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Gravitational-wave observatory gets back to spotting spacetime weirdness

After months offline, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is up and running again.

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NASCAR finds title sponsor in energy drink

NASCAR announced Thursday it has agreed to a multi-year deal with Monster Energy to be the sport’s top series’ entitlement sponsor. Terms of the agreement, which was announced at a … Click to Continue »

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The 20 Best Email Marketers You Should Follow And Steal From

Despite its cost effectiveness and superior return on investment (ROI), many of us still struggle to unlock the benefits of email marketing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know exactly what the very best email marketers are doing, unearth their secrets… and steal ‘em?

That’s exactly what this post contains. Here are 20 of the best email marketers to follow right now (along with a standout share linking to one of their best resources or recommendations). Just don’t tell them I sent you.


1. Susan Su: @susanfsu


Warm, witty, and wise beyond her years, Susan Su is a partner and content chief at 500 Startups, a seed funding and startup accelerator with a global footprint. Her resume includes past gigs with the heavy hitters like Google, AppSumo, hi5, and

Susan – also an accomplished Ashtanga Yoga practitioner – is the brains behind Email for Startups, an Ultimate Email Playbook that offers over forty proven scripts for a variety of email campaign types. She’s a direct response copywriter from top to bottom and her Twitter feed is a melting pot of humorous anecdotes and trending digital marketing news.


2. Ramit Sethi: @ramit



Everyone’s favorite finance guru, Ramit Sethi is the bestselling author and CEO of I Will Teach You to be Rich, a multi-million-dollar online business. His uncanny ability to connect with his audience via an uber-conversational tone has won him a community of raving fans.

Ramit is obsessed with all things growth hacking, email marketing, and personal development. From sharing pertinent productivity tips to celebrating the success stories of his Zero to Launch course graduates, this natural networker knows how to entertain and empower his online followers.


3. Noah Kagan: @noahkagan



Noah Kagan has two primary passions: being an entrepreneur and eating tacos.

The man behind OkDork and the Chief Sumo at AppSumo, Noah has a knack for email lead generation, self-exploration, and growth hacking. His commitment to research, sense of humor, and appealing honesty combine to position him as the perfect mentor to guide those entrepreneurs who want to “kick more ass.”


4. Scott Oldford: @scottoldford



Scott Oldford is not afraid to fail and learn.

The founder of Infinitus – a premier lead generation company – Scott survived entrepreneurial meltdown and now he’s dedicated to unlocking the creativity and spurring the growth of other entrepreneurs.

With over 12 years of entrepreneurial experience under his belt (and still in his mid-twenties), Scott understands what makes businesses tick. His customized “Sidewalk, Slow Lane, Fast Lane” formula has revolutionized online marketing funnels. He also owns one of the most profitable Facebook groups, Limitless Business, an application-based community for supportive entrepreneurs who are ready to take action.


5. Ross Simmonds: @TheCoolestCool



Ross Simmonds is the enterprising founder of Foundation Inc. (a content consulting service), Hustle & Grind (an ecommerce store), and Crate (a social media curation platform).

Ross has one simple goal: to inspire his audience to steer their own destiny. He creates guides and products that bring your dreams to life. Ross’s uber-popular newsletter is read by more than 3,000 subscribers. He’s also the author of Stand Out: The Content Guide for Entrepreneurs, a manifesto for creating compelling content marketing campaigns.


6. Tommy Walker @tommyismyname

Tommy Walker wears multiple many hats: he’s the editor-in-chief of Shopify Plus blog, a content writer for Unbounce and CrazyEgg, a contributing writer for MarketingProfs, a writer for Smashing Magazine and ProBlogger, an online marketing consultant, and the host of Inside the Mind.

Tommy gathers and creates some of the most trustworthy and proven techniques from the worlds of conversion-rate optimization, search engine optimization, multi-channel marketing, branding, segmentation, A/B Testing, ecommerce and blogging.


7. Sol Orwell: @sol_orwell



In the midst of the internet’s echo-chamber rises Sol Orwell’s unforgettable voice: distinct, daring, droll, and delightful. Sol is the founder of, a multi-million-dollar site dedicated to exploring the science behind health, nutrition, supplements, and fitness. His article on how he raised $100,000 in sales via email segmentation is required reading.

Sol shares his favorite articles on entrepreneurship, branding, fitness, website optimization and – well – cookies. In fact, if you ever reach out, start with the hashtag #CookieLife, just don’t mention “raisins.”


