messages

4) Emails can be formatted much more creatively than text messages
2. Email marketing is effective.

Being a relatively easy strategy makes email marketing very appealing. But one of the biggest benefits to email marketing is how very effective it is at helping business owners and consumers stay connected.

Consumers often seek out email marketing campaigns from their favorite brands and local stores. 28 percent of US online shoppers intentionally subscribe to receive store and product related emails. (Nielsen)

59 percent of US moms say they would sign up for email updates from brands if rewards were offered (Loyalty 360).

There is real value to staying connected to your customers. Email marketing makes that easy to do.

Still asking, “Why Does Email Marketing Work?” Keep reading …
3. Email marketing is adaptable.

The versatility of email marketing is a major reason marketers should keep this tool in their marketing toolbox. Email marketing messages can range from simple to very complex. Emails can be personalized to include the name of the user and even more.

Many of the personalization tactics used on web sites can easily be applied to email marketing. (Retention Science)
4. Email marketing is inexpensive.

The best reason to use email marketing? It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Email marketing allows business owners and entrepreneurs to reach a large number of consumers at a rate of pennies per message as compared to much more strategies such as TV, radio, or direct mail.

And it’s not just saying this. A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85 percent of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.
Why Does Email Marketing Work?

The point is this: Email marketing may be an old tactic, It may be misused by some but it remains a vital strategy. It is relatively easy to get started with email marketing, so there really is no excuse for business owners to not be taking advantage of this powerful marketing tool.

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Googles Inventors Corner

Check Out This Virtual Tour of the Garage Where Google Started

Google is 20 years old today, and to celebrate Google Maps added the garage where the company was founded to Street View. You can check it out right now.

You’ll be flooded with 90s nostalgia, including a bunch of CRT monitors. Keep exploring the house and you’ll find more rooms, and lots of little details.

You might also notice that the office is remarkably neat for a workspace shared by college students. That’s because this is a recreation of the original workspace, not an exact replica, as proven by the following video (watch all the way through for the ending, it’s worth it).

From the blog post announcing the virtual tour:

As you walk through the garage’s side door, you’ll note a familiar Search box on an old “CRT” computer monitor held up by a wooden workhorse table with yellow legs. Larry and Sergey were particularly thrilled that use of the washing machine and dryer was included in their rent.

As you chase cables that scramble haphazardly down the hallway, you’ll find a bedroom (ahem, “main office”) with a whiteboard that reads “Google’s Worldwide Headquarters” in black text. On another whiteboard, you’ll see a cheeky homage to Google’s logo update back in 1998. Doesn’t the delightful wallpaper remind you of tea at your grandparents’ place?

This isn’t the only nostalgia Google is putting out today. Here’s a few more highlights:

Google fans should check out this page for even more retrospectives from the compnay. Enjoy!

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Baby Gets A Break

Police Officer Insists on Breastfeeding Hungry, ‘Dirty’ Baby, Gets Promoted

This Argentinian police officer is being praised for her maternal kindness after she was seen breastfeeding a hungry crying baby at a hospital.

Officer Celeste Jaqueline Ayala was working as a guard at the Sor Maria Ludovica children’s hospital in Buenos Aires when she heard an infant crying.

When she ran to find the source of the wailing, she found that the cries were coming from a baby boy who had been taken into custody by police.

Since the hospital staff already had their hands full with other patients, Ayala asked if she could hold and feed the baby.

Despite the boy being described by the employees as “dirty and smelly”, the officer insisted on helping the infant anyway.

“I noticed that he was hungry, as he was putting his hand into his mouth, so I asked to hug him and breastfeed him,” Ayala told Cronica of her deed. “It was a sad moment, it broke my soul seeing him like this.”

As she lovingly cradled the baby, an onlooker named Marcos Heredia snapped a photo of the powerful moment and posted it to social media where it has since been shared thousands of times. The officer didn’t mind the exposure at all, and in the end it benefitted her, too.

