Cambridge Analytica Made 50-Page Proposal for 2019 Polls

first_imgUK based firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), which was at the center of Facebook data breach, had made a 50-page proposal for Congress for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The Rs 2.5 crore proposal, which had a detailed study of the performance of the Congress party and its ruling counterpart Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls, was made to chart a roadmap for 2019 Lok Sabha polls and for state elections in Karnataka, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh scheduled to take place later this year, PTI reported.The proposal titled “Data-Driven Campaign – the path to the 2019 Lok Sabha” sought access to national voter file, party membership database to understand “where gaps exist” as well as externally identify “3rd party data” to segment and model “voter base”.“This proposal sets out how CA will give the Indian National Congress an equivalent level of operational and technological support in the bid to win the 2019 Lok Sabha, and the three crucial state elections which will precede,” states the “Introduction” of the proposal which comprises 10 pages.The proposal allegedly made in August last year focused on four key components–national situational analysis, national data infrastructure project, data driven for 2019 Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, as per TOI report.The introduction speaks of how Congress lost in 2014, saying: “Indian National Congress suffered significant reputational damage. Repeated allegations of corruption, disunity and structure persists”. The party, as per introduction, was also blamed for India’s growing wealth gap and economic disparity.The introduction lauds BJP’s digital and social media campaigns for elections, saying: “Final 18 months of 2014 campaign were primarily data-driven and focused on extensive and tactical digital marketing.”The firm suggested using Facebook data to “influence voter intention”, as per the PTI report.Congress has denied any financial transaction ever took place between the firm and the party. “Hordes of firm have approached us with proposals on campaigns in the past 15 years and continue to do that. This firm (CA) may have met someone in Congress and submitted a proposal but there was not even a single transaction between this firm and us ever,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera was quoted as saying by TOI. Rebel Congress leader, Shehzad Poonawalla, released a copy of the proposal, according to India Today. “Given that India had about 350 million smartphone users in 2015 and 195 million Facebook users by 2016, BJP’s approach proved particularly effective. Their resounding victory in 2017 Uttar Pradesh state elections has also largely been due to this factor,” the proposal made by Cambridge Analytica specified. It added that this kind of targeted digital approach will be essential in a country where more than 700 million people are expected to communicate via smartphones by 2020. Related ItemsCambridge AnalyticaIndialast_img read more

Viceroy’s House

first_imgYou may be forgiven for thinking that Downton Abbey has returned – and gone a little rogue. The grandiose Viceroy’s House has rolled into cinemas with Hugh Bonneville at the helm and featuring a central upstairs/downstairs narrative. But this is not Downton-Abbey-in-India. This is Gurinder Chadha’s latest film, an account of the traumatic process of Partition to mark the 70th anniversary, this year, of Indian independence.This is certainly an interesting approach for a film promising to deal with such a fractious and complex topic as the Partition, and works to varying success. Chadha’s film is an absorbing, although not always representative, melange of Partition-related politics and period drama. This combination makes for a heady visual cocktail, but doesn’t quite hit home.Previous cinematic meditations on Partition, such as Deepa Mehta’s Earth and Pamela Rook’s Train to Pakistan (both 1998), grappled with the ground-level horror of internecine genocide and gruesome civil conflict. Viceroy’s House treads a very different path, opening a window on the inner workings of its titular edifice – the home of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last British viceroy to India. Gurinder Chadha’s film explores how Partition’s theater of tragedy unfolded from the stage of this building’s opulent chambers.Upstairs, DownstairsUnsurprisingly, Bonneville takes on the role of Mountbatten, the man sent on a mission to oversee transference of autonomy to India. Gillian Anderson delivers a masterful performance as Edwina, his independent-spirited and left-leaning wife. Their domestic domain is painted as a mini “nation” divided between an elite upper-deck of political decision makers and a substratum of Indian servants who wait on them. The house serves as an interesting microcosm of the rising tide of inter-religious strife of an India on the precipice of irrevocable change.Chadha uses the building itself very effectively. She often positions characters within doorways: symbols of transition and change. Decision makers, movers and shakers are foregrounded, while the expendable proletariat Indian servants are mute observers, relegated to overhearing snippets of conversations between their colonial overlords.This gossipy relay of news to servants “downstairs” ignites instantaneous vituperation, discord and seething hostility among Hindu, Muslim and Sikh staff. Upstairs action tends to result in downstairs reaction — and friction overwhelms bonhomie as they start to pin their allegiance to either India or Pakistan. Such deterministic action can seem a reductive and simplistic rendition of a monumental and catastrophic event that was a tangled web, rather than just knee-jerk reactions to top-down executive decisions.The diminished character development afforded some of the characters downstairs (particularly the chefs) is another grey area. Such fleeting sketches of some of the inarticulate servants in Viceroy’s House could be construed to represent a colonial silencing of marginalized Indian voices.But portraying the house as a mini nation certainly opens up new ways of considering the events – and the film’s pomp, pageantry and visual splendor all contribute to its grand spectacle and sense of period.A new historyThen there is the attempt to humanize the central historical and political volatility of the house by adding a fictional narrative to the film’s main thrust. This is in the form of a cross-religion romance between two members of staff – Jeet (Manish Dayal), Mountbatten’s Hindu personal valet and Aaliya (Huma Qureshi), a Muslim translator for Mountbatten’s daughter, Pamela. A nice idea, but this Bollywood-esque trope of star-crossed lovers attempting to bridge the Hindu-Muslim schism seems contrived – simultaneously stilted and schmaltzy.Other forays beyond traditional history – scripted “by the victors” – are more successful. The film does not flinch from indicting the British attempts to Balkanize India through its divide-and-rule policy – and it goes beyond strictly accepted history in order to do so.Chadha’s research included a tip from Prince Charles to read a book he believed shone a light on “what was really going on”. This led Chadha to The Shadow of the Great Game – The Untold story of Partition, written in 2005 by Narendra Singh Sarila, the Maharaja of Sarila and Mountbatten’s aide-de-camp. Sarila had stumbled on top-secret documents from 1945 revealing Britain’s anxiety about granting strategic territories to India. He also found a map for Partition that had been drawn up by the British government as early as 1946.The documentary evidence and revelations from Sarila’s book punctuate the film. An electrifying moment indicts Winston Churchill as a villainous manipulator who masterminded a backroom deal with Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The film reveals that Churchill promised the Muslim leader to carve out the Pakistan Jinnah desired through an arbitrary drawing of borders, unbeknown to the unsuspecting and well-meaning Mountbatten.Drawing from Sarila’s discovered documents and his widely cited revisionist account, Viceroy’s House argues compellingly that Churchill’s clandestine deal was created to protect British oil interests in the Persian Gulf. In this way, after Partition, the port of Karachi would safely fall within a new and grateful Pakistan, rather than an independent socialist India. To support this contention, the film alludes to Churchill’s other line-drawing and nation-dividing activities – Ireland and Palestine are named.One of the most potent scenes features General Hastings Ismay (Michael Gambon) revealing to the flabbergasted viceroy that his Mountbatten Plan will be framed in posterity as a prepackaged deal done before Mountbatten ever set foot in India. A bitter and disillusioned Mountbatten eventually remarks to Jinnah that Churchill has acted as “midwife to Partition”.So, although it sidesteps the complexities and stark realities of bestial violence that pervaded Partition, Viceroy’s House is, in the end, a watchable film. The alternative history of the Viceroy’s mansion encourages appreciation, albeit sanitized, of the well-intentioned Mountbattens, who tried to understand, embrace and love the country their forebears had only commandeered, oppressed and colonized.The author is lecturer in World Cinema, Queen Mary University.— The Conversation Related Itemslast_img read more

Australian Sikh Games Kabaddi Final Cancelled Over Doping Controversy

first_imgIn a bid to to take a tough stand on doping, the Australian Sikh Games organizing committee has cancelled the finals between Singh Sabha Sports Club Melbourne and Baba Deep Singh Club Woolgoolga, as some star players refused to take the doping test, SBS Punjabi reported.“If the integrity of the game can’t be guaranteed then it is best cancelled,” Navjot Kailay, the kabaddi co-ordinator of the Australian National Sikh Sports and Cultural Council (ANSSACC), told SBS Punjabi. “Our focus is to bring integrity and discipline at the Sikh Games. We also aim to make games drug-free,” he added.Kailay said that while they had no issues with most kabaddi clubs, they have problems with stars who refused to undergo the drug test. “Just after the semi-final matches some players refused to give drug-samples leaving us no choice to take this tough decision. If they want to play in our grounds they need to comply. We don’t care if they are stars or have big fan following. Moreover, this was not something new….The policy we’d was approved by all clubs and ANSSACC abides to follow it irrespective of all the pressure,” he said.Meanwhile, Gurdial Singh Rai, the president of Baba Deep Singh Club Woolgoolga, told the website that they felt “specifically targeted.” He said: “We feel we’ve been specifically targeted in this competition. We had the best players who had potential to bring the trophy home. We strongly oppose the use of drugs in sports. We acknowledge that our players denied drug-testing, but only after the insult they felt in the in the open ground. We’re talking about star players who have won accolades in international tournaments including the world cup in India.“If they want to test these international players they’d get it done through some NADA [The Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies] equivalent methodologies.”The kabaddi final of the Australian Sikh Games turned ugly as spectators, who had waited in the scorching heat for three hours, started throwing bottles and chairs inside the ground.As the ANSSACC proceeded to cancel the final match, a debate has ignited on social media over the decision. Facebook user Mandeep Johal wrote: “Why has the system of drug testing changed for the final? This is what was being questioned and not a refusal to drug test. Woolgoolga had always complied with the testing, it’s the way that they tested was the issue.”In a similar vein, Paul Sangha posted: “My question is why leave it till the end to bring the truth and honesty, why wasn’t it announced in the open match.”In response, Kailay told SBS Punjabi that the drug testing was implemented from the first day of the tournament. “We’d taken around 30 random samples and we’re planning to take at least 20 more before this denial happened,” he said. “We had drug testing in place for players of hockey, kabaddi and soccer. It was only the kabaddi players who objected to the testing.We deny any allegations. There is only one agenda and that is to keep these games safe and clean.”The Australian Sikh Games are a representation of the Sikh community, held around Easter every year, to promote multiculturalism in Australia. The event attracts over one thousand athletes and up to 45,000 spectators over three days, according to their website. Related ItemsAustralian Sikh GamesDopingKabaddilast_img read more