8. Peep Laja: @peeplaja



Peep Laja is the charismatic godfather of the most popular conversion optimization blog online, ConversionXL. A firm believer in evidence based marketing, Peep has a flair for skyrocketing the conversion rate and revenue using a combination of data analysis and customer research. His Twitter feed is an ode to the best of the best in internet marketing.

If you haven’t signed up for his landing page course, stop reading this and go do it right now. From deeply researched articles to no-bulls*** truths about digital marketing, Peep’s carefully vetted shares promise to drive continuous and cost-effective business growth for his audience.


9. Joanna Wiebe: @copyhackers



I dare you to not open an email from word alchemist Joanna Wiebe, co-founder of the go-to “conversion copywriting” site Copyhackers and creator of the 10X Emails course.

Within inboxes full of stale, scuzzy, or spammy emails, Joanna’s messages stand out with their imaginative play on words, addictive personality, and masterful understanding of psychological triggers. Joanna’s social channels throb with similar artistic vision. The “Copy Pop” visuals that she shares on Twitter, in particular, will rouse you to put your best copy forward.


10. Sujan Patel: @sujanpatel



Sujan Patel started selling at the age of seven. A dynamic and data-driven growth marketer, Sujan is the co-founder of a content marketing agency called Web Profits. He’s also a prolific writer with bylines in prestigious publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc, and an eBook — 100 Days of Growth – that has sold over 30,000 copies.

Scroll down Sujan’s social shares to find a ton of material about growth hacking, content marketing, website optimization, and ecommerce. Although he doesn’t identify himself as an email marketer, he is. In fact, he even tricked Unbounce’s Oli Gardner into writing back to an autoresponder.


11. Morgan Brown: @morganb



Morgan Brown is genuinely in love with his craft. He’s the COO of Inman – a leading real estate news publication – and the producers of Inman Connect – the premier real estate technology event. Even if you aren’t in real-estate, I can’t recommend signing up for their newsletter enough. Inside are some of the best, most engaging headlines you’ll find online.

Morgan translated his passion for “user acquisition, user retention and revenue growth” into Startup Growth Engines, a book that analyzes the growth hacking techniques of today’s most successful startups. Not surprisingly, Morgan is an avid sharer of growth marketing techniques, conversion optimization techniques, and social media.


12. Hiten Shah: @hnshah



Hiten has founded two of the most reputable SaaS companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. His weekly email newsletter titled Saas Weekly is a frequently cited source for anyone with a passion for the industry.

Hiten’s social shares reveal his love for startups, branding, social media, fundraising, pitching, network and search engine optimization. His retweeted inspirational quotes about self-growth and business management will supply you with the strength to create a life of your choice surrounded by people you admire.


13. Hana Abaza: @HanaAbaza



Hana Abaza is the Head of Strategy for Uberflip, a platform for optimizing and personalizing content experiences at every stage of the buyer’s journey. She’s also the host of Flip the Switch, a weekly podcast from Uberflip that “features enlightening conversations with the brightest marketing minds.”

Hana has an extremely successful career in diverse marketing roles. She puts her knack for simplifying complex technical aspects to good use as a writer, a social media marketer, and a content consultant. Hana’s social shares represent a thoughtful blend of tech news, the state of women in business, social media, content marketing, and psychology.


14. Michael Katz: @MichaelJKatz



The founder of Blue Penguin Development, Michael Katz is one of the most highly sought after email marketing consultants. He has a peerless talent for weaving stories from his life into top-notch marketing. In fact, Michael has published almost 400 issues of “The Likeable Expert Gazette,” a twice monthly newsletter and podcast that reaches more than 6,000 subscribers in over 40 countries.

Although Michael’s Twitter timeline is less visual than most others on this list, it’s chock full of insights into email newsletter best practices, authentic selling, and business storytelling. A dash of humor and a dollop of heart – that’s Michael Katz in a nutshell.


15. Ian Brodie: @ianbrodie



Ian Brodie is the author of Email Persuasion and – despite not being a “natural salesperson” – he has seen tremendous success in the last two decades through committed learning, hands-on experience, and an unwavering focus on forging trustworthy partnerships. He’s especially passionate about helping small firms and solopreneurs – aka the underdogs – understand the psychology of consumer persuasion.

Ian shares the most up-to-date information on email marketing, link building, client generation, guest blogging, and content marketing. Jump into this information-rich rabbit hole of one of the foremost experts in email marketing.