“I want to make public this great gesture of love that you had today with that baby,” wrote Heredia. “You did not care about the dirt and the smell as the professional gentlemen of the hospital said. Things like that are not seen every day.”

The security department for which Ayala works made a Twitter post earlier this week saying that – in light of her kindness and integrity – they promoted her from officer to sergeant, saying that she was the kind of “police we’re proud of” and “the police we want.”

Share The Inspiring Story Of Compassion With Your FriendsPhoto by Marcos Heredia

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Giants Of The Tech World Battle

Android Giants Battle: Samsung Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro, which one to go for?

Intelligent photography, actual AI processing capabilities and a gorgeous design make Huawei P20 Pro a clear winner

The global smartphone industry has become a battle of the androids. Now with Huawei becoming the number two smartphone vendor globally, surpassing Apple. With the competition getting fierce, let us take a look at two of the biggest flagships out there right now; the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro. We will look at four main features that would drive you to buy one phone over the other: Camera, chipset, design of the phone and ultimately value for money.

Intelligent photography

Equipped with Leica Triple Camera, Huawei P20 Pro has a leading rear camera system comprised of a 40MP RGB sensor, 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with telephoto lens. Compared to the Note 9’s 12+12MP dual lens camera, Huawei P20 Pro supports a higher resolution in both its primary and secondary sensors.

 

 

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With AI being the current ‘game changer’ in the world of smartphones right now, it is safe to say that Huawei was the first to do so with their last year’s flagship Mate 10 series. The phone offered real-time scene and object recognition, which is where the phone recognizes the object and scene, and adjusts the camera setting automatically to capture a clear and sharp image. This feature was further developed and improved upon with the launch of their Huawei P20 Pro that came equipped with triple AI cameras. The Samsung Note 9 follows suit with similar features but with ‘AI-based’ technology.

One of the greatest features of Huawei P20 Pro is its low light photography capability, which is equipped with state-of-the-art AI Image Stabilization. Phone users are be able to capture incredible blur-free, handheld shots in low-light using Night Mode, without the need for a tripod. In fact, Huawei P20 Pro’s Night Mode feature can sometimes capture scenes that even the naked eye cannot see.

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Huawei’s current top-of-the-line flagship also supports 3x optical zoom, allowing the Huawei P20 Pro to zoom farther than the Note 9, which only can manage 2x optical zoom. The AI stabilization on the Huawei P20 Pro also comes in useful at digitally zoomed 5x and 10x too.

One SoC to power it all

In order to tailor the device to the needs of different consumers across the world, Huawei has customized its Huawei P20 Pro for different regions. Samsung is doing the same for Note 9, but it has arguably taken a step too far—the Note 9 to be sold in US, LATAM and China will be powered by a Snapdragon 845, while the EMEA models will have Samsung’s proprietary Exynos 9810 SoC embedded within. The two SoCs not just run at different clock speeds and there’s one key component that the Exynos 9810 is sorely missing: a discrete processor for AI tasks.

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According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845’s digital signal processor (DSP) is optimised for AI tasks, similar to the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) inside the Kirin 970 powering the Huawei P20 Series. However, the Exynos 9810 lacks hardware AI support, and instead uses a software alternative. Without the support of a dedicated AI processor, the EMEA model of Note 9 will likely provide a subpar user experience compared to other Note 9 models, as well as the Huawei P20 Pro.

Another score for Huawei P20 Pro with its AI enabled Kirin 970 chipset.

Twilight design

Another important feature we would like to focus on is the physical look and feel of the device and the camera placement.

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While the Samsung Note 9 has launched four colours this year (out of which only 3 are coming to the UAE), the Huawei P20 Pro released and created the trend of the gorgeous gradient coloured bodies. Drawing inspiration from the Northern Lights (Aurora Borelis), Huawei created the unique Twilight purple-to-blue gradient color using the NCVM process, a lengthy industrial.

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Another huge advantage of the P20 Pro body is the placement of the camera sensors. While the Note 9’s sensors are placed on back of the device in a generic vertical format while the Huawei P20 Pro’s sensors have been places horizontally to give the user the camera experience like most compact cameras.