Every Village in India Now Has Electricity, But Millions Still Live in Darkness

first_imgFor the past few months, the villagers of Leisang watched little dots of light appear on their mountain at night and wondered when it would be their turn to finally switch from kerosene lamps to electric lightbulbs.Then, one day, porters from the town below arrived hauling poles, wires and other materials for electrification. By Wednesday, all 14 households in the village had lightbulbs installed. Around 6 p.m., the entire village turned them on together, and, for the first time in history, Leisang experienced electricity.The electrification of Leisang, in the eastern state of Manipur, marked a landmark moment in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s program to bring light to every one of India’s villages. “Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be changed forever,” Modi tweeted Sunday. “I am delighted that every single village of India now has electricity.”When Modi came to power, 300 million people in India lived by candlelight. Electrification has been on government agendas since the country’s independence from colonial rule, but it has run into hurdles, especially because of the huge logistical challenges of bringing electricity to faraway settlements in difficult terrain.In the past three years, air force pilots and helicopters were enlisted to deliver materials in some remote regions; in other places, people crossed dangerous rope-bridges and rivers bearing materials on their heads.The task, however, is far from complete, said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water. Government data shows that only 8 percent of villages in India are completely electrified and that many villages experience hours of power cuts every day.“The government’s definition of ‘electrified’ is very limited,” Ghosh said. “What it means is there are now wires from power plants to every village. It doesn’t mean that there are electrons flowing through those wires.”The next challenge for the government will be to install electrical connections to about 30 million homes that are still off the grid, Ghosh said, and Modi’s promise that this will be completed by April 2019 will require a tenfold increase in the rate at which connections are being set up. Then, steps will need to be taken to ensure that the supply of electricity is regular and cheap.Local newspapers have reported that villages scattered throughout the country are still unelectrified.“This is such a big job, it’s possible there are one or two or three mistakes,” said Arun Kumar Verma, joint secretary at the Ministry of Power. But the government’s electrification program – budgeted at around $11 billion – has substantially transformed people’s lives, he said and brought many near-medieval villages into the modern age.Environmentalists have raised concerns about the implications of millions of people in India using electricity while coal-fired plants already contribute to high pollution levels in cities.“India has one of the most ambitious programs in renewables,” Verma said in addressing those concerns, adding that the country’s per capita energy usage was extremely low.New electrical connections mean fridges, televisions and washing machines in villages, Verma said. It means food can be stored more easily, and shops can stay open later in the night. “Electricity is a basic for health, education and economic activities,” he said. “It is a basic amenity today. You need it.”In Leisang, the first priority was televisions. Four television sets were carried up the mountain in anticipation of the day when electricity would reach the village. Next on the list – rice cookers, said Helun Khongsai, a 45-year-old man who travels often to the village to see his mother.“Every Sunday when we went to church, we would pray to God for electricity to come to the village,” said Khongsai, who witnessed the moment the lights came on. “Now it’s like heaven here.”Pongminlan Haokip, the village secretary, said, “Our village is going to change.”“Now they’ll bring computers, we’ll be able to see the news, we’ll be able to connect with the world,” Haokip added on his way to the village chief’s home to celebrate Monday evening.In other villages, electricity infrastructure has been upgraded. In Mohiuddinpur Lalsana, a two-hour drive from New Delhi, electricity logs show that the village has 18 to 19 hours of power supply in recent days; villagers said they had only seven to eight hours of supply before the government’s recent upgrades.For many in the village, unpredictable and frequent power cuts are still a nuisance. At least eight to 10 people file grievances every day about power problems, complaint logs show.“Most of the complaints are that there is no power in the evenings,” said Yudhvir Singh Sirohi, who oversaw the village’s electrification. “That’s because there’s a surge of usage at that time in the city – people are coming home from work, turning on ACs, cooking food. But tell me, if they cut off our electricity in those hours, how will children here do their homework?”But some of the village’s poorest residents – former untouchables – were given new connections in January after living for decades in darkness. Kusum, who doesn’t use a surname so she can hide her low caste, said her parents gave her husband a fan as part of his dowry when they were married. “For 15 years, that fan sat in our house, unused,” she said. Now it whirs in the background as she washes the dishes after dinner.Deepak Shijagurmayum in Imphal contributed to this report.© 2018 The Washington Post Related Itemslast_img read more

Malaysian Minister Says Will Propose 10% Quota for Indian Community in Business Contracts

first_imgA prominent minister in Malaysia’s government has said that he will propose reserving 10 percent quota to the Indian community in government and private business contracts.Senator P. Waytha Moorthy, minister in Malaysian Prime minister’s department (Unity), while answering a question in the Malaysian parliament regarding the social-economic upliftment of Indian community in Malaysia, said that he will suggest the cabinet to reserve 10 percent of government contracts for the Malaysian Indian community, reported Malay Mail.In his reply to a question, Moorthy said, “I will take into consideration your suggestion that 10 percent of government contracts will be given to help uplift the Indian community’s socio-economic standing and raise this issue to the Cabinet when we meet,” added the report.He was responding to the question asked by Padang Serai MP M. Karupaiya, who claimed that the funds released from the government’s Socio-Economic Development Unit for Indian Community (SEDIC) are not enough for improving the socio-economic standing of the Indian community.The Free Malaysia Today news portal quoted M. Karupaiya as asking, “I would like to propose here, can the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government give at least 10% of government and private sector business contracts to Indians?” Answering another question, Moorthy said that earlier governments had launched various schemes for uplifting the Indian community, but not all funds reached the intended beneficiaries. He told the house that the audit department has been directed to find out the actual share of the funds allocated that could reach these people.“I can give you the assurance that, whatever programs we will undertake, will only be carried out after we ensure the rightful recipients are identified, and that the proposals will truly benefit the bottom 40 (B40) group,” the report quoted him as saying. B40 means bottom 40% of households with monthly income of RM3,900 or below.Moorthy also said that between 2014-2017, over RM203 million was spent by the government for the socio-economic development of Indians. He also hoped that the finance minister will allocate a reasonable amount for the Indian community in the 2019 budget.“Based on the amount allocated, I will ensure SEDIC is able to implement socio-economic development programs for the Indian community and to achieve the agenda of uplifting them, especially those in the B40 group,” Free Malaysia Today quoted him as saying. SEDIC is a unit that comes under Moorthy. Related Itemslast_img read more

Satish Sharmas long term as Aero Club of India chief ends

first_imgNew Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) Captain Atul Deo has been elected the new president of Aero Club of India bringing to an end the Gandhi family loyalist Satish Sharmas over three decades long innings as the head of the apex body of private and government flying clubs which train students to become commercial pilots.Capt Pankul Mathur was elected vice president at the Annual General Meeting held on Friday, while Anisha Suresh will be the new secretary general. The elections were unanimous.Prior to Sharma, ACI presidency was held by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who handed over the mantle to his long time aide after becoming PM.Reacting to the development, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said,” Democratic processes had long been thwarted at the ACI and these have just been restored.”He said the elections were held in police presence and a Joint Director at the aviation regulator Directorate General Civil Aviation, Lalit Gupta, oversaw the proceedings as a representative of the government.”We have just allowed democratic processes to work and they had been thwarted for too long. The government?s job was to enable democratic processes to function, and once they were allowed to operate under normal circumstances, then we got the election result that the members of the Flying Club wanted,” Jayant Sinha told PTI.ACI sources said the overhaul was “steered” by Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, himself a trained pilot, who recently became a member of the club council from Rajasthan.advertisementAn aviation expert said Rudy has been advocating strengthening aero sports in India and change in Aero Club leadership would help standardize the sector enabling Indian pilots to compete internationally.Rudy, when contacted, told PTI, “It was a bloodless coup as the functioning at ACI had become impossible under Capt Sharma.” Sharma could not be contacted for comments. PTI SKC SK SKlast_img read more

Pakistan summon all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz as part of corruption probe

first_imgPakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has summoned all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz to appear before its security and vigilance department as part of its ongoing probe into corruption in the game.”This notice requires Nawaz to appear before the PCB Security and Vigilance Department for an interview in relation to possible breaches of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” the board said in a statement.The PCB is probing allegations of corruptions in the second season of the Pakistan Super League and has initiated proceedings against suspended players Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hassan.In March, Mohammad Irfan was suspended for a year after the fast bowler failed to disclose two approaches made by bookmakers.last_img

