In 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:
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
We all want to become better people — stronger and healthier, more creative and more skilled, a better friend or family member.
But even if we get really inspired and start doing things better, it’s tough to actually stick to new behaviors. It’s more likely that this time next year you’ll be doing the same thing than performing a new habit with ease.
Why is that? And is there anything you can do to make change easier?
My girlfriend is great at remembering people’s names.
Recently, she told me a story that happened when she was in high school. She went to a large high school and it was the first day of class. Many of the students had never met before that day. The teacher went around the room and asked each person to introduce themselves. At the end, the teacher asked if anyone could remember everyone’s name.
My girlfriend raised her hand and proceeded to go around the room and accurately name all 30 or so people. The rest of the room was stunned. The guy next to her looked over and said, “I couldn’t even remember your name.”
She said that moment was an affirming experience for her. After that she felt like, “I’m the type of person who is good at remembering people’s names.”
Even today, she’s great at remembering the names of anyone we come across.
Here’s what I learned from that story: In order to believe in a new identity, we have to prove it to ourselves.
The key to building lasting habits is focusing on creating a new identity first. Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity. What you do now is a mirror image of the type of person you believe that you are (either consciously or subconsciously).
To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself.
Imagine how we typically set goals. We might start by saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get stronger.” If you’re lucky, someone might say, “That’s great, but you should be more specific.”
So then you say, “I want to lose 20 pounds” or “I want to squat 300 pounds.”
These goals are centered around our performance or our appearance.
Performance and appearance goals are great, but they aren’t the same as habits. If you’re already doing a behavior, then these types of goals can help drive you forward. But if you’re trying to start a new behavior, then I think it would be far better to start with an identity–based goal.
The image below shows the difference between identity–based goals and performance and appearance–based goals.
The interior of behavior change and building better habits is your identity. Each action you perform is driven by the fundamental belief that it is possible. So if you change your identity (the type of person that you believe that you are), then it’s easier to change your actions.
The reason why it’s so hard to stick to new habits is that we often try to achieve a performance or appearance–based goal without changing our identity. Most of the time we try to achieve results before proving to ourselves that we have the identity of the type of person we want to become. It should be the other way around.
The Recipe for Sustained Success
Changing your beliefs isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. There are two steps.
1. Decide the type of person you want to be.
2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.
Here are five examples of how you can make this work in real life.
Note: I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to start with incredibly small steps. The goal is not to achieve results at first, the goal is to become the type of person who can achieve those things.
For example, a person who works out consistently is the type of person who can become strong. Develop the identity of someone who works out first, and then move on to performance and appearance later.
Start small and trust that the results will come as you develop a new identity.
Want to lose weight?
Identity: Become the type of person who moves more every day.
Small win: Buy a pedometer. Walk 50 steps when you get home from work. Tomorrow, walk 100 steps. The day after that, 150 steps. If you do this 5 days per week and add 50 steps each day, then by the end of the year, you’ll be walking over 10,000 steps per day.
Want to become a better writer?
Identity: Become the type of person who writes 1,000 words every day.
Small win: Write one paragraph each day this week.
Want to become strong?
Identity: Become the type of person who never misses a workout.
Small win: Do pushups every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Want to be a better friend?
Identity: Become the type of person who always stays in touch.
Small win: Call one friend every Saturday. If you repeat the same people every 3 months, you’ll stay close with 12 old friends throughout the year.
Want to be taken seriously at work?
Identity: become the type of person who is always on time.
Small win: Schedule meetings with an additional 15–minute gap between them so that you can go from meeting to meeting and always show up early.
What is your identity?
In my experience, when you want to become better at something, proving your identity to yourself is far more important than getting amazing results. This is especially true at first.
If you want to get motivated and inspired, then feel free to watch a YouTube video, listen to your favorite song, and do P90X. But don’t be surprised if you burn out after a week. You can’t rely on being motivated. You have to become the type of person you want to be, and that starts with proving your new identity to yourself.
Most people (myself included) will want to become better this year. Many of us, however, will set performance and appearance–based goals in hopes that they will drive us to do things differently.