Huawei P20 Pro’s gradient colours and camera placement, makes it a user-friendly and ‘haute’ phone to own and hold.

Value for money

Lastly, which works better for your pocket and gives you the best value for your money?

The Huawei has loaded their devices with long-lasting 4000mAh batteries right through from the Mate 8 to the Mate 9, Mate 9 Pro, Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and P20 Pro. Samsung finally follows suit with the Note 9 also getting the same treatment.

Considering all the above factors on the Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung Note 9, which are priced at Dh2599 and Dh3699 respectively, the P20 Pro does stand out as a much better deal.  Huawei is offering these premium features at a very competitive price today—while Samsung still needs another few weeks before they can put their new flagship into the hands of consumers.

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Note:

Let me take you back a few years now, back to May 2015. Now I’m not sure what you were doing in may of 15, but while you were doing it, I was sitting down at my computer for the first time, and thinking about online marketing in a serious light, all wide eyed and in awe of how much people were earning from creating their own products from scratch, going from a blank piece of paper, and by their own hand, and through their own ideas, persuading thousands of people to buy their products. Not only that, but by what I was reading, they were really liking the results too. What an amazing skill that would be to have, not just from the sales perspective, but from a creative standpoint too. The pull of this was just too much, and I couldn’t resist. Sounded like a challenge to me. It sounded like that to many other people by the looks of it, because seven months later, December in 15, when I was starting to learn about the high failure rates, and beginning to ask the all important why questions, I remember looking at my contact list packed with people that I’d met, that I’d talked to, and were after the same thing that I was. A do what you want when you want lifestyle. The list wasn’t that huge, maybe twenty five or thirty in total. I found myself asking the question, how many of these people will actually succeed, and end up where they want to be? And how many will either quit before they make it, run out of money, get bored, or decide the whole thing is a scam?
Fast forward to the middle of 2018. Here I still am, so it’s lucky that I was one of the people on that list that did make it. But what happened to the others? Well, let me tell you now that out of the thirty or so people that I’d met in the first nine months of my online marketing, only two of us have made it to the stage where we’re happy with what we’ve done, and succeeded in doing what we set out to do. Only two out of the thirty people on that list went from totally green, knowing nothing at all, to exactly where we wanted to be. Note that I’m only counting the people I met within the first nine months that weren’t already the successes they wanted to be when I met them. So what happened? Where did the other twenty eight people go? Well, most of them quit unfortunately, some because they ran out of money, some because they decided it was all a scam, and some because they were frustrated with the continual contradictory information written in different guides and how to’s. I think that’s really unfortunate, because success is definitely possible. It doesn’t involve luck, it doesn’t involve working for eighteen hours a day on one site. All it depends on is the persons willingness to move forward, and the quality of the information they have showing them how to do so. “I help small businesses and individuals that need to stay in contact with groups, individuals, and clients while maintaining a low budget that is affordable and simple to use over the internet.”

Of course not everyone that hasn’t succeeded yet quit or decided running their own business was a scam, some are still around, and if they haven’t either quit or become successful, they seem to fall into three groups. Group one has allied themselves with the don’t listen to the people making money crew. Now as nice and as lovely as these people might be, or might seem when giving away the earth for nothing, if they don’t know how to do things, and aren’t making money themselves, or don’t have the lifestyle that they want, they shouldn’t be teaching others what they know. No matter how nice they are, how much free stuff they give away, or how many free tips or guides they create, they’re actually doing more harm than good by spreading miss-information. It doesn’t matter how much information you get, if you got five hundred thousand pages worth of stuff for free, if it’s wrong, or un-tested, it’s not going to work no matter how long it is. This is how I always justified pulling anywhere from $250 to $3000 out of my own pocket, my hard earned cash that was earned at some terrible hourly rate working for someone else selling computers and software, to buy other peoples insight and knowledge. It actually turns out that it was experience that gave me the final pieces of the puzzle, which was totally free, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
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Smarty-Pants Speakers Drive Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing News: Smarty-Pants Speakers Drive Voice Search, YouTube’s Rejiggered Hashtags, & Google’s Word Count Wisdom