8 Things You Should Never Do to Your Eyes

first_imgEYE HEALTH HABITS TO AVOIDYour eyes are meant to gaze adoringly into the face of your boo or lead you safely through a gorgeous mountain hike. They’re not meant to be pricked with a needle, dyed, or doused with homemade solutions.But these are exactly some of the things that are happening in the name of self-expression or saving money and time. Scary, right?TATTOO YOUR EYEBALLYou may have heard about the Canadian model who decided to tattoo her eyeballs purple. She ended up with a nasty infection and is now waiting to see if she can save her sight.The practice of tattooing your eyeballs actually has a name–sclera staining (sclera is the outer layer of your eyeball)–and, as the model’s story illustrates, it’s not a good idea. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, the procedure actually involves putting a needle in your eye.Matt Hoffman, a family nurse practitioner and clinical assistant professor with the Texas A&M College of Nursing, has seen it a couple of times in younger patients keen on experimenting. With any tattoo, there is a risk of infection, he says, including of hepatitis C, HIV, or conjunctivitis if the needle used is not clean.Not only are there health risks, the tattoos aren’t even effective in the appearance department either. “The pigment does not stay around,” Hoffman says. “It’s basically your body rejecting it. That should be a flag not to do this.”Another flag? A state legislator in Indiana is trying to pass a law to ban the practice.WEAR NON-PRESCRIBED DECORATIVE CONTACT LENSESIt’s Halloween. You’ve decided you’d like to have orange eyes for the occasion. You buy decorative contacts at the gas station or online. Another bad idea.Also called fashion, cosmetic, or theater contact lenses, non-prescription temporary contacts can damage your cornea, cause infection, and even lead to blindness.“Contact lenses are medical devices,” says Rebecca Taylor, MD, a comprehensive ophthalmologist in Nashville and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). “Poorly fitting lenses can lead to surface damage which, in some people, can lead to vision loss.”There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all contact lens. Eyes have a very sophisticated curvature and topography, which needs to be carefully measured before getting any kind of lens, Dr. Taylor says.If you want to costume up for Halloween or any other event and you just have to have eyes that make you look like a mummy or a lizard, you can get the gear from your optometrist or ophthalmologist. “The only right way, in my opinion, is through a licensed provider,” says Hoffman.SHAVE YOUR EYELIDSIn November 2017, Reuters followed a street-side barber in China as he shaved customers’ eyelids. Running a straight razor along the inside of the eyelid is said to unblock the oil glands lining the lids, and some customers apparently swear by it. Eye professionals, not so much.“Blades to the eyeball only speak once,” Dr. Taylor says. “They have one thing to say, and that’s an injury. We would encourage people not to do that practice at all.”Granted, blocked oil glands can be a nuisance and contribute, among other things, to dry eye. But striking a blade that close to your eyeball isn’t the way to treat them. If you’re having problems, try applying a warm compress and massaging very lightly on your eyelid just above the lashes. Otherwise see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.SLEEP IN YOUR CONTACTSIt may not seem like a big deal and, in fact, the contact lenses may even be advertised as safe to sleep in. Don’t believe it.Problems might not happen the first time you sleep in your lenses, but they can and do occur. That’s because contacts deprive the corneas of oxygen, which fosters the growth of infection-causing bacteria.Boston Celtics basketball player Jaylen Brown recently did just this (with contacts that were theoretically approved for sleeping) and ended up missing a game because of an inflamed eye. He later appeared on the court in goggles, having been told there was no telling when he’d be able to wear contacts again. He was lucky. One woman developed such a bad infection after sleeping in her contacts she nearly went blind, according to the AAO.MAKE YOUR OWN SALINE SOLUTIONMaybe you ran out of saline solution, it’s late, and you don’t want to run to the store to get more. Easy–you’ll mix some salt with tap water. While that’s a tempting way to solve your problem fast, you may end up with nasty organisms in your eye.“If you use a store-bought product, it is free of things that can come out of the faucet,” says Dr. Taylor. “With homemade solution, you can give yourself a parasitic infection that [could] cause vision loss.”There are better ways to manage your budget if saving money’s what you’re after, she adds. “Saline solution is very inexpensive, and it’s a very good product. This is not where you want to cut your dollars.”REMOVE LESIONS FROM YOUR EYELID BY YOURSELFSo you have a small bump, cyst, or stye on your eyelid. Please do not take a safety pin and pop it. “It’s not like getting a splinter out of your foot,” Dr. Taylor says. “The eyelid skin is some of the thinnest skin in the body. The risk of infection and permanent damage is high.”Rather than endangering yourself with a sharp instrument, place a warm, damp washcloth over the bump for a minute or two, twice or three times a day.If that doesn’t help or if the bump gets worse, talk to a doctor. “If it’s growing, if it’s changed in any way, if it’s darkly pigmented or causing any eyelash loss or any dimpling, if it’s scaly–all of those can be signs of an eyelid tumor,” says Dr. Taylor.SHARE MEDS OR MAKEUPWe shouldn’t have to say this, but a prescription medication is meant only for the person it’s prescribed to. Sharing over-the-counter eye treatments could mean you’re swapping bacteria and other unwelcome life forms. Same goes for eye shadow, liner, mascara, and contact lenses.“The virus that causes pink eye can live on makeup for weeks,” Dr. Taylor says. “It can be very virulent and transmitted easily.” Gonorrhea is also easily transmitted and can affect the eyes.USE MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT WITHOUT EYE PROTECTIONEye protection sure won’t be the sexiest thing you’ll ever wear, but arm yourself when necessary anyway. “If it has an ‘on’ switch, you’ve got to have your [safety] glasses,” Dr. Taylor says.She recalls a landscaper who put his tinted safety glasses away as daylight started to wane. A rock immediately hit his eye, which quickly filled with blood. “He was really lucky he didn’t lose his eye,” she says.Pick up some safety glasses for a couple of dollars at a local hardware store, or shop around for a more sophisticated (and pricier) version. Either way, look for glasses that wrap around the sides of your face.Sourcelast_img read more

PODCAST: Why Securing Land Rights for Indigenous People Can Accelerate Sustainable Development

first_imgAbout half of the world’s land is collectively held. Most of that land is not legally recognized under national laws, and even less of that land is formally documented with a land title.In a recent commentary, Peter Veit, Director of the Land and Resource Rights Initiative in the Governance Center at World Resources Institute, makes a strong environment and development case for securing indigenous and community lands. Veit recently sat down with WRI Vice President for Communications Lawrence MacDonald to talk about his research on community and company procedures for acquiring formal land rights.They discuss the many ways land rights can be secured. Much of the indigenous land in the U.S. is registered in a government cadaster and documented with a formal title to prove ownership. But in much of Africa, Asia and Latin America, significant amounts of community land is not registered or documented with the state.”Most collectively held land is held under customary tenure arrangements, which means it’s vulnerable to be taken,” Veit explained. “If the land is contested, a title or certificate is much more likely to hold weight in a court of law.”One of Veit’s recent reports investigated the rate of deforestation on tenure-secure indigenous land in the Amazon. “To my surprise we saw significantly lower deforestation rates on tenure-secure indigenous land than on similar, but not secure forestland,” Veit said. “What we found were rates that were two to three times lower.”In 2015, 193 member nations of the United Nations made commitments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “What we’re finding is that progress on the SDGs is very uneven,” Veit said. “Overall, we’re not making the progress we need to achieve these goals by the target 2030 date.”There is a need to think about new approaches to achieving the SDGs. “One strategy would be to help communities secure their land rights,” Veit explained. “That would help advance  several SDGs. Tenure security is not a silver bullet, but it is fundamental to achieving positive sustainable and development outcomes.” Veit also notes that very few Nationally Determined Contributions (to address climate mitigation) include tenure security as key to achieving their outcomes, while five SDGs recognize land as critical to achieving them.Listen to the podcast now:last_img read more

The Best B2B Viral Video Ever

first_img A Day Made of Glass… Made possible by Corning do. When it comes to marketing content, it isn’t about your product. It is about how your product changing the work of your customers and the lives of their end users. Do you think your product or service is boring? Is it more boring than glass? I doubt it. Yes, Corning’s video was likely expensive to make but it wasn’t the production quality of the video that made it successful. The marketers at Corning brought a simple product to life in a new and hopeful way. The video doesn’t demonstrate what glass does; instead it shows what glass Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack YouTube is famous for funny videos of cats and kids, but what if you are a B2B company? Video can still tell a powerful story. The virality that is possible on video-sharing sites like YouTube adds a new level of reach to compelling video stories. Marketing Takeaway could Video Marketing What did you think about the video? Topics: ” had more than 10 million‬ views. Recently, glass company Corning released a video on YouTube that could arguably be the best B2B viral video ever made. At the time of this blog post the video ‪” Originally published Mar 25, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Big Bird Shows Marketers the RIGHT Way to Newsjack the Presidential Debates

