Taarabt keen to finalise new QPR contract

first_imgQPR’s Adel Taarabt has told Moroccan media he is keen for his new long-term contract to be finalised.West London Sport revealed in April that Taarabt was in line for a lucrative new deal at Loftus Road, despite speculation linking him with a move to German outfit Wolfsburg.The 23-year-old, whose current contract expires next year, believes he is wanted by a number of other clubs, but has confirmed he would like to stay at Rangers.“I have received offers from other Premier League clubs, but my deal is signed until June 2013 and I want to increase the contract,” he is quoted as saying.“My agent has a document from the club about their long-term project, and it’s very interesting to me.”See also:QPR star in line for bumper contract offer Boss Hughes keen to cement Taarabt’s future at QPRFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SA wine makers to cut carbon footprint

first_imgBirch said that while it might seem a good solution to ship more of the country’s wines in bulk directly to their export destinations for off-shore bottling, the posed a major problem in that many jobs would be lost during a time when the country was emerging from recession. Birch added that alternative wine packaging, such as the wine pouch offered by leading export brand, Arniston Bay, had also been welcomed in many export markets. South African bag-in-box wines were also very popular, particularly in Scandinavia. According to Consol Glass, South Africa’s leading manufacturer of glass containers for the beverage industry, until 2006 the average weight of a 750ml non-returnable wine bottle was 516 grams, which by last year had dropped to 437 grams, a decrease of 15%. The new light-weight bottle will bring down the average still further. Focus on light-weight bottles “Fortunately, the volume of bulk exports dropped 18% in 2009, compared with year before, whereas packaged exports rose 7% over the same period,” said Birch. “This is not only good for individual brands and for jobs but for the quality standing of Brand South Africa.” Also keen to enhance their sustainability credentials, the multiple grocer chains were responding to high-profile media and consumer calls for more eco-friendly packaging. She said the wine industry body, SA Wine Industry Information Systems, had calculated that for every 10-million litres of wine shipped in bulk, just over 107 jobs would be lost. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material She said the sturdy, lightweight bottles, apart from strengthening South Africa’s reputation for environmentally responsible wine production, would also address the demands of leading retailers. “As we raise our export volumes of mostly bottled wines, we also increase our carbon emissions, so it becomes a delicate balancing act to enhance our sustainability profile while pushing up our output,” Wines of South Africa (Wosa) CEO Su Birch said in a statement this week. Wosa is one of the leading champions of the country’s efforts to grow, make and market wines in a way that is least harmful to the environment.center_img The wine industry currently provides direct employment for close on 276 000 people, she said. Last year, South Africa exported 389 million litres of wine. Of the total, less than half – 150.5 million litres – were exported in bulk. From this year, 750ml wine bottles closed with screwcaps and weighing only 350 grams – as compared to 500 grams for traditional bottles – will be available to local wine producers. “The new 350 gram glass bottles for red and white wines have been designed to accommodate screwcap closures, which account for over 65% of South Africa’s wine production,” said Birch. “They are scheduled for launch by mid-April, in time for the 2010 harvest.” 3 February 2010 South Africa is taking a number of steps to maintain its status as one of the world’s most eco-progressive winemaking nations. One of these is the introduction of lighter bottles to help reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. “This figure does not even factor in the multiplier effect that such job losses bring. It has, for example, been reported that for every one of Unilever’s direct jobs in South Africa, another 22 workers depend on the company for at least a part of their livelihood. This is an indication of just how crucial each job is to a developing economy such as ours.” At the same time, the average weight of bottles sealed with corks had been reduced in weight from 570 grams to 460 grams, she said. While many players in the South African wine industry had actively supported bottle recycling programmes in recent years to reduce their impact on the environment, efforts were now being accelerated to focus on light-weight wine bottles as well. Bulk exports, job securitylast_img read more

