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IndyCar unveils 2018 race car at auto show in Detroit

IndyCar unveiled its 2018 race car — and Mario Andretti is evidently a fan. “I hear a lot of positives, and there is a negative in all this,” the 77-year-old … Click to Continue »

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Online Marketing Bootcamp, Kuala Lumpur – the Most Epic Marketing Event in APAC

To all those out there in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines: keep your eyes peeled in March! GetResponse is coming over with the most epic marketing event in the area! We’re bringing the successful series of ResponseCon to Kuala Lumpur.

 

ResponseCon: Online Marketing Bootcamp

Starting March 22, get ready for a true two-day online marketing bootcamp. Come over and practice with true online marketing experts.

 

ResponseCon Malaysia Online Marketing Bootcamp

 

Here’s what we’ll talk about during the camp:

  • Email deliverability myth busting by our very own Justyna Bakker and iMoney
  • Landing page design excellence by Fave
  • Marketing automation as the platform for ultimate engagement by iMoney
  • A full day of integrated marketing workshops by education experts from GetResponse – Aldona Kowalczyk and Kamil Jodelko

 

What else will you take away from this marketing event?

You’ll learn more about online marketing during our live optimization sessions and networking hours.

You’ll also #GetInspired by our #ResponseCon case studies – stories of businesses that have used GetResponse, and will be happy to show you just how they achieved success.

And, of course, there will be plenty of time to network and connect with marketing peers, industry influencers, and the GetResponse community.

 

Join us for the bootcamp!

Come and see us in Kuala Lumpur – registration is now open and tickets are going fast. We can’t wait to see you there!

The post Online Marketing Bootcamp, Kuala Lumpur – the Most Epic Marketing Event in APAC appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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How to Choose the Right School: 6 Tips for Parents

If you’re a parent, buying or renting a new home isn’t just about where you’ll tuck the kids into bed at night – it’s also about where you’ll send them off to school in the morning.

So, how can you be sure your dream house feeds into your child’s dream school? You’re going to have to do some homework.

1. Go beyond the numbers

Every state’s education department publishes an online “report card” for each district and school. But just as you wouldn’t buy a house based solely on square footage or listing photos, you shouldn’t select a school just for its test scores and teacher-to-student ratios.

Dr. Steve McCammon, chief operating officer at Schlechty Center, a nonprofit that helps school districts improve student engagement and learning, cautions that most reported test scores are for English and math. They don’t provide insight into arts or music programs or how well a school teaches critical thinking skills.

The right school isn’t something you can determine based on any statistics, numbers or even reputation, says Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners and writer for the Eduwonk blog.

“Don’t go where the highest test scores are or where everybody else says you should go,” he says. “Different kids want different things. Go to the school that fits your kid.”

Adds Rotherham: “The most important things are what does your kid need and what does the school do to meet those needs. Whether you’re talking public, private or charter, you can find excellence and mediocrity in all of those sectors.”

2. Take a school tour

Just as you’d look around potential homes before signing a contract, you’ll want to do the same with potential schools. Call and arrange to tour the school and observe.

“Be suspicious of any school that isn’t into letting you visit,” says Rotherham. Some schools may say visitors are too disruptive, but he calls that a cop-out. “With some fairly basic norms, you can have parents and other visitors around without disrupting learning.”

Sit in on a class or two and take notes. You want to see students who are genuinely engaged, not wasting time or bored. It’s OK for a classroom to have lots of talk and movement if it’s all directed toward a learning goal.

Schools should be relatively noisy places. McCammon says, “If you go into a middle school, and you hear no noises, I would be concerned that the principal is more interested in keeping order than in making sure kids are learning.”

Observe how teachers and administrators interact with the students and vice versa. Do they display mutual respect? “You don’t need to be an education expert,” says Rotherham.

See if student work is on display. “A good school is a school where, regardless of grade level, student work is everywhere,” McCammon says. “It means that place is about kids and their work.”