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 Originally published Oct 5, 2012 1:07:00 PM, updated October 01 2013 The tweet, “PBS is trusted, valued and essential. See why at valuepbs.org. (please retweet!)” encourages people to go check out their website that educates readers on why PBS is such a valuable organization. Here’s a snippet: Why The Big Bird Newsjack is AwesomeFirst of all, I love that this newsjack considered the proper channel. The bulk of the backlash to Romney’s Big Bird comment took place on Twitter … so what better place for PBS to headquarter their newsjack? They also took a cue from our resident social media scientist Dan Zarrella and included the copy “please retweet,” realizing the importance of making this newsjack of theirs go viral on Twitter. They even included social sharing buttons — which data shows lead to 7X more mentions — on the webpage they direct people towards! (Which, as of writing this post, has received over 7,000 shares on Twitter alone.)But it’s more than just the proper channel that makes this newsjack great. I love that the call-to-action in the tweet points towards educational content. And that content isn’t just a large, dense chunk of text. When you look at that page, you see that they actually invested the time to come up with really interesting statistics that help prove the value PBS has as an organization — the value they have to the reader. They’ve really stepped up their visual content game, too, with data visualizations and even a video playing in the top right corner of the page. They also recognized the importance of aligning that page with their tweet, which is why you see the same copy occupying the heading of the page as you see in the tweet!But there’s something about this newsjack that is pretty amazing besides the excellent marketing execution. I think there’s a bit of a statement we marketers can take away from the fact that a non-profit organization is:1) Investing money in Twitter ads2) NewsjackingPBS is showing that they not only believe in social media as a powerful marketing tool, but they’re willing to experiment with “scarier” new things like Twitter ad buys. It’s also a little ironic that they’re spending money on advertising to newsjack a comment about how they should lose government funding ;-)And like any good newsjack, this one is wicked timely. It’s refreshing to know that a big organization — and a non-profit one at that, which is typically thought of as restricted by bureaucracy — is remaining agile enough to newsjack. And they do it effectively. If PBS can do it, marketers, so can we!What do you think of PBS’ newsjack? Have you seen any other great newsjacks of the presidential debates?Image credit: EvelynGiggles Social Media Topics: Newsjacking, if you’re not familiar with the phenomenon, is the concept of riding the popularity wave of a news item for some kind of business gain. And what’s bigger right now — in America, at least — than the presidential debates?Well, as it turns out, Sesame Street’s Big Bird is a close second. That’s because the folks at PBS have pulled a killer newsjack, riding the waves of the presidential debate. More specifically, riding the giant tidal waves that ensued on social media when Mitt Romney said that, while he loves Big Bird, he still wants to cut government funding for PBS.What happened next was a veritable firestorm of support across social media, particularly Twitter, with memes and parody accounts rising up to defend everyone’s favorite yellow bird.But all of that came from other people. In other words, PBS had nothing to do with the outcry. Until now.How PBS Newsjacked the Presidential DebatesAccording to Mashable, PBS decided to embrace the firestorm and pulled the trigger on an ad buy on Twitter for the phrase, “Big Bird.” Now, if you search for “Big Bird” on Twitter, you’ll see a PBS advertisement. Take a look:last_img read more

How Opting People OUT Can Actually Improve Your Email Marketing

first_img Originally published Mar 22, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The Next Web published a great article recently calling out a company, Fab, for their pretty remarkable email opt-out campaign. That’s right, they run an automated email opt-out campaign.What makes this campaign stand out from the crowd is that Fab isn’t just emailing their unengaged contacts to see if they want to change their preference settings … they’re straight up opting people out of their emails. Whoa. Bold move, guys.This addresses a pain point we’re all familiar with: Most people are struggling with inbox overload, and email marketers are struggling to get seen amid the clutter, without harming their email deliverability and sender reputation. This is a pretty novel way to try to address all of those pain points through your email marketing — and dare I say I think this is quite lovable email marketing? I mean, lovable marketing is all about delighting prospects, and setting the right people up with the right content at the right time. I think — I say “think” because there might be a downside to this, but we’ll discuss that later — this campaign hits all that criteria for total and utter lovability.Let’s talk about this campaign a little more, dissect what makes it a fantastic example of lovable email marketing, and see what we can learn from their execution here.Fab’s Fabulous EmailBefore we dive into our analysis, take look at the email so we’re all on the same page — we’ll be referencing components of this email throughout the post.You got that bay boy emblazoned in your brain? Cool. Moving on.What Marketers Can Learn From Fab’s Fabulous Email1) The Subject LineFor this email, the subject line is “Stop. Getting. So. Much. Email. Smile, you’re designed to.” It’s great because it’s something that readers can relate to — I’m sure that we’d all love to limit the daily deluge of emails that flood our inboxes. The subject line also stands out for being reader-oriented rather than purchase- or brand-oriented. On top of that, I love the sentiment behind “Smile, you’re designed to.” It’s perfectly in line with Fab’s brand identity, and immediately helps the reader identify who this email is from.It’s a good thing this subject line is so catchy, too; to make such a bold move as to opt someone out of your emails warrants a subject line that will, maybe, get someone to actually open the darn thing. That way, Fab stands a chance of alerting recipients as to what’s going on, and getting either 1) some props for being lovable, and 2) maybe a little action from the recipient in the way of sending preferences customization.What Does This Mean for You?Even if you aren’t performing a test as bold as this, it shows how important a fantastic, eye-catching, action-oriented subject line is. As data-driven marketers, one of the best (and easiest) ways to improve your subject lines is through A/B testing. With A/B testing, you can send two versions of a piece of content to an equal number of recipients and measure which performs better. In the case of email marketing, you can test two variations of a subject line to see which email gets the most opens or clicks to measure which resonates best with your audience. How this works technically will depend on which ESP you’re using — if you’re using HubSpot software, for instance, you can easily A/B test different elements of your emails, including subject lines, sender names, links, and body content. You can select how large of a sample you want to test, what metrics should be used to pick the winner, and how long you want the test to run. If you’re not using HubSpot’s software or you have an ESP that doesn’t enable A/B testing, you can simply take a segment of your database, split it in half, and send each group a variation of your email. If your database is ordered in a particular way, you’ll want to ensure your recipient segments are truly randomized. You can easily do this by using the RAND() function in Excel to assign each name a random number between 0 and 1. From there, you can order your names by the random number and select a grouping of leads. Here’s a quick tutorial:    After you’ve completed your test, you can run the results though HubSpot’s free A/B Testing Calculator to determine whether your results are statistically significant — and voila! Now you know what subject lines help your email marketing messages stand out better than the rest.2) Engagement Through Personalization … and a Smidge of NegativityThe email that Fab sent is based on a specific action that the subscriber has taken — in this case, that action is inaction. The content of the email is personalized to the reader’s behavior, and specific. The email reads, “We noticed that you haven’t opened our Sunday thru Thursday evening sales emails, so we have gone ahead of opted you out of them.” There’s no question in the reader’s mind why they’re receiving the email, and what they should do next.I would venture to guess that they see pretty high engagement rates with this email. The messaging plays to the idea of scarcity — “Uh oh. If you don’t take this action, you’re going to lose something!” Robert Cialdini, an expert best known for his book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, has written extensively on this and other factors that influence people to say “yes.” If this interests you and you’d like to learn more on this idea, I’d highly recommend this book as a resource. A similar tactic in the sales is called “going negative” with prospects — by telling a prospect that you’re no longer going to contact them, you might be surprised at how many say “let’s talk!” in response.What Does This Mean for You?Alright, so let’s cover how you can do something similar. Your ESP and CRM should make it easy for you to create a segment of unengaged or unreachable leads that you can easily target with a custom message. You might remember this recent blog article on How to Improve Email Clickthrough Rate by 583% where our CMO Mike Volpe outlined our “congrats on avoiding a sales rep” campaign, for instance:We did that by integrating HubSpot (we use ourselves as an ESP … of course) with our CRM, so we were able to build contact profiles with CRM details such as “Current Lead Status” in them. Then we set up a workflow to trigger an automated email whenever a sales rep changes a lead’s status to “unable to contact.” Another strategy could be to create a list of leads that haven’t opened any of your emails.If you can’t make this happen with your ESP, you can do it manually, too — grab a segment of contacts from your CRM with the appropriate lead status or engagement numbers. An alternative to this would be to pull engagement numbers from your email marketing tool. Because I’m a huge fan of Excel, I’ll give you a brief tutorial on how to do this:Using this method, you could sent a much more personalized campaign based on behavior, just like Fab — even if you aren’t pulling the automatic opt-out card.3) Content Consumption CustomizationFab’s email preferences page is designed to give subscribers a multitude of options for receiving messages, including what days they want to receive emails, what content they want to see, and notifications they want to get. This allows readers to take control of how they want to be communicated with. It also gives Fab a ton of data on what is valuable to their contacts, not to mention a number of segmentation possibilities. What Does This Mean for You?Giving your readers options for receiving your content increases the chances that they’ll stick around … rather than just opting out completely.An email subscription preferences page is a high-value piece of real estate. It gives you the opportunity to retain your contacts, find out more about them, and build brand loyalty. If you think it’s high time you customize your email subscription preferences page, we have some inspiration and tips for you in this post “28 Quick Tips for Customizing Your Email Preference Center.”And by the way, put that data to good use! Whether it’s identifying what content your contacts are most interested in or helping you segment future communications and interactions, preference centers give you great insight into the way your database views your email marketing.4) Be! Aggressive! B-E-Aggressive!We know to stand out in a crowded inbox it can help to be a little aggressive. But is Fab’s opt-out tactic too aggressive? We can’t deny the lovability behind this campaign … they want to proactively stop contributing to inbox overload. A valiant cause!But do people like to engage with emails differently now? Some people scan emails for their subject lines and preview text for months on end without taking action. The inaction — sometimes and with certain business types — could be simply because recipients have gotten really good at identifying whether that particular email is worth opening. I know several people that do this with daily deal type sites, for example — they want to continue getting the emails, but may not open them for a pretty long time. In that way, maybe it is wise to run a campaign like this based on engagement, not opens.But hey, we don’t have access to Fab’s email analytics, so this is all just speculation! In short, Fab does a great job with a simple email of engaging their reader with personalized content and allowing them to take control of their subscription preferences.So tell us, what other companies do you get inspired by when it comes to email marketing?Image credit: Jetske19 Email Deliverability Topics:last_img read more