16. Nate Green @TheNateGreen



Nate Green loves to create products and services that help others. A likeable writer and fitness expert, Nate shares strategies, stories, and struggles that will galvanize you to change. His weekly emails are read by thousands of subscribers who appreciate his sincere desire to take care of them. In return, they shower him with their wholehearted loyalty.

Nate’s impassioned attitude extends to social media too. Walk along with him as he shows off his love for escapades, entrepreneurship, calling out unethical marketing practices, and delicious coffee. He proves that, sometimes, good guys do finish first.


17. Kristin Bond @EmailSnarketing



As the founder of Women in Email – “a professional organization with the goal of promoting leadership” – Kristin Bond’s social presence is equal parts sparkle, sass, and strategy. She’s also the Senior Email Marketing Manager of Girls Scouts of the USA and owns a lucrative freelance email consulting business.

Kristin’s timeline is sprinkled with real-world examples of good and bad email marketing. She blows kisses at ingenious email marketing practices with just as much enthusiasm as she hurls invectives at shoddy campaigns.


18. Jeanne Jennings: @jeajen



For more than 15 years, Jeanne Jennings – a partner at CohereOne – has eaten, slept and breathed email marketing. Her unique approach of using direct-response marketing techniques to enhance the effectiveness of email campaigns sets her apart. In addition, she’s on the board of directors of the Email Experience Council and is a regular contributor at multiple sites.

Jeanne’s dedication has been amply rewarded with notable mentions in multiple “Top Email Marketing Influencers” lists, including those of World Data, and Litmus. Newbies and experts will benefit from Jeanne’s progressive tips on improving email marketing metrics.


19. Dan OShinsky: @danoshinsky



Who better to demonstrate the rationale behind viral email newsletters than Dan Oshinsky, the Director of Newsletters at Buzzfeed?

Dan understood the power of email when, as an aspiring journalist in middle school, his random email request for Washington National hockey tickets was fulfilled. Today, he leverages his developed skills by “aggressively promoting newsletters at the bottom of most posts.”

Dan is a risk taker with a zest for learning. His Twitter feed emulates the versatility of Buzzfeed by covering a gamut of topics, from sports to social media.


20. Bill McCloskey @BillMcCloskey



We saved the Godfather of Email Marketing for last. Bill McCloskey – named as one of the 50 Marketing Leaders Over 50 You Should Know by CMO Magazine – was instrumental in the mainstream acceptance of email as a promotional channel.

Bill is the founder of Only Influencers, the world’s most trusted community of email marketers, and the Email Innovations Summit, the first conference to focus solely on email marketing. Only Influencers, in particular, has become an in-depth and invaluable resource for both newcomers and veterans of the email marketing industry.

Bill highlights the contributions of prominent email marketers, along with curated articles about the industry from across the web, on social media. A must-follow.


Did I miss anyone?

Can you think of any other must-follow email marketing geniuses? Drop your recommendations in the comments.

The post The 20 Best Email Marketers You Should Follow And Steal From appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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12 Security Tips for Living Alone Safely

Living alone has its benefits. No race to the bathroom to get ready in the morning. Sole control of TV and takeout choices. A pants/no-pants policy, as you see fit. But there are also some drawbacks, security not least among them.

The number of people living alone is on the rise. “The most recent [census] reports show that around 14 percent of Americans live alone,” says Sarah Brown, a security expert at Safewise, “and it’s been increasing more each year.”

It’s mildly depressing and a tad unfair, but the fact is, when you’re living alone, you’re often seen as a more vulnerable target for home invasion. And it makes sense: when you’re solo, it’s you versus intruder(s), no best friend, roommate, or partner – who’s also incidentally a Jiu-Jitsu champ – to help defend your turf.

Most people don’t have the time to set up an elaborate “Home Alone”-style party every night in an attempt to deter criminal activity. But everyone should make time to gather expert security tips for living alone.

So whether you’re loving the freedom of solo domestic life or bunking with seven of your best friends, here are a dozen ways to make it safer.

Light it right

Lighting is a huge safety factor – just get it right. “Outdoor lighting is a huge deterrent for intruders, or even just people snooping around,” says Brown. “But don’t leave your lights on for 24 hours a day. It can actually attract burglars to leave your lights on during daylight hours.”

The same goes for interior lighting. “It’s natural for people to have the lights off in the day and on at night. Anything else can be a signal that you aren’t home,” notes Brown.

Extra lights on when you’re alone at night can create the illusion someone else is there. (Just keep it to one or two rooms, because, you know … the environment.)

Go get gadgets!

Motion sensors and timers are cheap ways to create the illusion of more occupants, but there are other gadgets you might not have heard of.