Mini budget 2016: quotes

first_imgManaging a tough balancing act, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered the mini budget on 26 October 2016. He addressed issues facing the economy, politics and the global outlook. Through it all, he emphasised that there was hope and that, working together, goals could be achieved.        Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 26 October 2016 in Cape Town. (Image: National Treasury, Facebook)Compiled by Priya PitamberQuoting the likes of struggle stalwart Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, the current Pope Francis, former United Nations head Kofi Annan, American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, and economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presented the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 26 October 2016 in Cape Town.The minister delivered an overall message of hope, stressing that goals could be achieved through a collective effort. Gordhan balanced that message by acknowledging the realities of global and local politics and economics.On the inaugural MTBPS in 1997:The first MTBPS was tabled in December 1997 under the leadership of President Mandela. Its purpose was stated as follows: “It describes Government’s goals and objectives.“It explains the economic environment within which those objectives are being addressed, and projects the total level of resources that will be available.“It analyses the trade-offs and choices that the nation confronts in addressing its reconstruction and development priorities.“In keeping with our commitment to open, transparent and cooperative policy-making, it invites the nation to share with Government the important choices that must be made.”Our goals remain to promote social transformation and more inclusive economic growth, and to achieve a much better life and opportunities for all South Africans.On achieving a collective goal:Above all, it invites Parliament and the people of South Africa to engage with the policy choices and decisions we must take in pursuing the aspirations and goals of our Constitution and the National Development Plan.On reality:The economic environment this year is unusually difficult. We have also faced other extraordinary challenges.Slow economic growth means that employment has declined over the past year. Many businesses are in difficulties and households are struggling to make ends meet.On working together:Yet if each of us contributes to our shared goals, we can achieve greatness beyond our imaginings. There is a Pedi saying: Ditau tsa hloka seboka di shitwa ke nare ehlotsa, “lions that fail to work as a team will struggle to bring down even a limping buffalo”.On growth:Members of the House, there are many other programmes and policies which are vital for our growth. With careful attention to sustainability and inclusivity, they will contribute to employment and broadening of economic opportunities. Properly designed and implemented, they will contribute to black economic empowerment and to strengthening localisation and the growth of South African enterprises.On protests:Violent protests signal unresolved social challenges. They present immense challenges to the leadership of our higher education institutions, municipalities and community organisations. Highly stressful demands are made on our police and security personnel. Destruction of property diminishes the inheritance of our children.On social grants:Taking into account the rise in food prices this year, I am pleased to confirm that an additional increase of R10 a month has been made to social grants with effect from October.On recognition of debt management:In the international capital markets, we continue to succeed in raising debt despite the tough prevailing environment. South Africa was recently recognised as the “best sovereign debt management operations and issuer” in Sub Saharan Africa by the Global Markets Publication. Debt management initiatives over the past year have reduced government’s refinancing risks and were supported by investors across all the major financial centres in Asia, Europe and the United States. The World Bank has recently commended our debt management framework, indicating that South Africa is now “better positioned to absorb fiscal shocks going forward.”On hope:We are resilient, and we have sound foundations on which to build. But it is action, to bring clarity where uncertainties remain, to address organisational weaknesses, to bring closure to infrastructure transactions and to accelerate trade and investment – that brings hope. It’s up to us.On growth:The MTBPS revises our growth expectation for the South African economy to 0.5% for the 2016 calendar year, somewhat lower than the February estimates of 0.9%. For the current fiscal year, the revised growth estimate is 1.0%.On increasing funds towards higher education:Minister Nzimande has rightly emphasised that expanded opportunities in our universities cannot rely on government funding alone. Public expenditure on post-school education and training has in fact grown considerably faster than other budget allocations in recent years, and this will continue. At the heart of the issue is that access has expanded faster than resources. As a result, many students face financial hardships that undermine their ability to succeed academically.In addition to the R16-billion added to higher education funding in the February budget, we therefore propose:A further R9-billion for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme over the period ahead, raising its funding by over 18% a year.Over R8-billion to meet the costs of fee increases for students from households with incomes up to R600 000.On local governmentIn keeping with our commitment to transparency in the public finances, the National Treasury has launched a new local government budget data portal today, called “Municipal Money”. It provides citizens and other stakeholders with access to comparable, verified information on the financial performance of each municipality. It aims to promote transparency and citizen engagement by providing information about municipal spending in a simple, accessible format.On corruption:As Kofi Annan wrote in the foreword to the 2003 United National Convention Against Corruption:In promoting development and making the world a better place for all, we are called upon to reaffirm the importance of core values such as honesty, respect for the rule of law, accountability and transparency.On the National Development Plan:The National Development Plan requires more rapid growth, and clearly this is a pre-condition for achieving inclusive development and transformation. The MTBPS emphasises that low growth is not inevitable – if we take the right decisions, inclusive and more rapid progress can be achieved.On integrity and accountability:Those who are called upon to serve in public institutions have an added responsibility to work with integrity, honesty and accountability and to ensure that their efforts are directed towards the shared interests of all South Africans.Put simply, this means that public funds must not be diverted to private ends. All citizens are entitled to demand accountability and integrity from those who serve them.In conclusion:Adapting Nelson Mandela’s enduring words:…With freedom come responsibilities,…We dare not linger, for our long walk is not ended.last_img read more