Dear HubSpot: My Mom Is the Only Person Reading My Blog

first_img Blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published May 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Hey folks, welcome to the second installment of this column. Since you seemed to enjoy the post last week, we’re going to make this a weekly thing. Last week, we talked about possible solutions to generating leads from your blog. This week, we’ll be answering a question about getting blog traffic when it seems like all hope is lost. If you’ve got a question you’re always wanted to ask (it doesn’t have to be about blogging, even though the first two questions were), submit it here. Based on the subject of your question, we’ll find an expert to answer it for you, right here on the blog. Getting your boss on board with inbound, working with your sales team, getting more people to use your product, figuring out just what the heck an MQL is, picking between two fonts for your next design project — pretty much whatever you want to ask, we’ll find an answer for. If we publish your question, we’ll even throw in a sweet penname to keep this whole thing anonymous.Sound good? So without further ado, let’s get to this week’s question — it was sent to us last week from a friend in Colorado.Dear HubSpot, I work for a company that has an extremely long sales funnel, in a field that almost every business uses, but nobody wants to talk about. It’s one of those “if it isn’t broken, why would we bother looking to fix it”.I’ve just started working here, and prior to me, the company did not have a blog or any real SEO work done. I’ve spent a lot of time building a foundation for all of this, and I’ve started to see results in our SERPs. I’ve been doing the “spaghetti” method with our blog, attempting to try a bunch of different topics to catch people before they’re thinking about making a purchase. Trying to see what do people visit most, what do they share.I’m having a really hard time getting people to check out our blog (besides my mother), but I’m extremely confident in the services we provide and the work that we do. I also feel that I could capture leads if we had steady blog traffic, but we don’t. I post one new blog a week, on a variety of business-related topics. Everyone always talks about how to “tweak” something to work better, but I’m not really sure how to even get that ball rolling so that I can tweak it. Is it just a time thing? Thanks!Budding Blogger in BoulderHey BBB,Thanks for the great question. Not sure how long you’ve been at this gig, but blogging does take some time to get results. If you’ve only been at it for a month or two, I’d hold out a little longer. You have been getting some results from search so far, so you must be doing something right.But if you’re looking to accelerate your growth and prove to your new boss that hiring you was a super smart decision, there are a few things you can try. Post more often.Posting once a week is great for when you’re first starting out with a new job or the whole inbound methodology, but you could get faster results if you post a few times a week. We’ve found that companies that blog over 15 times a month (boiling down to a few posts a week) get 2-3X the traffic as those who post once a week. As long as you’re maintaining the quality that you seem to have based on your relative SEO success, ramping up on volume could be the secret to being successful. Make your posts the right type of shareable. I know you said that you’re looking at what gets shared the most, but have you looked into how it gets shared? Are there any channels that your highest performing posts tend to get shared on? Figure out what those are, then optimize the rest of your posts for sharing to that channel.For example, let’s say that you’re getting the most traffic to your blog from email — try optimizing your blog to get even more of that. Add call-to-actions throughout your most popular posts that ask readers to share your post with a friend or colleague. You don’t have to get fancy with the CTA — adding something simple like this to the bottom of your posts could work:Here’s a template if you want any CTA design help. You could also add simple text reminders within the post itself to share it through email. By making sharing top-of-mind and easy to do for your current readers on the channels they already love to share, you could end up getting more traffic to your site.Email posts directly to personal, relevant connections. Another little “hack” you can try is doing some personal outreach to folks once you’ve put up a new blog post. These should be about five different people who you have somewhat of a relationship with (which can mean they’re anyone from someone you’re connected with on Twitter to one of your most excited customers) who would also be genuinely interested in the article.Send them a quick, personalized note letting them know the post is up and it’d be something they might enjoy — and ask that if they do end up enjoy it, would they mind sharing it with their network. Keep your email simple and unsalesy (something in the same vein as this email) so you don’t come across too strong. If you can keep the email tailored, simple, and not-pitchy, you could get these influencers to share your post with their network.This is a slower approach than previous ones, but it’s worked well for those trying to get their blog off the ground. In a similar vein, you might consider setting up a guest blogging relationship in which you post on a relevant industry blog, and vice versa — this helps you get exposure to a new audience, and guest bloggers will often promote the posts they write to their own networks, bringing in new traffic to your website.Ramp up social media promotion efforts. It’s unfortunate that on the web, the “if you build it, they will come” method doesn’t actually pan out. To get noticed, you’ve got to start promoting your content to the right people in the right place at the right time. But since you don’t have all the time in the world to devote to every single network, try to choose the one that already seems to be working. You can find this out by looking at which networks are already sending you the most traffic — find out what that network is, get on it, and rock it. “Rocking it” means you’ll be spending time growing your audience there and optimizing your posts to perform well on that specific network — not just posting link after link to your blog. If the network you’ve chosen is one of the big three (Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter), I’d highly suggest checking out this post for tips on crafting excellent posts on each network.To solve your specific issue, you may only need to try one of these tactics — or you could end up needing to do all of them. The key each is to find what is already working for you, then add more fuel to that fire. So, for example, if you find that “click here to email this post” CTAs perform really well at the bottom of your post, see if you can increase traffic and sharing by adding them throughout the body of your post. Hope that was helpful for you! Can’t wait to see your blog start to take off — your mom is definitely not the only person who’s interested in hearing from you.Sincerely,Got a specific question about inbound you’d like answered? Submit it here and you may be featured in a future blog post (along with your very own special pen name).  Topics:last_img read more