Talk to kids, too – they’re the subject matter experts on their school. And if you have friends with kids in schools you’re considering, ask them what they like and don’t like about their schools. Kids won’t try to feed you a line. “They’re pretty unfiltered,” Rotherham says.

Check out the physical space, suggests National PTA President Jim Accomando. However, don’t get caught up on the building’s age and overlook the quality of the programs going on inside.

Look for signs that the school community takes pride in the facility. It might not be pristine, but trash on the floors or signs of rampant vandalism are red flags. If you see something that seems off or odd, ask if there’s a plan to address it.

3. Check out the community

Go to a school board meeting for clues about the district. Are parents there because their children are being honored or their work is being showcased? Or are they there because of a problem? Likewise, attend a PTA or PTO meeting, and chat with the parents there. They are likely the most involved “outsiders” and can share school challenges and successes.

Another consideration: the makeup of the students. Chances are, if you opt for a neighborhood school, you’ll find a certain similarity between your kids and their classmates, because there are probably a lot of similarities between you and your neighbors. But a school that has a diverse student body offers a big benefit.

“We live in a diverse society,” Rotherham says. “If you want to prepare your kids for what their lives are going to be like in this country going forward, it’s important for them to have experience with diverse groups.”

Even if your child’s school isn’t particularly diverse, avenues like sports and music give them a chance to interact with students from different backgrounds.

4. Think long term

Today’s first-grader will be heading to middle school before you know it. Unless you plan on moving relatively soon, be aware of the middle and high schools in your district.

“If you pick a house because you love the elementary school, you’d better be psyched by the middle school and high school,” Rotherham says. “Or have some kind of a plan” for post-elementary years.

Of course, there is such a thing as planning too far ahead. The music prodigy wowing your friends at her third-grade recorder performance may decide she hates band and wants to focus on soccer by the time she hits middle school. Rest assured: If upper-level schools in your prospective district are about kids doing great work, they’ll likely be a good fit.

5. Watch for boundary issues

Pay attention to the boundaries of prospective school districts. The houses across the cul-de-sac could be in a different school service area or even a different school district. And boundaries often change. To be sure, call the school district and give them the specific address you’re interested in.

Don’t assume you can fudge an address or get a waiver to enroll your children in a school or a district that doesn’t match your address. Things that were allowed last year may not be this year. If an individual school or district is at capacity, they will get very picky about enrollment outside of the school assigned to your home, which can lead to heartbreak if you find yourself on the wrong side of that boundary line.

6. Look for a place where you feel welcome

Whatever involvement you put into your child’s school will pay off, says Accomando. “If you can be engaged at school, you will understand the pulse of what’s happening there.”

He also says that doesn’t mean getting sucked into a huge commitment. “You can read in your child’s first-grade class. You can hand out water at a fun run or contribute something for a teacher appreciation party at the high school. And when you do, walk the halls and see what’s happening.”

McCammon says good schools should welcome parents as volunteers and visitors. “Look for evidence of parents feeling comfortable and engaging with the school,” he says. The principal should be someone you feel comfortable talking with if there’s a problem.

No matter how welcoming the school, it’s natural to have some butterflies on the first day in a new school. Just as it takes time for a new house to feel like home, it takes time for kids to settle into a new school.

Once they’ve found their way to the restroom without asking directions, made some friends and gotten to know their teacher, they’ll be comfortable with their new learning home. And your research will have been well worth the effort.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Google Attribution. Find out Where Your Conversions Really Come From

Despite the growing awareness of marketers when it comes to analytics and data analysis, it’s sometimes still difficult to answer the question: “Does this channel really work?”. The most popular way to measure conversions was (and still is!) the last-click attribution model, which assigns conversions to the last trackable source. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t reflect the complexity of the purchasing path and the many touchpoints the customers have with a brand.

For example, when a customer first reads about a product on a company blog, then clicks a link in an email to look at it, but finally buys it coming from a Google AdWords ad, the last-click attribution model will assign the conversion only to the last ad, completely ignoring the previous touchpoints.

 

Why Google Attribution?