If you’re looking to make a change, then I say stop worrying about results and start worrying about your identity. Become the type of person who can achieve the things you want to achieve. Build the habit now. The results can come later
A belief is an internally held or publicly espoused commitment to a premise that may be knowable or completely unsupported by evidence. Importantly, this gamut of uncertainty is what distinguishes beliefs from knowledge. For example, most of us know and believe that the sky is blue, but if you believe it will rain tomorrow, you do not necessarily know it will rain. Thus, beliefs are often formed when someone ventures beyond the scope of their knowledge, and takes a risk by committing to a premise that may not be entirely supported.
Given the inherent risk, beliefs that are publicly stated often have non-trivial content, i.e. they concern topics that are important for the well-being or social status of the speaker. As a result, beliefs may be imbued with an emotional investment, such that if the belief is proven wrong, there will be an emotional cost.
Many psychologists view belief as an unscientific term that deserves to be phased out. Contradictory and ambiguous definitions may be to blame for this attitude. However, knowledge is even less well defined. For example, a skeptic would claim that we can never know we know anything. If this is the case, then knowledge is merely a well-supported belief that we falsely ascribe the comforting notion of certainty to.
The Purpose of Beliefs
Beliefs may function to advertise your unique characteristics as a mate. The beliefs you hold will distinguish you from other potential partners. This allows like-minded members of the opposite sex to pick you from the crowd, which helps to guarantee a stable relationship in which a child can be brought up successfully. Natural selection should favor extensive belief formation, as this will improve the process of mate selection, and the quality of the child-rearing environment.
How Are Beliefs Learned?
Many of the beliefs we hold have been borrowed from individuals who demonstrate authority or prestige. This includes parents, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, and community leaders. For example, children will overwhelmingly adopt the religious beliefs of their parents. Another natural means of belief adoption is our propensity to conform with the majority.
Ignoring these sources of belief can negatively affect well-being. For example, one could be disowned by their parents, ostracized by society, or destined for failure as a result of choosing maladaptive beliefs. Natural selection has filtered those who are disposed to this behavior from the gene pool, leaving the human race with a disposition for conformity and prestige-based mimicry. An added benefit is the ease with which these types of beliefs are formed. If we assume that the popularity or success of a belief makes it reliable, our mental resources are spared the difficulty of testing it.
Nevertheless, niche beliefs can be attractive if the benefits outweigh the costs. Indeed, if beliefs demonstrate one’s unique characteristics as a mate, then pandering to the majority isn’t always an effective strategy. However, it’s likely that most niche beliefs will be adopted from models of authority or prestige for the aforementioned reasons.
How Are Beliefs Formed?
Sometimes a belief will be formed using one’s own cognitive faculties, with little or no influence from other people.
Perhaps the rarest mode of belief formation is that which relies on empirical observation and universal systems of logic to make `rational’ deductions about one’s environment. Not surprisingly, most people claim to exclusively use this method. Indeed, people wish to be seen as impartial because it gives their opinion extra weight. Even if someone has made a rational deduction, accusing them of being irrational will provoke an emotional defense. Thus, it may be impossible to form a belief without the influence of emotion, because even rational beliefs are a source of pride.
A more common form of belief formation is motivated reasoning (PDF). This is often used to reinforce prior beliefs or knowledge that one has an emotional stake in. For example, if a patriot extracts pride from the belief that her country is great, she will be more inclined to believe stories that show her country in a good light. In the same way, religious people are inclined to believe Intelligent Design because it supports prior beliefs that they are emotionally invested in. The purpose is to fool oneself rather than others. Indeed, if a new belief agrees with preexisting beliefs, it appears to be rational, and the motivation for forming it can be ignored.
As well as reinforcing positive emotions, motivated reasoning can be used to cope with negative emotions. For example, sitting in a hospital bed might intensify one’s fear of death. This should create a motivation to believe in an afterlife, prompting a biased search for information that can be used to support the premise. Whether the individual reads holy books and theological articles, or listens to priests and religious groups; the goal is to convince themselves that, if they believed in an afterlife, their belief would be rational. If these mental gymnastics can be performed, the new belief serves to alleviate the negative emotion that triggered the process of motivated reasoning.