2017 Market Rabbit Sale

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Setting a new record at the Ohio State Fair, the Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen, exhibited by Brittany Modra, from Monroe Country, sold for $6,800 to Direct Feeds and Show Rite Feeds. The Reserve Champion Rabbit Meat Pen, exhibited by Laramie Grubb, of Ross County, sold for $4,600 bought by Turner Oil and Gas Properties as well as the Ohio Market Rabbit Producers Association.The top 30 exhibitors from the show were awarded premiums. Third place received $1,000, fourth place received $600, fifth place received $400, places six through 15 received $250 and places 16 to 30 received $125.The Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen, exhibited by Brittany Modra, from Monroe Country, sold for $6,800 to Direct Feeds and Show Rite Feeds and the Millers.The Reserve Champion Rabbit Meat Pen, exhibited by Laramie Grubb, of Ross County, sold for $4,600 bought by Turner Oil and Gas Properties as well as the Ohio Market Rabbit Producers Association.Third place was Korie Moore from Miami County.Fourth place was Kelsey Vollrath from Clark County.Fifth place was Korie Moore from Miami County.last_img read more

Facebook Needs to Graduate from College to the Real World to Beat LinkedIn

first_imgLike many marketing people in the business world I have been watching Facebook very closely since they recently opened up to people beyond college and high school students. (I actually “snuck” into Facebook a year ago using an alumni .edu email address.)There are a lot of reasons why Facebook is poised to be pretty successful in the business world, even against entrenched competitors like LinkedIn. The key reason is that Facebook is a platform – an open network that allows others to develop applications for it – and because of that there are thousands of ways you can use Facebook because thousands of people have developed applications for it. By contrast, LinkedIn is a relatively closed system.But, being a platform is not enough. Facebook has a number of big challenges before it can cross the chasm into mainstream business use the way LinkedIn has (about 5% of my contacts are on Facebook, but 50% of my contacts are on LinkedIn, and I tend to have pretty “early adopter” people in my contacts).1) Integration with Outlook. Business people live in Outlook. We use email the way college kids use SMS (text messaging) or IM (instant messaging). I have actually had a credible & intelligent venture capitalist tell me that he did text messaging, when he actually just sent emails on a Blackberry. LinkedIn does a great job of integrating with Outlook. I can just click a button to tell it to scan my Outlook contacts to find people, and there is even a LinkedIn toolbar that makes a lot of cool stuff from LinkedIn accessible from Outlook.For Facebook however, there is no integration. They have a place where you can upload a contacts file with some instructions, but to get it to work the process took me over half an hour. The default format that I exported from Outlook was not readable by Facebook, so I had to play a bunch of games in Excel to make it work. If I weren’t writing a blog article about this, I would never have actually spent the time to finish.2) Better company search functionality. We have a number of HubSpot employees on Facebook, and I was trying to connect with them. So I tried to search for people who work at “HubSpot”. I got no results and was puzzled. Apparently Facebook does not have an automatic database of companies that builds based on people entering new companies (like tagging). It seems like there is some manual process to add companies to the list of companies that you can search for. This was probably because Facebook started at a few colleges and then expanded from there, and it is not that difficult to manually update that list of organizations. I am sure they copied the methodology for companies from what they did for colleges. But there are over 25 million small businesses in the US, so I don’t think that method is scalable in the business world. So for now, when I search for HubSpot employees I get zero results on Facebook, when it should be a lot more than that. This limits their growth.3) Branding & Experience. Facebook is really meant for college students (and now high school kids too). There are a lot of parts of the application that are clearly built around a brand and image that is appealing to students. But I join social networks for business purposes. So, why is it that on Facebook I get the following screen when I accept someone as my friend?I am married and not looking online for people to “date” or “hook up”. LinkedIn uses a “worked with”, “managed”, “reported to”, “business partner” paradigm for defining the nature of relationships, clearly more relevant for business.Another problem with Facebook for business is that the design of the profile is based on what a college student would want, not a professional. Facebook lists your sex, your current relationship status, if you are interested in men, women or both, what you are looking for on Facebook (options include “a relationship”, “dating”, “random play”, “whatever I can get”). Not only is most of this not appropriate for a business social network, some of it is actually illegal to ask during a job interview.I think that this branding or user experience problem is Facebook’s biggest barrier to being successful in the business market. But, there is a cool opportunity here for Facebook to “skin” or provide a “theme” based on what type of user you are. For instance, a college student could get the current version, but I could get a version with a little different interface and data fields. This would also provide an interesting way to keep people on Facebook once they graduate, you could just allow them to change from a “student” to a “business” account so that their “looking for random play” setting would be hidden from their potential and actual employers.Have you tried using Facebook for business networking? Let me know about your experience, good or bad, by leaving a comment below. Originally published Sep 24, 2007 2:34:00 PM, updated July 11 2013 Topics: Facebook 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