Marketers need a solution that will help them define the most effective channels taking into account all customer touchpoints, and fully identify the customer’s journey. This way they’ll be able to compare different models, and plan budgets for specific channels to make them as effective as possible. We’re really happy to be one of the first companies in Poland that has access to Google Attribution Beta. And even though the project is still in beta, we’re already benefiting from its huge potential.

 

What is Google Attribution?

Google Attribution began in 2014 when the Mountain View giant purchased Adometry, a promising startup (and a tool) for measuring marketing performance. The tool later transformed into Attribution 360, and was included in the paid Google Analytics 360 Suite.

Today, Google Attribution is a tool that lets you work in 3 steps:

  • data unification (AdWords, Google Analytics, and DoubleClick Search)
  • cross-device, cross-channel, and data-driven attribution (More about data-driven attribution later)
  • user action (easy reporting and optimization)

 

What is Google Attribution?

 

It’s worth mentioning that we currently have two versions of Google Attribution – the free version and the more advanced (and paid) version of Google Attribution 360:

Google Attribution vs Google Attribution 360 Comparison

 

Switch to DDA

Before I present Google Attribution in action, let’s talk about the term that I mentioned earlier – data-driven attribution. It was introduced to the world in 2013 and then included in Google Analytics 360 and Google Attribution 360. Since 2016 all Google AdWords users can use the data-driven model.

The data-driven model of attribution is based on machine learning and indicates which touchpoints affect conversions. Based on non-standard modeling, the data-driven model allocates a fraction of the “conversion credit” to each of the channels included in the conversion path. This model requires the attribution of large amounts of data, so it requires a minimum of 15,000 clicks and at least 600 conversions in the last 30 days. What’s interesting is that after launching this type of conversion attribution, the system also takes into account the data sent before the model change. If you don’t have the required number of conversions, it’s also a good idea to define micro-conversions. These could be e.g. downloads or newsletter signups. This way the model can be scaled down and applied to smaller businesses as well.

 

Google Attribution from the inside

So what does Google Attribution look like? Well, in the current beta phase it’s very intuitive and … simple. Yes, it’s hard to believe (especially when you’ve read all the above ;)), but using Google Attribution won’t be a problem for marketers, regardless of how advanced they are.

In the menu, we have access to 4 features: Analyze, Act, Data, and Admin:

Google Attribution Beta Features

 

The first one is for comparative analysis of attribution models. On the left, you can choose the base model, and on the right – the potential model. You can compare models and see conversions for individual channels:

 

Google Attribution Conversion Types

Image source: Search Engine Land

The next option is Act, where you can select the conversions you want to analyze.

Google Attribution Conversion Feature Act

 

The Data option indicates the source of the data for Google Attribution:

Google Attribution Features Data

 

The last option, Admin includes account settings – where you can change the account name, currency, and time, and add users who will have access to the account.

 

What are the benefits of Google Attribution?

Having access to Google Attribution, we can say that it has met our expectations and convinced us to introduce the data-driven attribution model in our AdWords campaigns.

Moreover:

  • With Google Attribution 360 we know which channels work best when encouraging a customer to take a free trial, upgrade, or buy an account.
  • We know which channels are necessary during the conversion process, and which ones close it.
  • We can improve our marketing budget with information about the role of each channel.
  • In a quick and simple way, we can compare each of the attribution models.

 

Summing up

Google Attribution is the first big step in changing the awareness of marketers and customers when it comes to conversion attribution and the role of assisted conversions. In addition to purely informational purposes, this tool will make things easier not only for analysts or PPC specialists, but primarily for marketers planning campaigns and budgets in their companies.

 

Google Attribution. Find out Where Your Conversions Really Come From.

The post Google Attribution. Find out Where Your Conversions Really Come From appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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10 Things You Need to Do When Buying A Home

A home is often the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your lifetime. In fact, a recent Zillow analysis reports that the typical American homeowner has 40 percent of their wealth tied up in their home.

Several years ago, I wrote a complete guide to financial planning on one index card, which went viral and later became a book: “The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated” (co-written with Helaine Olen).