Lane Ellis      Online Marketing News

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https://stories.trafficauthority.net/vincent/wmyfloyd

Report: Smart speaker ownership driving voice adoption on smartphones
The popularity of voice search on smartphones has grown in part due to more Americans owning smart speakers, with a new NPR and Edison Research report revealing 18 percent now own so-called smart audio devices. Marketing Land

Report: Facebook takes a back seat to Instagram as ad spend on the Facebook-owned app grows 177%
New research data shows that Instagram had ad spending four times Facebook’s rate year-over-year during the second quarter of 2018, while YouTube’s ad spend was nearly triple that of last year. Marketing Land

Emojis Score With Mobile Users
New study data shows that the use of emojis has resulted in a sizable boost of mobile e-mail open rates, with open rates boosted over 80 percent resulting in 363 percent revenue gains, but are digital marketers convinced? MediaPost

YouTube Shows Searchable Hashtags Above Video Titles
YouTube has begun showing searchable hashtags above the title of each video. The first three hashtags of a video’s description field have gained prominence with the change, offering new opportunities for YouTube marketers looking to optimize video findability. Search Engine Journal

Google: Word Count Isn’t Indicative Of Quality
Google has indicated that written content isn’t ranked solely by word count numbers. Short or not-so-short, good writing is rarely tied to formulaic word counts, Google has hinted. Search Engine Roundtable

Google releases AMP Stories v1.0 with new features, including an ads beta for DFP users
Google has announced new features for developers using its AMP Stories format, including several monetization features and additional metadata attributes targeting digital marketers. Marketing Land

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Twitter Releases New ‘Playbook for Agencies’ Which Includes a Heap of Twitter Promotion Tips
Twitter has published a new guide offering ad tips and more, in its agency playbook announced this week. The guide’s insight is applicable to a wide swath of digital marketing professionals. Social Media Today

An update to referral source URLs for Google Images
Google announced recently that it will soon implement a new referrer URL specific to Google Images. Digital marketers working with country-specific search queries also get specific new guidelines from Google. Google Webmaster Central

Snapchat beefs up ad targeting in deal with Nielsen
Segmented audience data is finally coming to Snapchat, as the firm recently announced a new partnership with Nielsen that brings some 30,000 segments to marketers using the firm’s newest addition. AdAge

Inside the Mating Rituals of Brands and Online Stars
The New York Times examines influencer morality clauses and the rise of online stars from YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and others, with newfound brand credibility often following. The New York Times

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

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A lighthearted look at lifestyle brands by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

How Kit Kat managed to turn a viral tweet into a branded proposal — SEO Roundtable

This Man Tried to Break the World Record for Paper Airplane Flight — Wired

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — Natural Language Generation: The Future of Content Management — e-Spirit
  • Lee Odden — The Top 13 Content Marketing Influencers to follow in 2018 — JBH

What are some of your top influencer marketing news items for this week?

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll return next week for the latest digital marketing news, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

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Keeping Friends Is A Priority

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Here are ten friendship tips you can take to keep friends and improve the quality of the friendships that you already have.

Stay in touch

People are busy. They are always spending time at their jobs, finishing chores around the house, or taking care of their families. One in three workers believe they do not have enough time to do all the things they want to do at home. These responsibilities often pile up and seem particularly important. The internet has made such communication ridiculously easy. One can send a tweet or a Facebook message in between checking work emails. They can send a text and reply to it later that day. Such efforts take only a few seconds but can be considerable to sustaining friends over time and distance.

See your friends

An online connection is only part of friendly communications, however. If possible, a busy person still needs to make room for significant connections. Within reason, they should set a goal to see another individual in person on a reasonable basis. Some friends try to meet up with each other either once per week or once per month. Not everyone can meet all of their friends that often. But even the most infrequent face-to-face meetings can help provide a close connection that is lacking in an all-digital friendship.