Intuitive and Reflective Beliefs
Cognitive scientists usually separate beliefs into intuitive and reflective states. For example, a man observing a lady smile at her companion’s behavior may form the reflective belief that replicating this behavior would be useful during a romantic encounter. However, this relies on the intuitive belief that a smile is an expression of happiness. Intuitive beliefs are automatically treated as data. They include folk beliefs such as `solid objects cannot occupy the same space’ and `other people have beliefs and desires that are separate from my own’.
Ineraction Between Emotions and Beliefs
Our beliefs influence how we perceive, interpret, and construct the world. As a result, beliefs are central to the production and transformation of emotional states. According to cognitive appraisal theory, emotions are elicited when we evaluate stimuli in our environment. This evaluation includes questions such as “does this stimulus help or inhibit my goals?” and “can i cope with it?”. Negative answers should produce an unpleasant emotion, but if we are to answer these questions, beliefs are required about the nature of the stimulus. For example, feeling anxious during a romantic encounter requires beliefs about how one is expected to behave, and whether one’s behavior matches that ideal. If these beliefs are wrong, one’s emotional state may be unduly affected.
As we have seen, emotions also affect the beliefs we form, suggesting a recurrent interplay between the two cognitions. In fact, some emotions may be especially able to facilitate the formation of new beliefs. For example, anxiety is appraised whenever a non-trivial, uncertain threat to well-being is detected. This describes many of the conditions under which new beliefs form. As such, there should be no greater emotional influence on beliefs than anxiety.
David Hume described beliefs as perfectly inert states that cannot produce or prevent action. Conversely, pragmatist philosophers have described beliefs as that upon which we are prepared to act. If this is the case, what compels us to act on our beliefs? The deductions made thus far would suggest that if beliefs bias the direction of our behavior, emotions provide the impetus for it.
What we end up believing is invariably what we most want to believe. Though some desirable premises are plausible, many are merely a prelude to wishful thinking. Indeed, if you wish to measure someone’s lack of delusion, just ask them how many unwelcome beliefs they have.
The new version of the Samsung Gear 360 camera is on display during a launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S8, on March 29, 2017 in New York.
Any fool on the street can tell you that technology is changing at a whiplash-inducing pace. What’s much more difficult to predict is which technologies specifically are about to hit big. Manage to divine that information before the rest of the crowd and you can future-proof your career and get in early on some of the coolest (and most lucrative) business opportunities.
Of course, sorting through a pile of tech hype to find these nuggets of tech gold is one of the hardest jobs around. It demands not only a ton of specialized knowledge but also an uncanny ability to sense which way the cultural winds are blowing.
Thankfully, some of the smartest minds in the world are willing to help out, offering periodic lists of technologies that are about to change the world. One of the best is from MIT Technology Review, which has been naming breakthrough technologies to watch for 15 years now. (Some of the older lists, available here, are uncannily accurate.) Here are the journal’s picks for 2017:
Reversing Paralysis. “Scientists are making remarkable progress at using brain implants to restore the freedom of movement that spinal cord injuries take away.”
Self-Driving Trucks. “Tractor-trailers without a human at the wheel will soon barrel onto highways near you. What will this mean for the nation’s 1.7 million truck drivers?”
Paying With Your Face. “Face-detecting systems in China now authorize payments, provide access to facilities, and track down criminals. Will other countries follow?”
Practical Quantum Computers. “Advances at Google, Intel, and several research groups indicate that computers with previously unimaginable power are finally within reach.”
The 360-Degree Selfie. “Inexpensive cameras that make spherical images are opening a new era in photography and changing the way people share stories.”
Hot Solar Cells. “By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power.”
Gene Therapy 2.0. “Scientists have solved fundamental problems that were holding back cures for rare hereditary disorders. Next we’ll see if the same approach can take on cancer, heart disease, and other common illnesses.”