David Nance, a personal safety expert and CEO of SABRE, recommends something like a TV light simulator. “This is a little device about the size of a coffee cup, using the same amount of energy as a nightlight, that mimics screen and light changes produced by a real HDTV.”

Meaning if you’re upstairs taking a shower, you can create the illusion that someone else is downstairs watching TV.

Make like Kevin McCallister

The “Home Alone” idea actually isn’t ridiculous. Nobody needs to know you’re alone. Things like lighting and gadgets can help, but there are also some simple tricks.

For women especially, “an amazing psychological and simplistic deterrent is to take a pair of men’s size 13 or 14 work boots and leave them in front of the door,” says “Security Sensei” Jordan Frankel of GlobalSecurityExperts. Another simple deterrent: “a giant dog’s water bowl.”

The principle applies when you’re home with a stranger, too. “Whenever you’re having someone over to repair your home, you should invite at least one other person over,” says Brown.

Another nod to the power of the pooch: “Even having a dog with you can decrease the likelihood that you become a target,” she adds.

Lock safety #1: Don’t make assumptions

We tend to trust locks implicitly. And when we move somewhere new, most of us don’t do a lock overhaul.

“Just like when you check into a hotel, they give you a key and most people assume ‘I’m safe. I can lock my door,'” says veteran security expert Chris McGoey, aka “Crime Doctor.”

“But you have no idea who has the keys. In an apartment situation, you’re also assuming your landlord has changed the locks, but that assumption is false in many cases. Landlords often don’t change locks. There could be 20 keys out there,” McGoey advises.

Hound the landlord once you move in, and make sure those locks are new.

Lock safety #2: Get reinforcements

You’re living single, you want a strong door – and a deadbolt often isn’t enough. “They’re designed to keep an honest person out, not a dishonest person,” says Frankel.

His company produces what they call OnGARD, basically a door brace that takes your standard door to the next level. “When the two pieces [of the door brace] are mated together, no one can kick in the door from the outside, because at this point the door can withstand up to 1,800 pounds of force.”

Lock safety #3: Don’t forget to actually lock it!

“Always lock your doors,” says Nance. “Even if you’re just running to get your mail or take out the trash. It only takes someone a split second to slip into your home or apartment while your back is turned.”

And whatever time you’re home alone, lock it up. “Nearly half of all intruders enter through the front or back door,” says Brown, “and that could be any time of day.”

Burglars pose a threat at all times of day.
Afraid of the dark? Remember burglars pose a threat at all times of day.

Up your window game

Frankel actually calls windows “the weakest link in your security plan.” He doesn’t recommend bars, however, as “they can be a fire hazard if you’re trying to get out.”

Instead, Frankel recommends installing “high-quality glass protection film,” which basically “disperses the shock wave” of someone trying to smash the glass to the frame itself. “And if the film fails, it’ll still keep the glass in a spider-web effect, meaning if they try to continue to get in, they’re going to be injured by something very sharp.”

If you’re living alone on a ground floor, a reinforced window is your best friend.

No security system? Fake it ’til you make it

“A lot of burglars look for signs of heightened security before deciding on a target,” says Nance. And when you’re living alone, a security system is a great investment.

If you can’t afford one, you still have options. “If a security system isn’t in your budget at the moment, we still encourage you to display security signs or decals, as well as fake security cameras.”

“Signage is very important,” Frankel agrees. “A sticker is better than nothing. And even going a step further, you can get that kitschy signage that says stuff like ‘Forget the Dog But Beware of the Owner.’ If burglars want an easy target, you won’t seem like one.”

Use the Internet and social media wisely

You may be living single, but there are online communities that can keep you informed about crime in the neighborhood. Nance recommends you “check police blotters …. There are also a number of websites you can use, such as CrimeReports.” Community message boards are also a useful tool.

There are also online ways to be less vulnerable, like not bragging about your upcoming vacation, and the little-known option of opting out of Google Earth.

“I highly recommend this,” says Frankel. “Through Google satellites, every home in the U.S. could be visible to a burglar.” Basically, someone could theoretically case your place from far away with a laptop and a cup of cocoa.

“Contact Google and have your home removed,” Frankel advises. The image of your home will remain, but appear blurred.

Know thy neighbor

Just because you’re on your own doesn’t mean you have to be alone.

“Always get to know your neighbors,” says Brown. “The more people invested in your lives, the more likely they are to report an incident they see, to call the police if you need help, to watch your house while you are on vacation, or even to let you back into your home if you ever get locked out.”