Prioritize the friendship

In order to make room for friends, individuals need to prioritize that friendship over other parts of their lives. They need to focus on the positives that friends bring to their lives. Studies show that having lasting friendships makes people happier and live longer. They are able to live with less stress and have better avenues for problem-solving. In order to keep those friends, you need to go the extra mile to show your friends that you care and that they are a priority in your life.

Give gifts

Small gifts and favors will help facilitate the friendships in your life. A favor given means that another one may be received in the near future. Favors and gifts also open up dialogue and help two people communicate more often. A favor or gift may serve another purpose as a litmus test. If you have bought your friend with means ten birthday gifts in a row and have received nothing back, you may need to evaluate whether or not that friend should be a priority for you.

Handle conflict carefully

Conflict is inevitable in a relationship as well as a friendship. Even the closest friendships involve some level of conflict. It should not be ignored or swept under the rug in every possible situation. Instead, you need to make sure that you fight quietly and fairly whenever you do fight with your friends. One serious mistake could lead to a lost friend and a brand new enemy.

Connect your friends and your significant other

You should never have your friends avoid or be kept secret from your significant other. They will hold a special place in your life that may be in conflict with that of your friends. If you bring your friends and your special someone together, you can learn how to balance all of these important relationships without having to choose one over the other.

Agree with your friends (every once in a while)

If your friend just keeps getting things wrong, you should strive to find common ground. Common ground is critical and keeps you from simply being a nag. While you need to be able to disagree with your friend, constantly asserting how right you are can end up torpedoing the friendship.

Use anger sparingly

Anger is one of the most frequently expressed emotions between friends. Some situations warrant an angry response. Even when you are angry at a friend, you should always try to curb your anger with your friends. This advice is especially true for those friends who cannot handle an angry person. They may respond to your anger by fleeing and removing you from their lives.

Be polite with criticism

Your friends will make mistakes. They may also want to know about those mistakes. This desire does not mean they also want their feelings hurt. Try to be as careful as possible when making such criticisms. Follow the golden rule and keep insulting language to a minimum.

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Treat family with caution

Family is always a third rail in friendships. Individuals want to be able to criticize their families but feel defensive at other people making similar criticisms. Make sure to become familiar with how your friends talk about families. The wisest thing to do when a friend is discussing family may be to simply nod along silently.

Conclusion

Not all friendships last more than a few years. You have to be ready to reevaluate your friendships, follow these friendship tips, and reject toxic people from your life. However, a sustaining friendship can provide comfort and happiness for decades. If you go the extra mile and show that you care, the right people will be excited to stay in and enrich your life.

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Recycling News Isn’t Always Good

Why Has American Entrepreneurship Dropped? Malcolm Gladwell Blames Agreeableness

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Malcolm Gladwell (left) and Carlos Watson speak onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, in Manhattan on July 22, 2018 in New York City.(Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Ozy Media)

These days, Malcolm Gladwell is all about disagreeableness.

In conversation with Carlos Watson at OZY Fest on Sunday, Gladwell lauded the trait as a key component of an entrepreneurial spirit. In the psychological context, disagreeableness or agreeableness is the extent to which one requires the approval of a group.

“One of the weird counterintuitive facts about the present day is that entrepreneurship in this country is at a historic low, relative to the last 50 years or so,” Gladwell says on the OZY stage. “The rate of new-business formation in America right now is as low as it’s been since the 1970s.”

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According to research from The Kauffman Foundation, the number of companies younger than one year dropped by nearly 44% between 1978 and 2012. This slump is affecting every industry, even those that the public perceives to be thriving. Despite the incredible technological strides made in the last few decades, new-business formation is dropping across the board. But why? Gladwell thinks it’s because our younger generations are less likely to disregard the suggestions and opinions of their peers.