The Cell Atlas. “Biology’s next mega-project will find out what we’re really made of.”
Botnets of Things. “The relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets is creating dangerous side effects that figure to get even worse.”
Reinforcement Learning. “By experimenting, computers are figuring out how to do things that no programmer could teach them.”
‘Scorpion’ is here, so there’s never been a better time to sculpt the Boy’s Mount Rushmore of moods with this comprehensive list.
Drake is one of the most recognizable aspects of the Canadian brand. He’s like snow, both in terms of how connected he is to our national identity and by how likely he is to get served by Pusha-T. He was one of the most important people since Shania Twain to make us look cool in the United States, which is basically the greatest aspiration of any Canadian. Or at least, Drake makes us feel like we look cool. That power is translated through his music, but in truth it’s all in the face. Drake’s gloriously bearded, emotional and sometimes unfortunately decorated face is a symbol of our inflated sense of worth and remorselessly lame swagger. If his music is a religion, his face is the miracle that cures the blind and converts the non-believers. At the very least, it makes a good meme.
The cover photo for Scorpion is a black and white studio shot, brilliantly framed by photographer Norman Wong. The piece makes Drake look like a timeless monument, a statue to be revered for a thousand years, dominating Toronto’s skyline and blotting out the sun like the Views cover. I reached out to Wong to comment on the photograph, and he emailed back saying, “Love to work with you guys but unfortunately I signed a pretty hefty contract where I can not talk to any media or press.” Incredible. Drake’s face has a team of lawyers. Drake’s face is an industry.
That’s the face of a man whose jacket zipper got stuck in Canadian November.
“Now We Here” Drake
This scene from Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” video inspired retail workers everywhere to hate their jobs even more.
“Look Out Behind You” Drake
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
When you see a particularly dad tracksuit on the other side of Foot Locker.
“Where’d I Put My Protein Powder?” Drake
This is the look you make when you’ve been lifting the culture for over a decade.
This is the look you make when you’ve accidentally killed the culture for over a decade.
Courtside Drake, Part One: Joy
Look at this nerd. He deserves a wedgie. There are no jokes for this picture of Drake’s Best Face. It’s perfect. It’s angelic. He’s ready for his bust to be sculpted and put into the hallowed halls of Degrassi to sit in earnestness that you, too, can achieve zen with the correctly selected oversized sweater/glasses combo.
Courtside Drake, Part Two: Defeat
TFW you finally realize your great basketball team sucks, even though they were objectively GOOD, and that even your own proximity to LeBron James’ greatness doesn’t really make you great at all.
Drake makes journalism look fun by being fabulously rich unlike an actual journalist. If all news is fake news and Drake is a fake journalist for indulging in fake interviewing, not to be confused with real interviewing, which is certainly fake, does that not make him a…………….. journalist?
Drake 100 per cent has a streetwear blog.
Drake is a 17-year-old Instagram influencer trying to sell you therapeutic patchouli-scented candles. This is how you feel cashing in on those goddamn golden Starbucks Rewards points.
That’s him drinking sangria and totally NOT the blood of an up-and-coming lyricist he found on Soundcloud.
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
This is Drake when he smells that young, talented lyricist blood.
“I See Dead People” Drake
Turtle Neck Disdain Drake
When the ghost writer pens a particularly thicc single.
Vaping in the Bathtub Drake
Over My Dead Bath & Body Works.
Way Too Lit Drake
When you lose track of the wasp you just saw.
Trapped in Hell Drake
This man is begging to be saved.
When you find out Kanye collected all the Infinity Stones.
“Who Dis” Drake?
Is This Even Drake?
Drake has a face the world recognizes so we’re not exactly sure who this individual is or why Kevin Hart has “white power.”
Would You Like a Tour? Drake
This Drake is a god.
Job Interview Drake
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Momentous Occasions Drake
“I WATCHED A CHAAAAAAAAAANGE IN YOU. LIKE YOU NEVEEEEEEEEEEEER HAD WINGS. AHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHHHH”
Actual Scorpion Drake
A few Drake facts: he is a predatory animal of the class Arachnida, making him cousins to spiders, mites and ticks. He has eight legs, a pair of pincers (pedipalps) and a narrow segmented tail that often curves over his back, on the end of which is a venomous stinger. Drake will shed his exoskeleton up to seven times as he grows.