Now, following up on my original index card, I’ve written a guide on buying a house. Below is the housing index card – a handy resource to print out and take with you as you look at houses or think about buying one, plus some additional advice as you contemplate making the big decision.

1. Buy for the long run. Assume you’ll own your home for at least five years.

A home is a significant investment, not to mention a linchpin of stability. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017, the majority of Americans who sold their homes last year had lived in their home for at least a decade before selling.

Some are even staying for the long haul. Almost half (46 percent) of all homeowners are like me – living in the first home we ever purchased. In short: Buy a home you want to live in – one equipped (or ready to be equipped) with the features and space you need, both now and in the future.

2. Buy to improve your life, not to speculate with your money.

Your home is more than a financial investment; it’s where you sleep, eat, host friends, raise your children – it’s where your life happens.

The housing market is too unpredictable to buy a (primary) home purely because you think it will net a big short-term financial return. You will most likely be living in this home for several years, regardless of how it appreciates, so your first priority should be finding a home that will meet your needs and help you build the life you want.

3. Focus on what’s important to you. Don’t be distracted by features you don’t need.

Today’s housing market is short on inventory, with 10 percent fewer homes on the market in November 2017 than November 2016.

So, focus on finding a home you can afford that meets your needs – but don’t get distracted by shiny features that might break your budget. Nice-to-have features often drive up the price tag for things you don’t particularly value once the initial enjoyment wears off.

Make a list of your basic needs, both for your desired home and for your desired neighborhood. Stick to finding a home that meets these needs, without buying extra stuff that adds up.

4. Determine a budget and stick to it. Don’t look at houses above that budget.

It’s important to set a budget early – ideally before you even start looking at homes. In today’s market, especially in the more competitive markets, it’s incredibly easy to go over budget – 29 percent of buyers who purchased last year did.

The most common culprit? Location. Zillow’s data indicates that urban buyers are significantly more likely to go over budget (42 percent) than suburban (25 percent) or rural (20 percent) buyers.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Local schools matter, and psychologists tell us that a short commute improves your life. But be realistic about your local market and about yourself. Know what you’re willing to compromise on – be it less square footage, home repairs or a different neighborhood.

5. A 20 percent down payment is ideal. If you can’t afford that, consider a smaller down payment, or lower your budget.

If you can afford it, a 20 percent down payment is ideal for three reasons:

  • Buyers who don’t put a full 20 percent down pay a premium, most commonly in the form of private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is less financially punishing than it used to be, given today’s low mortgage rates. A monthly mortgage payment (with PMI) may be lower than a monthly rental payment in many markets – but still.
  • Buyers who put more down upfront typically make fewer offers and buy faster than those who put less down. Zillow research found that buyers with higher down payments make 1.9 offers on average, compared to 2.4 offers for buyers with lower down payments (after controlling for market conditions).
  • A higher down payment reduces your financial risk. You don’t want to owe more money than your house is worth if local markets dip when you need to sell.

6. Keep a six-month strategic reserve after down payment. Stuff happens.

While a down payment is a significant expense, it’s also important to build up a strategic reserve and keep it separate from your normal bank account.

This reserve should cover six months of living expenses in case you get sick, face an unexpected expense or lose your job. A strategic reserve will not only save you from financial hardship in the event of an emergency but also provide peace of mind.

When we accumulated a strategic reserve, my wife and I finally felt ready to build for our future. Without it, we were living from paycheck to paycheck, anxiously managing our cash flow rather than saving or budgeting.

7. Get pre-approved, and if you want to avoid uncertainty down the road, stick with a boring 30- or 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

The pre-approval process requires organizing all your paperwork; documenting your income, debt and credit; and understanding all the loan options available to you. It’s a bit of a pain, but it saves time later. Pre-approval also shows sellers that you’re a reliable buyer with a strong financial footing. Most importantly, it helps you understand what you can afford.

There are a variety of mortgage types, and it’s important to evaluate all of them to see which is best for your family and financial situation. Those boring 30- and 15-year mortgages offer big advantages.