Chatting with the folks next door can mean you’ve got someone on your side in an emergency.

This assumes, of course, your neighbors themselves are trustworthy, and that decision often comes down to a matter of instinct and observation. Speaking of which …

Get your nose out of your phone!

Situational awareness is a great defense, but especially if you’re out alone – and heading home alone – it’s super important to pay more attention to your surroundings than your Instagram feed.

“Do an experiment for yourself,” says McGoey. “Go out in public and look at people. A lot of people have their heads down, looking at their phones.” Not paying attention makes you an incredibly easy target.

“Just paying attention goes a long way,” says McGoey. “Most victims never see the perp coming, and it’s one of the primary reasons they were selected.”

Psychology is half the battle

Even if you are a black belt, your individual mindset is an essential defense in solo security.

“Everyone I’ve ever interviewed in interrogation rooms, they all say the same thing,” says Frankel. “The person’s home they broke into, that person had the mentality ‘It won’t happen to me.’ It always happens to somebody else, until it happens to you.”

This isn’t intended to stoke the flames of paranoia and end all neighborhood block parties as we know it, but especially if you’re living alone, it’s important to have a certain amount of vigilance mixed in with your neighborliness.

After all, when you’re living alone, you’re your own best defense. (But a huge guard dog would be awesome, too.)


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Did Pluto's icy heart sink into that depression all by itself?

Scientists propose a new model for the formation of the ice-filled crater that is Pluto’s iconic heart.

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Be dazzled at Speedway Christmas

Load up the mini-van and head over to Concord to be amazed by over 3 million Christmas lights during Speedway Christmas. On a 3.75-mile course, you will drive on the … Click to Continue »

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Can Facebook Democratize Omnichannel Retail?

Content and social media marketing isn’t just for e-merchants. You might be utilizing the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to build awareness of your high street presence, and may very well be marketing your wares across these channels as well.

Furthermore, you’ll have also at some point made the wise decision to open up an e-store of some description to boost your sales. Not everyone can make it to your physical store, after all – but in the digital age that doesn’t and shouldn’t prevent someone 50, 100 or even 1,000 miles away enjoying your brand and your products.

So far, so good, right? But let’s put those distant customers aside for one moment (don’t worry, they’re safe – they’re not going anywhere), for today I want to focus on the omnichannel experience for your in-store customers.


What is omnichannel sales and marketing?

A good question. Before we answer it, however, I think it’s helpful to understand what omnichannel isn’t – and it isn’t multi-channel.

Multi-channel sales and marketing describes the scenario when you’ve got multiple channels through which you market and sell your wares. So, for instance, you have your high street store, your ecommerce site, and perhaps a few items on something like eBay. Your customers know that they can access your wares through any one of these channels – if you haven’t got what they want on eBay, they’ll try your website, and if it’s not on display there, then perhaps they’ll phone up your store and speak to a sales associate.

This is the multi-channel approach.

The fundamentals of omnichannel essentially amount to the same thing – but with a key difference. With omnichannel, your customers have access your exact same inventory, no matter which channel they go through to connect with your brand and your store.

Indeed, moving into omnichannel sales and marketing means that you’re giving your customers the exact same experience no matter if they’re in-store or on their mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop.


The omnichannel revolution

Omnichannel sales and marketing has come about in response to the evolution of the smartphone. High street retailers like yourself will of course have noticed the change over the past 5, 10 or 15 years.

As consumers, our smartphones have become the device of choice for all manner of digital activities – not least shopping. When considering a purchase, our smartphone is our research tool, perhaps first and foremost – whether we’re at home or actually in the store. Indeed, Think With Google reports that a whopping 71% of shoppers who use their mobiles to conduct product research and price comparisons whilst in-store say that these devices have become an integral part of the overall shopping experience.

However, our smartphone usage has gone far beyond research. These days, we’re increasingly expecting to be able to complete more and more phases of the shopping cycle using whichever device it is we happen to have to hand.

Indeed, the multi-channel marketer might announce an in-store promotion on Facebook, and invite customers to come down and have a browse through the shelves. But the omnichannel marketer knows that this isn’t good enough for many modern consumers. They want to be able to simply click through on their mobiles to access the promotion, buy the item immediately, and then have the option to either have it delivered or go down to the store at some point later and pick it up themselves (i.e. buy online pick-up in-store).

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that this is a nice idea – but there’s no way that we could pull a stunt like this off.