Ebooks Hit the Big Time With Amazon Singles and TEDBooks

first_img Content Marketing Originally published Jan 26, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Marketing TakeawayAs a marketer, it is important to understand the role of ebooks in your inbound marketing strategy. If part of your strategy is to gain credibility and thought leadership on a topic, then consider publishing your ebooks in Amazon’s Kindle Singles store for added distribution and reach. The bigger takeaway here is that the category of 5,000 to 30,000-word books has been given a boost in credibility. As consumers begin to read these mid-length books, their expectations will be that they can consume this type of content from organizations with which they are planning to do business, regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C. Along with the announcement of Amazon Singles came news about a new type of content from TED. Famous for conferences that feature short presentations from some of the brightest minds on the planet, TED has announced it will begin selling TEDBooksas Kindle Singles for $2.99 each. According to TED curator Chris Anderson, “The success of TEDTalks has demonstrated that millions of people around the world are hungry to absorb new ideas. But not everyone has the time to go out and read an entire book on an interesting subject. TEDBooks fill that gap. Their shorter format allows someone to see an idea fleshed out in a satisfying way — without having to set aside a week of reading time.” Today’s announcement is a sign that digital publishing is slowly changing the publishing world. The flexibility of digital formats and distribution means that it is possible to share and monetize ideas regardless of their length. For a long time, there have been two types of ebooks. The first is the electronic version of traditional, novel length written works, spanning hundreds of pages. The second type are the 20-40 page digital documents offered by marketers and industry experts that are typically free to download or can be download in exchange for registration information. Today, these two worlds of ebooks are colliding and becoming one. Today Amazon, a company that has been pioneering the ebook market with its Kindle device and store, announced a new format of ebook that would now be sold in its store. Amazon is calling this new ebook format Kindle Singles, which are books typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words (fewer than 50 pages). According to Amazon, “each Kindle Single is intended to allow a single idea — well researched, well argued, and well illustrated — to be expressed at its natural length.”center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack How do you think these announcements will impact the perception of ebooks? Ebooks Are Now Prime TimePrior to this announcement, businesses, marketers, and authors have been able to submit their own ebooks to the Kindle store. However, Amazon’s Kindle Singles create a category and a market for a length and type of content that has long been relegated to the dregs of written content. Ebooks, as most of us marketers know them, have lived in a strange in-between world, too long to be read quickly like a blog post, but too short to command the thought and attention of readers looking for more in-depth content.  last_img read more