Year Book Drake Who Isn’t Actually Drake but Looks Like Drake
Tinder has been testing this feature in Canada and Sweden since April, when it was first announced, and has rolled out to a few other markets since then.
Today, Loops are available to Tinder users across the following markets: Japan, United Kingdom, United States, France, Korea, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.
Loops are two-second, looping videos that can be posted to users’ profiles. Users can’t shoot Tinder Loops from within the app, but rather have to upload and edit existing videos in their camera roll or upload a Live Photo from an iOS device.
Tinder is also expanding the number of images you can post to your profile to nine, in order to make room for Loops without displacing existing photos.
Given that Tinder has been testing the feature since early April, the company now has more data around how Tinder Loops have been working out for users. For example, users who added a Loop to their profile saw that their average conversation length went up by 20 percent. The feature seems to be particularly effective in Japan — Loops launched there in June — with users receiving an average of 10 percent more right swipes if they had a Loop in their profile.
In the age of Instagram and Tinder, people have used photos to represent themselves online. But, with all the editing tools out there, that also means that photos aren’t always the most accurate portrayal of personality or appearance. Videos on Tinder offer a new way to get to know someone for who they are.
The Eisenhower Matrix Productivity Method [Video Tutorial]
The Eisenhower Matrix is a task prioritization technique that could be the answer to your overloaded to-do list and notification nightmares.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. In addition to your actual projects, it feels like you also have 50 other little tasks that demand your attention. There are a ton of unanswered emails in your inbox. A coworker on another project desperately needs your input on something, and they’re on a deadline. Not to mention that overflowing laundry bin waiting for you at home.
With all of these priorities whizzing around your brain simultaneously, it’s hard to actually tackle any of them. The anxiety of not knowing where to start is leaving you in a state of analysis paralysis.
You feel overwhelmed, and stuck. And if you don’t have a time management method, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that every task is urgent and important.
But it’s not all bad news. Solutions for prioritization and decision-making are not new. In fact, one of the greatest frameworks for decision-making and time management came over a half a century ago, from old school productivity master and very busy fellow Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States.
During his presidency, President Eisenhower managed Cold-War tensions, ended the war in Korea, and created the Interstate Highway System among many other achievements. You could say he was a very busy fellow, and thankfully he left this productivity legacy to help you free yourself from hurry worry and the anxiety to complete all your activities within a day.
The Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix (or Eisenhower Box) is an easy, yet extremely effective way to figure out how to prioritize your tasks so that the most important don’t fall by the wayside to the sudden, unexpected, and urgent ones.
Here’s a quick video tutorial for how to organize your tasks into the do, delegate, decide and delete buckets:
The idea is that all of your tasks can be sorted into four quadrants, with axes of Important and Urgent on either side. These four quadrants are given number values of 1 through 4 based on their priority.
“Important” and “Urgent” tasks. These receive a priority level of 1 and should be your primary focus to complete.
“Important”, but “Not Urgent” tasks. These are the long-term goals and tasks that you are important to you personal and professional development, but don’t have a firm deadline.
“Not Important”, but “Urgent” tasks. These tasks are the ones you can delegate or schedule to complete after your 1st quadrant tasks are completed.
“Not Important” and “Not Urgent” tasks. These tasks are placed in the 4th quadrant ones you put to wayside and should eliminate. Do you really need to binge-watch Season 1 of This Is Us or could that time be better used to work on your 2nd quadrant tasks, such as reading one new book per month?
The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple framework that helps you break out of that pernicious analysis paralysis which occurs every time you “feel like you don’t even know where to start.” By assigning each task to a quadrant, it is easy to understand what actually requires your attention this very second and what can wait until another day.
Most importantly, the matrix helps you focus on your long-term goals by clearing out the distracting shallow work that keeps you from exercising, learning how to code, or other large projects that require more time to accomplish, but ultimately improve your life and career.