“Is it possible we are raising a generation of people who are less disagreeable than previous generations? That the effect of all the things we’ve done in good faith to make young people much more aware of and solicitous of each other’s feelings has had the paradoxical effect of making it harder for them to try something truly crazy and weird and innovative?”

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According to the Small Business Administration, research shows that young people are interested in starting new businesses. But interest isn’t enough. There are more factors against Americans trying to be entrepreneurs than just agreeableness. Gladwell sees opportunity, whether it comes in the form of a bank loan or a good education without debilitating student debt, to be bestowed on a select few.

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“The consequence of the rhetoric used to describe success is that we come to think of the qualities of those successful few as being incredibly rare. What’s rare is the resources and the opportunities these people had access to,” says Gladwell. “But the underlying qualities are common. … I think there should be a rule that one day a week, we just don’t talk about billionaires.’

Gladwell notably considers himself to be agreeable, despite his disputatious takes and success as both an innovative author and a podcaster. His podcast Revisionist History, which recently wrapped on season three and consistently reaches the top of the charts, is a force of disruption in a rapidly changing industry. In 2017, 48 million people listened to podcasts weekly and podcasting revenues are growing at double-digit rates. Revisionist History looks at the past to unsettle culture schemas—but Gladwell also wants to ensure a brief respite from current events.

“I don’t make news with my podcast. I’m in the edutainment business,” says Gladwell. “I’m the antidote to the 24-hour news cycle.”

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Sometimes Typography Influences

How Color and Typography Influence Consumers [Animated Infographics]

by Laura Forer  |

June 18, 2018

Animated InfographicsEarlier we explored how bad data can ruin a campaign. On the other hand, what good is great data if your creative assets don’t catch the attention of your audience?

Color and typography are two of the first features people notice in advertising, and those two elements can set the tone for your entire brand.

For example, fonts with serifs give a sense that a brand is established, while sans serif fonts make a brand seem more casual and modern.

That’s according to an infographic that explores how consumers view a brand based on its colors and typography—and how marketers can make the best design decisions for their brands.

Check out the full infographic by MDG Advertising:

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Who or What Drives Your Traffic?

Five Content-Led Marketing Campaigns That Drive Results

by Chris Cano  |

July 19, 2018

driving trafficIn today’s competitive marketplace, consumers are empowered to drive a hard bargain. Your audience knows how to get the best price, so it’s easy to get scared into thinking that a shrewd discount strategy is the only tactic that delivers results.

That is not the case. An attractive offer might make the perfect incentive to join your mailing list, but an email marketing strategy that’s consistently offer-led can be damaging to your business.

Discount-driven campaigns do little to promote your story. They can devalue your brand, and they confuse the customer experience. Plus, continually bombarding your contacts with campaigns that spout terms such as “sale” and “bargain” increases the risk of your emails’ being marked as spam.

The key to maintaining customer interest is resonance, according to the Forrester Brand Experience Playbook. A brand that resonates with customers is one that not merely provides the product, service, and experience they anticipate, but—even more important—also enriches customer experience by providing value-driven engagement opportunities.

And the proof’s in the ROI: A good content-focused marketing strategy drives six times higher conversion rates! Here are five content-led campaigns to help you cement a lasting relationship with your customers
1. User-Generated Content (UGC) Campaigns

Rebuild trust, recruit brand advocates, and get time back by adding UGC to your email marketing strategy.

A good review is worth its weight in gold. Although trust in brand messages has fallen in recent years, the influence of consumer recommendations has skyrocketed: Most online consumers prefer to be informed about what others have said about products and services—and therefore read consumer reviews regularly.

If you’ve wowed customers with your product or service, use their feedback as testimonials to influence your entire contact list. A UGC-based campaign allows you to push your most impressive reviews straight to the inbox, promoting a third-party, impartial view.

You can achieve that by adding a dynamic content block in an email template to pull in live review content directly from your site. Customer feedback from review sites such as Trustpilot and Feefo can be integrated into your campaign with ease for added credibility. And, if you’re feeling inspired, use UGC to construct the basis of your campaign creative and let the 5-star reviews speak for you! Check out how global skincare brand Elemis did just that:

drive traffic

2. How-To Advice Campaigns

Providing your contacts with useful and informative content is a great way to showcase your business’s expertise.