The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing [Free Ebook]

first_img Step Two: Optimize Your Website. Step Four: Promote Content & Participate in Social Media. Luckily, today HubSpot released ” Email marketing is a great way to engage with your prospects and can be a great vehicle for promoting new content and offers. You’ll find out how to best take advantage of email marketing to nurture leads and generate more business. Topics: Traffic is great, but leads are even better! You’ll learn how to put the right systems in place to start generating precious leads from all that business blogging and social media engagement. The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing Marketing Strategy is keywords! You’ll learn why keywords are important and how to define the right keywords to use in your internet marketing efforts. Making your website and emails mobile-friendly is increasing in importance every day. With more and more content being consumed on mobile devices, marketers might take steps to make sure their web properties are easy to access and view on these platforms. We’ll let you know what you should be concerned about today to be mobile-friendly. Regular business blogging and content creation is the best way to generate more traffic to your website. We’ll teach you how to get started with blogging and content creation to start increasing visits to your site. ? Step One: Create a Keyword Strategy. Step Six: Nurture Leads With Email Marketing. Starting from scratch with internet marketing? Need to brush up on the basics? Step Seven: Be Mobile-Friendly. successful internet marketing strategy Step Three: Create Blog & Other Content. Step Eight: Analyze & Refine Strategies. The foundation of any Step Five: Convert Site Traffic Into Leads. ,” a free ebook designed to walk you through the process of creating and implementing a successful internet marketing strategy, one step at a time. Social media can exponentially expand the reach of your content and help you interact with your prospects, customers, and fans. We’ll tell you why social media participation is valuable in internet marketing and give you a jumping off point to start taking advantage of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for business. comprehensive internet marketing strategy 8 Essential Steps to Internet Marketing Success all falling under the umbrella of internet marketing, how does a marketer make them all work together in one Read our essential guide You’ll never know if all this internet marketing stuff is working for you if you don’t measure your results. In this step, you’ll learn what to measure and how to use this data to modify your future internet marketing strategies for better results. Originally published Jun 15, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Once keywords are defined, you must start incorporating them into your website pages and content. You’ll learn about on-page and off-page SEO and how to best optimize your website to get found in search. To marketing professionals and business owners who have long relied on traditional marketing methods, the concept of internet marketing might seem pretty overwhelming and scary. With so many individual marketing tactics like social media, blogging, SEO, email marketing Wondering what you should start with or what to turn to next? This ebook will give you all the building blocks you need for internet marketing success. Here’s a snapshot of the 8 steps the ebook covers in greater detail… Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and let us know what you think!last_img read more

An Introduction to Link Building: Understanding the Anatomy of a Link

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack I recently gave a presentation on link building at the HubSpot User Group Summit (HUGS) with HubSpot customer Tom Telford of Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals. For those who were not able to attend, here’s a rundown of three important factors to keep in mind when doing targeted link building.Access 4 Essential Link-Building TipsA Quick Note About Content CreationAt the end of the day, link building is about content creation. If you don’t have content worth sharing, you won’t get link love. Even with the best link building campaign in place, the lion’s share of your links should come from people freely linking to your content. If you’re a regular reader of the HubSpot blog, what I’m about to say next shouldn’t shock you: Use a blog on your website to write about your industry. The content you create will get found and will get linked to. Understanding the Anatomy of a LinkThere are three things you need to think about:1) Anchor Text: This this the textual representation of your hyperlink. For example the anchor text for this link is “this link,” and the hyperlink is “http://www.hubspot.com.” Anchor text is important because most major search engines use it to determine what keywords are relevant to a page. For example, if you want to rank for the term “Orange Widgets,” then you should try to get as many links as you can with “Orange Widgets” as the anchor text. 2) Authority of the Linking Domain:Inbound links are important to SEO because they are a signal to search engines that you Web site or Web pages are important. Simple put, the more inbound links you have, the more authority you get. Furthermore, the more authority you have, the better your chances are of ranking for a given keyword.That said, all links are not created equal. If you were to get an inbound link from a domain with lots of it’s own inbound links, like the New York Times for example, you would get more authority transfered to your domain, then if you got a link from my friend Brian’s blog. Your goal should be to get links from high authority domains.When researching link building opportunities, always check the authority of the websites that you are trying to get links from. There are many tools online that allow you to check domain or page authority, including HubSpot’s link grader tool.3) The Page on Your Website that is Getting the Links:As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, most of the inbound links your site will receive in it’s lifetime will come naturally from people linking to your remarkable content. Those links will help improve the authority of your domain as a whole, but are often very general and do not contain keyword-rich anchor text, or point to meaningful pages.The goal of targeted link building is to improve your rank for a keyword phrase or to improve the rank of a particular page on your site.Think carefully about what pages you want linked to. For example, if you currently have a page on your site that is ranking number 22 on Google for the term “Orange Widgets.” Your goal should be to generate more links to that page, hopefully containing relevant anchor text.As links to that specific page grow, it should climb up in position in search engines. Topics: Link Building Originally published Sep 28, 2011 10:09:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