29 Email Deliverability Tips You Must Know in 2019

first_imgMarketers spend a lot of time drafting poignant email copy, designing wonderfully branded email templates, and crafting succinct and enticing email subject lines that get open and click-through rates skyrocketing.But before hitting send, have you considered whether your subscribers will even get the opportunity to read your email?Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template  Topics: Email Deliverability Originally published Jul 10, 2019 3:59:00 PM, updated July 17 2019 Email deliverability is the rate at which your email actually makes it into recipient inboxes. An email deliverability rate can be lower when an email bounces or gets automatically filtered into a spam folder.center_img Email Deliverability Don’t forget to share this post! No matter how legitimate of an email marketer you are, there are a host of things you may not even know about that can prevent your email from ever reaching someone’s inbox. With more stringent laws and increasingly sophisticated spam filters, it’s to your benefit to know everything that can affect your email’s deliverability.If steering clear of legal trouble isn’t enough to convince you, squeezing more ROI out of your email marketing efforts certainly should. Take a look at the things you should absolutely never do in your email marketing if you want your messages to be successfully delivered, and the things you can proactively do to increase your rate of email deliverability.The first step in improving email deliverability will be to run a test to see if you are encountering any issues. To learn more about email deliverability test tools, click here. 29 Ways to Avoid Sending Spam Email & Improve Your Email DeliverabilityWhat You Should Never Do1. Don’t buy or rent email lists.Yes, you can legally rent and purchase lists of people who have agreed to email communications — but it’s never a good idea. Not only is it a dirty email marketing tactic that goes against the Terms of Service for your email service provider, but these people don’t actually know you — and it’s likely they won’t even want your emails. In other words, there’s a good change they’ll mark you as spam. Plus, let’s be honest … high quality email addresses are never for sale.2. Don’t scrape sites for email addresses.Scraping websites for email addresses may seem like a fast way to build a contact list, but it’s bad for your business — not to mention illegal in many countries, including the United States, thanks to the CAN-SPAM Act.3. Don’t email people who have bounced repeatedly.Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered. Bounce rates are one of the key factors internet service providers (ISPs) use to determine an email sender’s reputation, so having too many hard bounces can cause them to stop allowing your emails in folks’ inboxes.(Email deliverability is covered extensively in HubSpot’s free email marketing certification course, so check that out to learn more.)4. Don’t use all caps anywhere in your email or its subject line.Don’t yell at people. It’s not nice. Using all caps in your subject line might get the recipients’ attention, but probably not in a good way. Using all caps can really rub people the wrong way. It’s annoying and can seem spammy.In fact, according to a study by the Radicati Group, more than 85% of respondents prefer an all-lowercase subject line to one in all caps. Instead of using disruptive tactics like all caps to get people’s attention, try personalizing your emails, establishing relevancy, and using catchy and delightful language. (Read this blog post on how to write compelling emails for more tips.)5. Don’t use exclamation points!!!!!Another thing that can make your subject line and/or email look unprofessional and spammy? Exclamation points — especially a whole bunch of them in a row. And when 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line, you’ll want to stay away from triggers like this as much as you can.Plus, when you ask punctuation to do a word’s job, it can really dilute your message. The next time you’re tempted to use an exclamation point in an email (or anywhere, really), use this flowchart, “Should I Use an Exclamation Point?”, as a gut check.6. Don’t use video, Flash, or JavaScript within your email.By default, most email clients don’t allow the ability to view rich media like Flash or video embeds. Instead, use an image of your video player (with a play button) that links to the rich media on a website page.As for JavaScript and other dynamic scripts, even if a spam filter allows your email through, most email clients won’t allow these scripts to function — so avoid using them altogether.7. Don’t embed forms in your emails.Forms aren’t supported in email across common email clients due to security risks. Instead, place a call-to-action button or a link to a landing page with a form in the body of your email.(HubSpot customers: Learn how to add a call-to-action button to your emails in HubSpot here, and how to create a form for your landing pages in HubSpot here.)8. Don’t include attachments to your emails.If you want to send your recipients something like a PDF or a Word document, don’t attach the file to the email — otherwise your email could get blocked by spam filters. Instead, upload the attachment to your website and link to the file location in your email using an effective call-to-action button. This’ll minimize the chance of being blocked by spam filters and decrease the load time of your email.(HubSpot users: HubSpot’s attachment tool in the email editor automatically does this for you. Simply highlight a bit of text or an image and click the attachment icon, and HubSpot will turn that text or image into a link leading to that attachment.)9. Don’t use spam trigger words.One of easiest ways to avoid spam filters is by carefully choosing the words you use in your email’s subject line. A good rule of thumb is this: If it sounds like something a used car salesman would say, it’s probably a spam trigger word. Think “free,” “guarantee,” no obligation,” and so on. (For more, look at this list of common spam trigger words.)Instead of using these trigger words, be creative, interesting, and informative — without giving too much away. Some better ideas for subject lines include:”Hi [name], [question]?””Did you get what you were looking for?””You are not alone.””Feeling blue? Like puppies?”10. Don’t use a red font when drafting your emails.Same goes for using invisible text, i.e. a white font on top of a white background. These are common tricks that spammers use, so it’s an instant red flag for spam filters.In fact, people don’t like when marketers use irregular fonts, font sizes, and font colors at all in emails. In that same study by the Radicati Group, out of the top 10 objectionable email trends, four revolve around fonts. Over 60% of respondents considered it unacceptable for email marketers to use different font sizes, irregular fonts, and different font colors. Nearly 70% of respondents prefer fonts to be one size.11. Don’t forget to use spell check.According to that Radicati Group study, 80% of all respondents find spelling and grammatical errors the most unacceptable email offense. But spelling mistakes aren’t just unprofessional — they’re actually a spam trigger, too.It’s easy for little spelling mistakes to slip by — especially when you’re self-editing. Read this post to learn the most common spelling and grammar mistakes so you never make them again.12. Don’t jam pack your email copy with keywords.Keyword-stuffing your emails means shoving as many keywords into your emails as you can. There’s a reason Google give a lower rank to webpages that are stuffed with keywords — and that’s because it’s harmful to user experience. No one wants to read content that’s optimized for a robot.To make it more likely folks will open your emails and not mark them as spam, write your emails for humans, not robots. Copywriting that makes people want to take action is both simple and compelling. To make your writing sound more personable and relatable, use casual language, colloquial expressions, and even personal anecdotes.I love the example below from Turnstyle Cycle (from our roundup of 12 great email marketing examples). The copy is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s friendly, yet sincere — especially with the following lines:”We know you are busy and would hate to see you miss out””Please let us know if we can help accommodate in any way possible””Feel free to give us a call – we want to help :)”Plus, they provided me with the exact details I needed to know — a reminder of what I’d signed up for and when, the expiration date, and a phone number to reach them. Check it out:13. Don’t use an overwhelming number of images, or huge images.Using one large image as your entire email, or too many images in general, tends to end up in recipients’ spam folders.You’ll also want to make your image file sizes as small as possible without losing their visual integrity to prevent long email load times. (If you’re a HubSpot user, the email tool automatically compresses images in emails so they load faster. For non-HubSpot users, some good image compression tools include Compressor.io, Compressjpeg.com, and Jpegmini.com.)Not to mention, Microsoft Outlook doesn’t recognize background images, so you may want to avoid those and use a background color instead.What You Should Do14. Keep your email lists current and clean.Even if your list is entirely built on valid opt-ins, you are at risk of being branded a “spammer” if you don’t practice proper email hygiene. Why? Because internet service providers (ISPs) base complaint rates on active subscribers, not total subscribers.Also, expired email addresses can turn into SPAM traps, meaning that even if you acquired emails in a legitimate manner, the abandoned addresses that haven’t engaged in years may have morphed into spam traps. Hitting even just one spam trap can cause deliverability problems.Expired email addresses can also turn into unknown users (bounces). If you hit unknown accounts at a rate higher that 5%, then ISPs are going to see you as someone who has really bad email hygiene. The result? They’ll make it harder for your emails to reach people’s inboxes, and your overall sender reputation will definitely drop — leading to even more trouble reaching people’s inboxes.By keeping your email lists current and clean, you’ll decrease the likelihood people will flag your emails as spam. You can identify inactive subscribers and expired email addresses with metrics such as opens, clicks, or website activity.15. See if you can reengage inactive or infrequently active subscribers.”Graymail” refers to email people technically opted in to receive, but don’t really want, leading them to become less active or inactive altogether. Although it’s not considered spam, sending graymail is problematic because it can hurt the deliverability of your email overall. Tipped off by low engagement rates, ISPs and inbox providers may deliver email from known-graymail senders straight to recipients’ “junk” folders — so the email technically gets sent (and can even appear to have been delivered), but it’s not necessarily seen.Keep track of your inactive and infrequently active subscribers, and develop re-engagement campaigns for contacts who have stopped engaging with your messages. For example, you could set conditions such as the length of time since their last form submission, website visit, or email click, triggering the email when it’s been a while since a contact last engaged with you.In your workflow, you might try sending them an exclusive offer or coupon to get them excited about your company again. Or, you might ask them for feedback by sending out a quick survey to see what they would like to see in your emails. (Read this blog post for more ideas for launching an effective email re-engagement campaign.)16. Do use double opt-in.Double opt-in means that after someone subscribes to your email list, you send them a follow-up email with a confirmation link ensuring they actually want to receive email communications from you.Users that have to confirm that they want email communications from your company are the ones that will fully read and engage with the emails they receive from your business. When you use double opt-in, your email lists will be much more qualified and your subscribers much more engaged. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to set up double opt-in in HubSpot here.)17. Ask your subscribers to add you to their address book.Spam filters are more aggressive than ever — so much so that sometimes, the emails people value and want to read still end up in their spam boxes.But most spam filters allow you to whitelist a sender by adding their email address to their email’s address book. When subscribers add you to their address book, spam filters will back off.18. You must include a clear unsubscribe link and a physical mailing address in your email footer.Allowing people to unsubscribe is important for list hygiene because anyone receiving your emails should actually want to receive them — otherwise, you’re just spamming them. But did you know that it’s illegal to not have a way for your recipients to easily unsubscribe in many countries, including the United States?In your marketing emails, you must include a way for folks to unsubscribe from your email list, either by simply sending a reply email or by clicking no more than one level deep to reach a page from which they can unsubscribe. Which method you choose is entirely up to you, as long as the information is clear and easy to locate.The most common place for these unsubscribe CTAs is in the footer of your email, so users tend to know to look for it there — which makes for a better user experience. Here’s an example from one of HubSpot’s emails:In addition to the unsubscribe link, include a link to update subscriber preferences, which you can also see in the example above. That way, recipients can unsubscribe from just one type of email instead of all of them.19. Honor your unsubscribes and remove them from your mailing list.If someone unsubscribes, they must come off your email list. It’s the law. This should go without saying. Check out this list of effective unsubscribe pages to make the unsubscribe process a little more delightful for recipients.This is where email marketing software that integrates seamlessly with your CRM comes in handy — because any unsubscribes are immediately processed and recorded in both the contact record and within the email software. (But if you’re removing unsubscribed addresses from your list manually, make it a top priority to process that request.)20. Use a familiar sender name.Because people are so inundated with SPAM, they hesitate to open email from unfamiliar senders. Make sure recipients can recognize you in your sender by using your brand name.Better yet, send the email from a real person. Recipients are typically more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one. At HubSpot we found that that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” perform better in terms of open and clickthrough rate than emails sent from just “HubSpot.” (HubSpot customers: Learn how to personalize the “From” name and email address here.)21. Include your recipient’s name in the “To:” field.This way, spam filters know that you do, indeed, know your recipient. Plus, personalizing your emails around your contacts can also be vital to their engagement with your content.22. Offer recipients both an HTML and a plain text version of your emails.Plain text emails are simply emails void of any formatting, while HTML (HyperText Markup Language) emails use formatting that let you design more beautiful emails with attractive visual components. By offering both a plain text and HTML version of a single email, you’re not only indicating your legitimacy to ISPs, but you’re also making your emails more reader-friendly.Most email marketing tools will let you easily create plain-text versions within their email editor, so take those five extra minutes to create and optimize the plain-text version of your email. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to create a plain-text email in HubSpot here.)Also, make sure the HTML version is properly coded: If there are broken tags in your HTML, the email provider and users might mark it as spam.23. Allow people to view your email in a web browser.Even after every step is taken to assure proper email design, an email client can still display an email poorly. Include a link in every email to view the email as a web page. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to do this easily in HubSpot here.)24. Include alt text in your email images.Many email clients block images by default. This means that when someone opens your email, the images won’t load unless they click a button to show them or change their default settings. Adding alt text to your images helps recipients understand your message even if they can’t see the images.This is especially bad if you use an image as a call-to-action. Without alt text, a “turned off” image will look like this:When you add alt text to the image, recipients will still know where to click to complete the action:You can either edit the alt text in your email tool’s rich text editor (just right-click the image and edit away), or you can manually enter it in the HTML editor of your email tool like this:25. Keep your emails short and sweet.Too much copy is another red flag for spam filters. Not only that, but people generally like concise emails better. Everyone’s busy and their inbox is already full, so why make things worse?One of the best ways to keep things short and sweet is to write like a human. Writing your email like you were talking to someone in real life makes it feel much more approachable and relevant. (Read this blog post on how to write compelling emails for more tips.)If you do have to write a lengthier email, then break it up into multiple paragraphs. Giving visual breaks and composing the email with a clear introduction, middle, and conclusion will make it much easier on your reader.26. Test your emails before sending them.There are a lot of email clients out there these days that email marketers have to consider when creating emails. On top of that, we have to consider mobile users, too — after all, 53% of people read email on their mobile devices.It turns out each of these clients displays emails differently. While it may be time-consuming to test out your emails for all email clients, you’ll want to test them for the ones your audience uses the most. According to Litmus’ research of 1.06 billion email opens, the top five email clients are:Apple iPhone’s Mail app (28% of users)Gmail (16% of users)Apple iPad’s Mail app (11% of users)Google Android’s Mail app (9% of users)Outlook (9% of users)If your email marketing tool lets you, go ahead and preview what your email looks like in different email clients and devices that are popular with your audience. (HubSpot customers: Use our Preview in other inboxes feature to send a test email and see how the design of your email looks in each email client.)You should also send out a test version of your email before you send out the real deal to ensure it’s working properly. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to test your emails here.)27. Get an email sender accreditation from a third party.Sender accreditation is a third-party process of verifying email senders and requiring them to follow certain usage guidelines. In return, you’ll be listed in a trusted listing that ISPs reference to allow certain emails to bypass email filters.28. Monitor the reputation of your sender’s IP address.Your emails’ deliverability depends largely on your IP address’ reputation. If you’re sending email from an IP address with a poor reputation, your emails are far less likely to be successfully delivered to senders’ inboxes.DNSstuff.com lets you check on whether or not you are a blacklisted sender — something many unlucky email marketers aren’t even aware of.29. Always stay up-to-date on changes in email sending laws, ISP behavior, and spam filter technology.Email marketing is constantly evolving, and staying in the know helps ensure you’re always following best practices — and the law. Responsible and legitimate email marketers make a point of regularly reading up on email sending laws, ISP behavior, and spam filter technology.If you’re looking for more information, check in with your company’s legal department or a trusted lawyer to ensure you’re staying within the boundaries of the law. Want to learn more about email deliverability? Watch class six in our HubSpot Academy’s Email Marketing Certification course taught by HubSpot’s Post Master, Tom Monaghan.Email Deliverability Test ToolsIf your email platform doesn’t offer enough deliverability analytics, we suggest using other tools that can help you test for delivery issues before your message goes out to your mailing list.Here are three free tools that you can use:Mail-Tester.comEvery time someone visits Mail-Tester.com, they’ll see a treehouse with a auto-generated email address listed on it that changes every time you visit the site. You can send your email to the address listed, then click “Check Your Score.” Mail-Tester will then give you a free email deliverability score based on the email that was sent to the unique email address.The software will analyze the text in the message, your mail server, and IP to determine if there are any deliverability issues. Free users can access the report for seven days. You can also subscribe for unlimited email tests and reports that last for 30 days.SpamcheckSpamcheck is a simple and free tool that allows you to paste a plain text message into a text box and analyze it for any language that might trigger spam filtering.After placing the text and clicking “Check your score,” the software will give you a score out of 10 based on what’s included and not included in the email body. For a bad email, it might look something like this:MxToolBoxMxToolBox allows you to test your email deliverability by sending a test email to ping@tools.mxtoolbox.com. This email address will reply to the email with a linked call to action that says “View your full Deliverability Report.” You can then click on the CTA to see a deliverability score and information about what might stopping your email from going into inboxes. If you want to see your result later on, but no longer have the reply email, you can search for the result using your email address on the MxToolBox site. Still want to learn more about email marketing after reading the tips above? Consider taking HubSpot’s free email marketing certification course, which will walk you through even more best practices.last_img read more