Why Is It Hard To Make Decisions?
Research shows that decision-making is inextricably tied to emotion. The part of your brain linked to rationality and decision-making, the orbitofrontal cortex, and the part of your brain associated with emotion, the amygdala, are often working together when you are processing higher thought.
This means that decision-making is actually tied to mood regulation. Indeed, anxiety and depression are often categorized as feelings of immobility, being stuck, and an inability to make decisions.
That’s why adopting a framework like the Eisenhower Matrix to help you triage your tasks, or decisions you need to make, is an easy way to reduce your emotional load.
By practicing the Eisenhower Matrix regularly, your brain will begin to rewire itself and you’ll easily get into the habit of quickly identifying the difference between important tasks and non-important tasks.
Make It Visible
The Eisenhower Matrix can be translated into a Trello board of your tasks. Make a list for each quadrant, as well as an “Incoming” list where you can dump everything you need to do, and triage when you’re ready. It will look something like this:
Just looking at your board will give you the visual ease of load balancing. Do you have a lot of cards in the Not Important/Urgent list? Start tackling little things on there to make those lists seem more manageable. These activities could include writing and responding to a batch of emails in one hour, or topping up your social media queue with tweets and Facebook posts for the week.
Only put what is truly pressing in the Important/Urgent list. These are tasks that simply cannot be put off, and for which you must give your undivided attention. By identifying these activities, you can schedule blocks of time during your day to hone in and do deep work to complete them more efficiently.
Tasks that are Urgent but not necessarily Important are often tasks that can be delegated to someone else when appropriate. Remember that assigning priority to tasks means different things to different people. For you, scheduling that flight for the conference might be urgent because if you don’t do it in advance, airline fares will break your budget. For others, that might be a task that is better delegated to an assistant.
If you collaborate closely with someone, like an assistant or a spouse (depending if it’s a work or home to-do list), add them to the board so you can assign them some of those tasks.
If you want to keep this board to yourself, use the copy card function to move those delegated tasks to another board where you are collaborating with others.
Fun fact: President Eisenhower was a master delegator. He created the position of the White House Chief of Staff.
Automate What Comes Into The Matrix
Part of the anxiety of having multiple tasks is not being able to see them all in one place. If you’re in your email and you see something you need to answer but don’t have the time, use Trello’s email-to-board feature to forward this automatically to the Incoming list. After a few of these pile up, you know it’s time to triage those cards into their Eisenhower categories.
If you work across a few Trello boards, you can attach a card or a board to another card with the related cards feature. At a glance, you can get key information from other projects, such as due dates and checklists, in your own matrix so you can manage your progress to your heart’s content without changing your team’s own Trello organization process.
You can also use automation tool Zapier to create cards in your Incoming list. Connect other apps you’re using to Trello, and when specific events happen, it will trigger a Zap and send a card to your Trello list.
For example, automatically create a Trello card every time a new row is created in a Google spreadsheet. Or if you’re on the go and jotting notes down in Evernote, set them to Zap to your Trello board so that they can be turned into action items later.
And don’t forget that you can also simply add cards from other Trello boards into your Eisenhower Matrix by using the Copy function under Actions listed on each card.
Drop The Dread Of Decision Making
The Eisenhower Matrix is a visual framework that can be used with productivity tools you’re already in, like Trello, to keep everything organized. It’s an easy way to batch tasks into four priority levels, one of which (Not Important/Not Urgent) is immediately dropped, so really it’s only three categories of attention-worthy tasks to focus on.
All you need to do is spend time analyzing your tasks and goals and categorize them into activities that you can be completed within certain time frames. Through this method, your prioritization and delegation skills will become top-notch.
In short, you’ve already got plenty on your plate. Don’t make the process of prioritization yet another thing you need to deal with. Thanks, Ike!
Bees are emblems of social complexity. Their honeycombs—intricate lattices dripping with food—house bustling hive members carrying out carefully orchestrated duties like defending against predators and coordinating resource collection. Much of our own success is due to this sort of division of labor. Clearly, in the animal kingdom, it pays to be social: Certain neurons make us resent being alone. You could be forgiven for assuming that complex social organization is the—or at least a—pinnacle of evolution.