13 Things to Check Before Hitting ‘Send’ on Your Next Marketing Email

first_imgRaise your hand if you’ve ever sent out a marketing email , only to realize after clicking ‘send’ that your email’s main call-to-action contained a broken link. What a waste, right? And talk about embarrassment … Now how many of you did I actually get to raise your hand? ;)Yes, silly mistakes happen — more easily than you might think. After all, we may be savvy marketers, but we’re still only human. So how can you prevent those silly mistakes from bleeding into your email campaigns? Enter the mighty test send! Most email service providers, including HubSpot’s own email tool , allow you to send a test email for review before you send the real email out to your list of email contacts. So if you’re not leveraging these test sends to proof your email messages before they go out, you’re just asking for the scenario we highlighted above.To avoid email marketing embarrassment — and the poor results that accompany it — print out this checklist, pin it to your cubicle, and consult it every time you’re reviewing an email test send.  3) Broken Social Media Sharing Buttons While we’re talking about social media buttons, let’s discuss how easy it is to break those little buggers. We’ve published a helpful guide to make creating the buttons for social sharing on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter less painful, so be sure to check it out. And luckily, if you’re a HubSpot customer, our email tool makes the creation of social media sharing buttons in email messages virtually idiot-proof. Just plug in the URL of the page you want your email recipients to share (whether it’s a landing page, blog post, or the HTML version of the email, which we’ll discuss later in this post), and — POOF! — social sharing buttons. But whether you’re using HubSpot’s email tool or another ESP, always be sure to try out those sharing buttons in your test send as an extra sanity check. Originally published May 21, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 12) Plain Text Formatting How does the plain text version of your email look? Your email client should enable you to view the test email in both HTML and plain text formats. And yes, optimizing for both HTML and plain text is absolutely important. To make sure your email is optimized for plain text, look for the following in your test send (all of which we elaborate on in this post ): similar copy to the HTML version of the email, compelling email copy, shortened links (and few of them), all caps in headers, and plain text bullet points (e.g. asterisks *). 13) Accessibility Across Devices, Browsers, and Email Clients The best way to understand how different browsers, email clients, and devices (mobile or desktop) interpret your email is to see for yourself! To save yourself the trouble of testing every single email send to every single option, test a few options once across the most popular devices, browsers, and email clients, and then create a template to use for each email you send using the winning version.  What else would you add to this email marketing pre-send test checklist? Image Credit: Nico Paix 4) Spelling/Grammatical Errors Spelling and grammar do matter in marketing , whether you’re creating an ebook, writing a blog post, or drafting your next email marketing message. Send your test email to the biggest grammar geek you have on your team to alert you to any slip-ups, and always be sure to spell-check! 5) Distorted Images How do your images look? Are they stretched or squished? Pixelated? Overwhelmingly large? When they don’t render, did you remember to associate alt text with them? Check to make sure your images are displaying the way you want them to, and if not, adjust accordingly. 6) Wonky Formatting When you view the email in an inbox, make sure the formatting looks the way you intended it to. Is there a line bleeding onto the next because you forgot to add an extra space? If you used bullets, are they displaying properly? ( Tip: Some email clients can’t handle HTML bullets, so you’re best off just using asterisks (*) instead of rounded or squared HTML bullets.) If things are looking wonky, fix those formatting issues before you send the email to your true list. 7) Color Issues Is the font color you’re using clear and easy to read, or do you have to strain your eyes because it’s an odd shade? Are blocks of background color making it difficult to read the text you’ve layered on top? Also keep in mind that, while blocks of color can add a pretty design element to your email, you should beware the following scenario: Say you decided to create your entire email — or just a section — with a dark gray background. To make the text readable, you selected white as your font color. Now what happens when your recipient’s email client doesn’t render that background color (yes, it can happen)? Invisible text! Lesson: the visibility of your email’s copy should never depend on the background color of your email. 