Prospective and returning customers actively use content to inform their decision-making process: 47% of B2B buyers viewed three to five pieces of relevant content before engaging with a sales representative, according to a report from Demand Gen. Creating advice-based campaigns to deploy to your lists at appropriate stages can have a huge effect on your conversion rates.

Brands that resonate strongly with customers provide user-focused content to drive engagement. Think about what a customer might want to know about your product or service, and design an advice campaign based around your answers.

Great British Chefs uses its “Weekly Menu” campaigns to advise on food preparation. The emails feature guides, recipes, and blog posts to get taste buds tingling. And with the company logo displayed clearly and consistently in every campaign, readers can easily remember which brand serves up this mouth-watering content.

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3. Competition Campaigns

Want to generate new, quality leads and re-engage customers at the same time? No problem.

An attractive, time-restricted competition campaign has the power to generate hot new leads. Constructing a thorough and relevant entry form will give you good-quality data to send to your sales department. Plus, you can increase your audience and entice an entirely new fan base with an initiative strong enough to get shared across social media. It might even go viral.

A competition that gets good traction promotes brand awareness, online conversation, customer loyalty, and market presence. And when it’s all over, your key campaign metrics provide a rich source of data to inform your future strategy.

Check out this competition creative from luxury clothing and accessories brand Aquascutum. An interactive game hides behind the gorgeous email illustration, and those who complete it and provide their data are automatically entered into a drawing to win their favorite bag. With one initiative, the company has re-engaged existing customers, increased brand awareness, and generated new leads. Plus, it’s captured data on its customers’ style preferences. Genius!

Key ROI metrics from Aquascutum’s competition include the following:

  • 6% average email CTR
  • 100% increase over average link clicks
  • 100% increase over average open rates
  • 50% increase over average views and forwards

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4. Multichannel Engagement Campaigns

Email is your digital key, and you can use it to unlock a healthy ROI from your social media efforts.

A campaign that showcases your brand’s multichannel opportunities will promote cross-channel communication and nurture that single customer view. Give your contacts the chance to get socially acquainted with your business, and watch your brand ambassadors multiply. Plus, collate the data from multichannel engagement campaigns to get deeper insight into lifestyle and behavior. That all leads to better targeting.

An engaged community with multiple touchpoints will do the work for you. Customers who feel valued and nurtured by companies are more than happy to build brand and salience in order to get a better ROI for themselves. The inbox is the perfect environment for your brand communities to thrive!

This email from British fashion brand Jack Wills is beautifully designed and chockablock with channels. It gives customers five unmissable opportunities to connect, and we love the persuasive copy creative!

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5. Re-Engagement Campaigns

Looking for a win-back strategy that works? Reinstate valued members of your community by rolling out an irresistible re-engagement campaign.

Customers who have become dissatisfied with your email marketing want you to take a proactive approach to regaining their trust. Even your most loyal engagers will be bombarded with attractive alternatives, so get ahead of the competition by designing a campaign to collect customers’ preferences. That email should be sent out to contacts who qualify as unengaged. Use the results to re-engage customers with better-informed emails and more precisely targeted CTAs.

Check out this simple, effective, and on-brand re-engagement email from Dormify. The US dorm decor brand used its design expertise to create a seriously clickable campaign.

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Make It Resonate!

An attractive incentive provides great leverage for obtaining email signups and acquiring crucial consumer data. Customers have come to expect discounts in return for their data: Offers remain the top reason for filling out an online form and subscribing to a mailing list. But generic, batch-and-blast offer campaigns can dilute and devalue your company’s message. It’s easy to lose connections when the line of communication is poor.

To retain interest, you need to nurture long-term brand resonance. That is where adding value drives the best ROI. Content-led campaigns that are helpful, personal, and relevant can help you foster a lasting attachment between business and customer.

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