An Introduction to Persuasive Advertising vs. Informative Advertising

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! 6. Use a Call-to-Value Instead of a Call-to-ActionCall-to-actions are crucial for getting prospects to take the next step, but a “Download Now” or “Call Now” CTA isn’t always going to convince the more skeptical prospects to take your desired action. You need to make sure your ad’s last line of copy or quip is the best of them all.So instead of writing an uninspiring, final line of copy like “Download Now”, write one that clearly communicates your offer’s value and gives a glimpse into your prospects’ potential life if they take your desired action, like this call-to-value prompting readers to download a blogging eBook: “Click today and be a blogger tomorrow.”Persuasive Advertising Examples1. NikolImage Credit: Brilliant AdsShowing — not telling — your audience about your product’s benefits is one of the best ways to capture attention and get an emotional response. Obviously, Nikol’s paper towels can’t actually turn grapes into raisins, but this ad highlights the product’s absorbent powers in a such a clear and clever way, they didn’t need write a single line of copy.2. HeinzImage Credit: Brilliant AdsIn relation to food, the word “hot” has multiple meanings: having a high temperature and being spicy. Heinz brilliantly used the connotation of high temperature to highlight the spiciness of their ketchup, and their creative method of communicating the value of their product helped them instantly attract people’s attention.3. Mondo PastaImage Credit: Brilliant AdsWith this crafty use of guerrilla marketing, Mondo Pasta perfectly aligns their copy with their creative — the guy slurping the noodle literally “can’t let go” because its a rope tied to a dock. By designing such a visual, unexpected, and literal ad with a seemingly one-dimensional prop, people’s eyes can’t let go of this ad either.4. BicImage Credit: Brilliant AdsAnother example of guerrilla marketing, Bic takes advantage of an unkept field to highlight the power of their razors. By just mowing a small strip of grass on a field, this ad is an unconventional, simple, and extremely creative way to catch people’s attention and spotlight a razor’s shaving capabilities.5. SiemensImage Credit: Brilliant AdsSiemens’ skillful ad shows the benefits of their product by unexpectedly placing their washers and dryers in a library to show you that they’re so quiet, even a librarian wouldn’t need to shush them.Informative AdvertisingCompared to persuasive advertising, informative advertising focuses more on the facts, and less on emotions. It highlight how your product’s features and benefits solve your customers’ problems and can even compare your product to your competitors’ product. Although this type of advertising relies on facts and figures to trigger a desired action, the ad’s message is usually framed in a compelling way. Out of all the entertaining ads that played during Super Bowl 53, there’s only one commercial that I woke up thinking about the next morning: Pepsi’s “More Than OK”. Originally published Oct 14, 2019 1:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Topics: 1. Drink ResponsiblyImage Credit: Bloggs74Even though this ad might seem like it’s only aiming to evoke fear in its target audience, it actually leans on the facts to get their message across. If you drink and drive, your risk of crashing skyrockets 11 fold. And by focusing on this alarming reality, this ad can persuade people to get an Uber or Lyft home after a night out instead of getting behind the wheel.2. Miller LiteImage Credit: Miller LiteAfter Bud Light took some jabs at Miller Lite for using corn syrup in their beer during their Super Bowl 53 ads, Miller Lite decided to throw a few punches back. A day later on Twitter, they revealed that their beer actually has less calories and carbs than Bud Light, which helped them persuade people that drinking Bud Light and Miller Lite actually have similar health benefits.3. Siskiyou Eye CenterImage Credit: EntractechThere’s an old folk tale that carrots can improve your eyesight, but science has actually debunked this myth. That’s why this Siskiyou Eye Center ad is such a creative informative advertisement. While it pokes fun at this common fable, it’s still relying on the facts of carrots not being able to improve your vision and the Eye Center’s ability to provide quality treatment for your eyes to persuade people to do business with them.Persuasive advertising vs. informative advertising: which one is better?Persuasive advertising and informative advertising definitely focus on different aspects of persuasion, but they still aim to achieve the same goal: convincing your audience to take a desired action. So whether you pursue one advertising strategy or another, remember that if you can trigger an emotional response, regardless of the stimuli, your ad will be a success.center_img “More Than OK” poked fun at how Pepsi usually takes a back seat to Coke, especially at restaurants. And by featuring a star-studded cast that included Steve Carell, Lil Jon, and Cardi-B (who hilariously and fervently backed up Pepsi’s OKness) their boldness to call people out for undermining Pepsi’s quality got a lot of laughs and persuaded a massive audience to reconsider their own perception of the soft drink.As marketers, we know that if we want to persuade an audience, we need to evoke an emotional response from them. But how do you actually do that? Below, we’ll examine six persuasive advertising techniques you can use in your advertisements, five examples you can reference if you ever need some inspiration, and three informative advertisement examples that are surprisingly just as compelling as the persuasive advertising examples.Download Now: Free Ad Campaign Planning KitPersuasive Techniques in AdvertisingThe Carrot and The StickThe Scarcity PrincipleOne Message Per AdvertisementWrite In the Second PersonGive Your Audience a Sense of ControlUse a Call-to-Value Instead of a Call-to-Action Informative Advertising ExamplesDrink ResponsiblyMiller LiteSiskiyou Eye Center Advertising 1. The Carrot and The StickHumans are hardwired to move towards pleasure, like a horse towards a carrot, and away from pain, like a donkey avoids a stick. When people read or watch your advertisements, “carrots”, or promises of gain, can fill your prospects with hope and compel them to pursue that potential feeling of pleasure. “Sticks”, possibilities of loss, evoke fear in your prospects, which will compel them to flee from that potential feeling of pain.Both tactics can pull your prospects into a narrative and evoke emotions that inspire your desired action. Carrots, like a product’s benefit, entice people to take a desired action. Sticks, on the other hand, like anti-smoking campaigns, evoke fear in people to stop doing a certain action and start doing the alternative. To better understand how to craft advertisements that feature a carrot or stick, check out these insurance copywriting examples below.Carrot: “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.” — GeicoStick: “Get All-State. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem like me. ” — All-StateAs you can see, Geico’s ad uses a small time investment that could potentially produce big gains as a lure to get you to buy their product. Conversely, All-State’s ad uses the character “Mayhem” to evoke fear into people to stop using their “inferior” insurance and start using All-State’s.2. The Scarcity PrinciplePeople value objects and experiences that are rare — having something that most people want, but can’t have, boosts our sense of self-worth and power. If you use words and phrases that imply scarcity and evoke a sense of urgency, like “Exclusive offer” or “Limited availability”, you can skyrocket your product’s perceived scarcity and consumer demand.3. One Message Per AdvertisementTo immediately hook people and persuade them to read or watch the rest of your advertisement, try sticking to only one message. Spotlighting your product or offer’s main benefit or feature will make it easy for your customers to understand its value and increase the likelihood of their conversion because you’re only conveying one message to your audience: your product’s main feature will benefit your customer’s life somehow, someway.4. Write in the Second PersonSince your prospects primarily care about how you can help them, and pronouns like “you” and “your” can engage them on a personal level and help them insert themselves in the narrative you’re creating, writing advertisements in the second person can instantly grip their attention and help them imagine a future with your product or service bettering their lives.5. Give Your Audience a Sense of ControlAccording to a research study conducted by three psychology professors at Rutgers University, the need for control is a biological and psychological necessity. People have to feel like they have control over their lives.If you want to give your audience a sense of control, you need to give them the ability to choose. In other words, after reading or watching your advertisement, they must feel like they can choose between the option you suggest or another path. If they feel like you’re trying to force them to buy your product, they’ll get annoyed and disengage from your message.To give your audience the ability to choose, and in turn, a sense of control, use phrases like “Feel free” or “No pressure” in your advertisements, like this example from Hotwire.com below.last_img read more