8) Subject Line/Sender Name Does it look like your email was sent by a human, not a robot? In other words, what moniker are you using for your sender name — your company name (robot), or the name of someone at your company (human). In fact, according to a HubSpot A/B test in which we compared a generic “HubSpot” sender name to the personal name of someone from the marketing team with our company name, we found that emails sent by a real person are more likely to be clicked on than emails sent from just a company name . Another thing to watch out for is the length of your subject line . Does it get cut off? Keep your subject lines as brief as possible — a good rule of thumb is 50 characters or fewer . You want as much of it as possible to display in the email pane ( especially on mobile devices ). 9) Functioning Dynamic Tags If you’re using any dynamic tags (e.g. [FIRSTNAME], etc.), check to make sure they’re functioning properly and pulling in the correct information. And if you’re using dynamic tags, make sure the list you’re using is clean , and only use tags that everyone on your list has information for. For example, if you’re trying to pull in the recipient’s Twitter username within your email, yet the contacts on the list you’re sending to never provided you with that information, you’re going to run into quite a few problems. (Note: If you’re using HubSpot’s email tool, you can set your default values for dynamic tags/email personalization in your email settings to accommodate any outliers on your list who haven’t provided certain information you’re targeting in dynamic tags. Either way, only use dynamic tags that most people on your list have provided information for.) 11) Option to View on the Web Does your email include a link to its web-based counterpart? Many ESPs (including HubSpot!) will enable you to create a web-based version of your email. Include this link in your email send. That way, if the images or anything else isn’t rendering properly for your recipients, they can easily click over to the web-based version and see exactly what you intended. Topics: 13 Things to Look Out for in Your Email Test Sends 1) Broken Links The mishap we mentioned in our intro scenario is probably one of marketers’ biggest nightmares, especially when lead generation is the goal of an email send. That’s why we’re emphasizing how important it is to check to make sure your links are working as the first item on this checklist. Like — actually click on them. Every single one. Does the (right) page load? Do you get a 404 error? Unbreak any broken link you find. 2) Forgotten Links A close second to the dreaded broken link is the forgotten one. The most common (and regrettable) instance of the forgotten link is when you’re using an image to serve as a call-to-action (CTA) button. Double check to make sure everything that’s supposed to be linked is indeed linked. This includes anchor text, CTAs, social media follow/sharing icons, and images. Email Marketing 10) Fulfilled CAN-SPAM Requirements You don’t want that email send to get you into legal trouble, now do you? If you’re sending any commercial email, you should be aware of and know how to comply with the requirements enforced by the CAN-SPAM Act , which establishes rules for commercial messages. Specifically, each email you send must include your valid physical mailing address — yup, we’re talking snail mail here. Furthermore, check that you’re not using misleading, deceptive, or falsified information in your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” subject line, and routing information. In other words, make sure you clearly identify who is sending the email, whether it’s from a company or an individual. Make sure your email subject line clearly indicates what the content of the email is about. Lastly, in each email you send, you must also include a clear and obvious way for recipients to unsubscribe from all email communication from you. So if there is no opt-out link in your email, you could get into big trouble. And remember, failing to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act could mean penalties of up to $16,000 for each separate email violation. 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