Yet out of the 20,000 known species of bees, only a few are social. Some bee species have even given up social behaviors, opting for the single life. Why?
Sometimes everybody wins when you go it alone.
For one, as introverts know well, socializing requires lots of energy. Highly complex societies of insects require an elaborate arsenal of chemical and physical signals to direct their communal behavior. Social bees have more highly developed exocrine glands than their solitary cousins, and solitary halictid bees have less sensory hairs on their antennae than their social precursors. Solitary and social halictids also have different odorant systems, which play an important role in social bee communication and recognition. As the environment comes up with new demands, and the genetic makeup of the hive adapts, these features might just stop being worth the investment.
For another, being social can be stunting—sometimes bees have to grow up fast to survive. Researchers at Whitman College in Washington found that the region of the newly hatched antisocial orchard bee’s brain responsible for foraging ability is about as developed as the corresponding region in the experienced forager honey bee. Antisociality encourages self-sufficiency. Orchard bees must each fend for themselves, and they emerge into the world knowing how to forage for food. For honey bees, on the other hand, only a portion of the hive has to forage at any given time.
How do solitary species evolve to reap these benefits after having been social? After all, antisociality cropping up, in conjunction with other stressors, can mean the collapse of the entire hive—by increasing the minimum amount of social bees needed to sustain a hive, and decreasing the maximum amount of bees a hive can stably carry. So the prevalence of loners is not exactly favorable.
Variability in social behavior is one possible answer. H. rubicundus, a sweat bee descended from social ancestors in the Halictidae family, has both solitary and social populations in Europe. Bees living in different environments prefer different behaviors: In warm climates, H. rubicundus populations favor hive-formation, while in the cold, they tend to go solo.
It also turns out that, even in a highly coordinated hive, antisocial individuals persist. And they appear to be tolerated by other bees in the colony. If a few loners find themselves in a new situation where solitary behavior is advantageous—say the growing season is short and bees need to get up and go without dividing tasks—an asocial species could arise.
Changes in host plants can also lead social bees to revert to solitary behavior. Depending on the bee’s environment and needs, specializing on one plant is usually more beneficial in a hive context, where the whole activity of the hive can be coordinated around a constant resource. Solitary bees are usually generalists—they buzz along from plant species to plant species.
Sociality is no pinnacle of evolution. It’s just another result of the process. Reclusive bees and other species are doing just fine—and sometimes, even better. Clearly social behavior has advantages, seeding the survival of species and communities. But being a good neighbor is not the only benefit to the hive. Sometimes everybody wins when you go it alone.
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.
Learn More – Learn the Specifics At “Build That List”
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Last week we talked about satellites, but your following question was about “how many satellites are active or inactive” is answered by Google claiming that:
About 1,100 active satellites, both government and private. Plus there are about 2,600 ones that no longer work. Russia launched the first satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957.
Now your next question will be how much did we spend on the 2,600 satellites that are no longer working (inactive indefinitely)?
Well, not all of them were American, so you spent only few hundred billions or may be trillions. Oh!
Many satellite companies and businesses will continuously promote for satellites benefits, and you can see now why, don’t you?
One published article talked about the disadvantage of satellites, including the terribly high cost, their sudden failure, their unrepairable nature due to their location (space), or their disappearance. The article didn’t talk about the satellites’ effects on your weather, because it’s a sensitive subject for anyone to talk about. There is no info about it!!
Satellites are expensive. In addition to the cost of building one of these devices, there is also the cost of launching the satellite into space. Satellites are costly even when they are successfully launched, but all too often, launches end in failure. In 2017, the billion-dollar spy satellite, Zuma, was lost when the rocket carrying it faile …. More
You see now how it is quite complicated to get some answers about some tools that are supposed to be helping you, and not affecting your weather. For example, what is the relationship between the global warming and the satellites? And do not accept an answer without proofs.