The biggest is locking in your mortgage rate. In short: A 30-year fixed mortgage has a specific fixed rate of interest that doesn’t change for 30 years. A 15-year fixed mortgage does the same.

These typically have lower rates but higher monthly payments, since you must pay it off in half the time. Conventional fixed-rate mortgages help you manage your household budgeting because you know precisely how much you’ll be paying every month for many years. They’re simple to understand, and current rates are low.

One final advantage is that they don’t tempt you with a low initial payment to buy more house than you can afford.

8. Comparison shop to get the best mortgage.

Though a home is the biggest purchase many of us will ever make, most home buyers don’t shop around for a mortgage (52 percent consider only a single lender).

I certainly didn’t. This did save me some annoying phone calls and hassle, but it cost me $40 or $50 every month, for years. The difference of half a percentage point in your mortgage rate can add up to thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan. It’s important to evaluate all the available options to make sure you’re going with the lender who meets your needs – not just the first one you contact.

The three most important factors to buyers are that the lender offers a loan program that caters to their specific needs (76 percent), has the most competitive rates (74 percent) and has a history of closing on time (63 percent).

9. Spend no more than a third of your after-tax income on housing (unless you live in an especially pricey market).

It’s better to regret spending too little on your home than spending too much. One-third of your after-tax income is a manageable amount. This isn’t always possible if you live in a place like San Francisco or New York, but it’s still a good yardstick for where to be.

10. When getting ready to buy, always be willing to walk away.

Buying a home is a time-consuming, stressful but ultimately rewarding endeavor – if you end up closing on a home that meets your needs. But it’s important to manage your expectations in case you don’t immediately find a home you can afford with the features you need.

Always be prepared to walk away if the sellers don’t accept your offer, the home doesn’t pass a rigorous inspection or the timing isn’t right. Hold fast to your list of must-haves, stick to what you can afford and don’t overreach or settle.

It’s no tragedy to miss out on any particular house. Remember that you’re playing the long game. You want to be happy 10 years from now.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s brunch date included … what? Startled Twitter users react.

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Educate Your Way to Sales Success with Our Content Marketing Certification

What is content marketing but a way to educate and help your potential customers without focusing on sales at all, let alone the hard sell. Well, it’s also a bit more than that, as you’ll learn in our content marketing certification course.

This course helps you dive into the nitty gritty of content marketing – blogging, webinars, videos, content distribution & promotion, and measurement. You’ll also learn why content marketing can be strikingly effective, even with a minimal financial investment.

You’ll learn from some of the industry’s top experts in the world about all the details that go into content marketing that’s well done. People like:

  • Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group
  • Andrew Davis, keynote speaker and author
  • Jamie Turner, CEO of 60 Second Marketer

Brenner and Davis were recently named as two of the top business speakers to hire and see in 2018 in the Huffington Post. Turner often appears on CNN to discuss marketing and business. They are some of the world’s top experts in marketing. Additionally, you’ll learn from some of our own GetResponse marketing experts.

What will you learn through the certification program?  Things like:

  • How to research and engage your audience
  • How to develop content and editorial strategies
  • How to write a great blog post
  • Running a webinar as content marketing
  • Content distribution
  • Content marketing measurement

And you’ll learn this through:

  • 25 lessons, with…
  • 8 instructors, and…
  • 174 minutes (almost three hours) of training time

 

Why get certified?

The GetResponse Digital Marketing Certification offers four certifications (email marketing, marketing automation, content marketing, and landing page optimization). It is unique in the industry for its inclusion of experts in their fields, as well as GetResponse’s own experts.

We included a content marketing certification because it is one of the most important ways to help move your prospects along in their customer journeys, and it is a marketing method that grows every day. Certification can help you prove yourself and your expertise as you grow your knowledge and skills.

Sign up for our content marketing certification!

content marketing certification

The post Educate Your Way to Sales Success with Our Content Marketing Certification appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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Sainz takes lead of Dakar Rally after Peterhansel crashes

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Intruders who broke into NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress’ home face more charges

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