US Open 2019: Roger Federer strolls into Round of 16, Rafael Nadal gets walkover

first_imgRoger Federer won in straight sets for the first time in this year’s U.S. Open, downing Daniel Evans 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the round of 16. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, didn’t have to sweat even a bit for a berth in the 3rd round after his Australian opponent Thanasi Kokkinakis retired hurt before play could start.Federer, the No. 3 seed and five-time champion at Flushing Meadows, dropped the first set in his previous two rounds but that was not an issue against the 58th-ranked Evans. Federer blasted 48 winners and served up 10 aces en route to the victory, his 18th straight third-round win at the Open.Next up for Federer is the winner of the match later Friday between 15th-seeded David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta.Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova overcame her emotions and an inspired opponent to advance to the U.S. Open round of 16, downing Ons Jabeur 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.Pliskova, a former No. 1 who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2016, won despite looking out of synch for much of the match. After Jabeur took treatment on her right knee at the end of the first set and began winning in the second, Pliskova smashed her racket in frustration, earning a warning from the chair umpire.But Pliskova relied on a strong serve game to get it back on track. And Jabeur, a Tunisian who had been seeking to become the first Arab woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, faltered down the stretch. Though she cracked 49 winners, she also had 43 unforced errors, 17 of them in the final set.advertisementNext up for Pliskova is the winner of the match later Friday between No. 16 Johanna Konta and No. 33 Zhang Shuai.Also Read | US Open: Divij Sharan-Hugo Nys pair makes 1st round exit in doublesAlso Read | After Roger Federer face-off, Sumit Nagal wants to excel on claylast_img read more

India vs West Indies: Ishant Sharma hits maiden fifty in 92nd Test

first_imgIshant Sharma scored his maiden Test and second first class fifty to help India post a strong total on Day 2 of the second and final Test against the West Indies at the Sabina Park on Saturday. Ishant, who achieved this feat in his 125th innings, now ranks second in the list of batsmen with most innings before maiden Test fifty. England pacer James Anderson leads the list as he took 130 innings to score his first Test half-century.After creating a buzz with his five-wicket haul in the 1st Test match against Windies, Ishant has now shone with the bat in the ongoing Test match. Every boundary from Ishant’s bat brought smile to his captain Virat Kohli’s face, who was applauding every run scored by his Delhi teammate from the pavillion.Prior to this, Ishant’s highest Test score was 31 not out, which he scored against Sri Lanka in the 2010 Galle Test. He had also made 31 runs against Australia in the Mohali Test in the same year but he was dismissed on that score.India vs West Indies 2nd Test Day 2: Live ScoreBatting at no. 9, Ishant came out in the middle in the morning session on Day 2 with India’s score reading 302 for 7. He negotiated the remaining overs of the session without much difficulty and remained unbeaten on 11 in the company of Hanuma Vihari. Vihari, who is currently playing only his 5th Test match, scored a fighting maiden century and by doing so, he became the 2nd Indian to score a century after Ajinkya Rahane during the ongoing 2-Test series.advertisementAfter the resumption of play in the second session, Sharma sent Windies bowlers on a leather hunt, putting on a 112-run stand, which is the second highest partnership for the 8th wicket for India in the Windies. While Vihari went on to score his maiden hundred, the lanky tailender reached his first half-century in the 135th over of the innings. Ishant Sharma scored seven boundaries before falling to Kraigg Brathwaite for 57.Also Read | India vs West Indies: Hanuma Vihari hits maiden Test century at Sabina ParkAlso See:last_img read more

Did Kane lead Morata to snub Spurs?

first_imgMorata Did Kane lead Morata to snub Spurs? Chelsea striker has his say Chris Burton 16:04 12/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Alvaro Morata Chelsea Brighton Premier League Getty Morata Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea Premier League Mauricio Pochettino claimed in the summer that the Spaniard did not fancy competition in north London, but the Blues star says that was not the case Alvaro Morata insists he did not end up at Chelsea due to a reluctance to compete with Harry Kane at Tottenham.Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino claimed over the summer that the Spain international once turned down the opportunity to move to north London as he was concerned about the presence of a striking rival.The Argentine coach said: “Morata talked about myself, in the media he said ‘Mauricio called me’. That was two years ago or more. He said to me: ‘Why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?'” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Morata eventually arrived in England at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues snapping him up in a £70 million agreement with Real Madrid.The 25-year-old maintains that Spurs were never an option for him and has sought to make it clear that he never shunned the opportunity to work with Kane.He told Sky Sports on Pochettino’s claims: “No it’s not true.”I spoke with him and he said he wanted both [of us] to play together, but there was no chance to come to Tottenham.Alvaro Morata Spurs snub Harry Kane“For sure I would like to play with Kane, he’s a big player, one of the best strikers in the world, but in this moment when I spoke with him [Pochettino] there was no chance to leave Real Madrid.”Morata has faced his own challenges at Chelsea, with Antonio Conte having acquired him to fill the boots of international team-mate Diego Costa.”He is a very good player and a good man too. I’m Diego’s friend and when I came here I knew that is was a big responsibility to replace him, but I’ve tried to do well,” Morata added.”Always when we are together in the Spanish team, we talk about football and life. We talk about everything and I always say thanks to Diego.”Morata has netted 12 times in 25 appearances for Chelsea this season and while he is happy with that return, he believes there is still more to come from him.He said: “I can score more goals. I had many chances in the Premier League and Champions League and I need to improve. It’s my first year here but I think I can do better and I need to do that.”Always I can improve something. I’m not perfect, if there’s one thing that I can improve then I try to look for that and work every day to do so.”Morata’s next opportunity to get on the scoresheet could come against Stoke on Saturday, with the Potters set to pay a visit to the defending Premier League champions.last_img read more

Oklahoma State Playing Well In Heat Which Matters More Than You Think

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Earlier this week, Gary Patterson told reporters that he’s not real impressed with his TCU football team right now. This comes off as a little Glenn Spencer-ish (it’s probably not as bad as it sounds), but the point remains that TCU has not responded well to 100 degree temperatures down here in the DFW metroplex.“I can tell you we are not very good on offense. And we don’t know how to fight through heat,” Patterson told Scout. “The first team that I have had in ten years that doesn’t know how to do that. We have had some kids banged up. The bottom line is, we aren’t very good right now, either side of the ball.”So that’s interesting. And it’s interesting to me that coaches are big on how their teams peform in the thick of the summer. It matters, I suppose, because the first 4-6 games are generally played in weather that would keep Eddie Sutton away from the tanning salon for months. Gundy actually mentioned this (the heat, not Eddie) the other day.“We need to practice in the heat,” Gundy told Go Pokes. “We have three games in the afternoon, and I’m guessing the turf will be 130 degrees for each one of those games. Maybe not so hot for the 11 a.m. game, but it could be. We need to practice in the heat. It’s a big difference. We don’t practice as much in the heat during preseason, but we need this prep time to get players adjusted. It takes six or eight practices to adjust to opening up in the heat.”Two of OSU’s first three games will be in September at 2:30. Not exactly pullover weather. The idea that underpins all of this is that this is one measuring stick for how tough a team is. Or that’s how the coaches see it. Fight through this in the summer. Fight through that in fall camp. Overcome an adversity in the first two weeks, and all of a sudden you’re ready for conference play.“We had a good workout today,” Gundy added. “The defense was really aggressive, and I think they’ve improved considerably over the last couple of days. It’s good for us to get out and practice in the heat.”Gary Patterson is concerned about his squad. Mike Gundy is not (so far). That’s a good thing if you’re a Cowboy fan.last_img read more