Well, up until recently you’d have been right. Indeed, omnichannel sales and marketing, as you may suspect, has really been the reserve of the giant retail chains that have the money and resources to develop their own mobile applications for their customers, with online efforts underpinned by sophisticated digital infrastructures managing inventories in real-time.

But, back in September, Facebook has made what’s perhaps the first significant step towards the democratization of omnichannel marketing for all high street retailers with Facebook Dynamic Ads.




Facebook Dynamic Ads

Facebook Dynamic Ads are an exciting new innovation from everyone’s favorite social network. Rather than paraphrasing, I’m simply going to quote a couple of paragraphs from the announcement of the launch on the Facebook for Business blog so you know exactly what we’re talking about.

“Many retailers already use Facebook ads to promote their in-store products, but until now it hasn’t been feasible to customise creative for every shop location based on local product availability, pricing or promotions. Marketing out-of-stock products or inaccurate local prices can lead to a bad customer experience and wasted impressions. Now, with dynamic ads for retail, campaigns can dynamically showcase products available in the shop that’s closest to the person seeing the ad.

“For example, if a fashion retailer wishes to advertise a nationwide sales event happening at every shop, dynamic ads for retail will only showcase products that are in-stock at a nearby shop and display the price found at that location. As the ads are linked to the local product catalogue, if a product sells out in one shop the campaign automatically adjusts so that people in that region will no longer see it advertised. Product selection for each ad can be optimized based on people’s online and mobile shopping behaviour.”


This sort of capability – and indeed this level of service – has up until now only been available for retailers with the sorts of budgets that afford them to build branded and bespoke applications of this nature for themselves. But now Facebook is working hard to enable practically every retailer with a local bricks-and-mortar presence to enter the world of omnichannel sales and marketing. And this is one giant leap towards the democratization of the practice.

Add to this the recent introduction (June 2016) of Facebook’s Store Locator that enables retailers to create Local Awareness adverts to help bring people through the doors, and we can see that the future of social media marketing – or at least Facebook marketing – for high street retailers lies in omnichannel. And, for this blogger at least, that is one very exciting prospect indeed.


Over to you

Facebook Dynamic Ads are currently being tested by some of the larger retailers, including Argos, Macy’s and Target. Though we’re promised that the “objective will become more widely available to eligible clients in the coming weeks.”

Please let us know if you have managed to get started with Dynamic Ads yet, and of course please share your thoughts about the future of omnichannel democratization in the comments below.

The post Can Facebook Democratize Omnichannel Retail? appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

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An Insider's Look at Santa's House

When Santa claimed his home on Zillow, updated the home’s facts, and uploaded photos and a video walkthrough, we wanted to learn more about his house. We tracked down the people in charge of Santa’s 2013 remodel – interior designer Mary N. Bright and general contractor Doug Fir – and asked them to spill the details.

What motivated you to take on this project?

Mary N. Bright (MNB): Santa is synonymous with the holiday season. He has inspired people around the world to change their home decor for at least one month out of the year. How could I say no to a challenge like that?

Doug Fir (DF): This is a man who appreciates fine craftsmanship and woodworking. One look at his gorgeous log home, and I knew I had to get my hands on it. This was my chance to impress the jolly old elf and get on the nice list for good.

How did you incorporate Santa’s style into his house?

DF: I didn’t want to compete with the rustic vibe of the cabin that Santa himself built. So I found ways to enhance that atmosphere with outdoor elements. I brought grandeur to the mantle with floor-to-ceiling river rock, since the fireplace is such a large part of Santa’s background.

More windows and skylights were incorporated into the new open concept design, making the home feel more spacious – especially for his many tiny guests.

MNB: I wanted to meld Santa’s iconic festive style with his wintery wonderland surroundings. That’s why you’ll find so much fresh greenery, knotty pine furniture and cozy linens all throughout. I call the look Falalala Fabulous.

Santa's Kitchen Table

Which area of the home proved to be the most challenging?

DF: Definitely the garage, which was converted from a rinky-dink one-sleigh space to a grease monkey’s dream. Not only does Santa have dedicated parking for his all-weather sleigh, but he has room to work on it, too.

He was very specific about his needs for the area. I had to create space to accommodate a specialty lift, as well as NORAD Tracks Santaincorporate an intricately wired system for the Elf Launch Staff who communicate with NORAD* for sleigh-tracking purposes on Christmas Eve. Who knew he was such a garage enthusiast?

MNB: For me, it was the living room. Doug created this masterful fireplace and I needed to match its stateliness with decor that could keep up – without overpowering the space.

That’s why I mixed in just a few statement pieces around that mantle: 17th-century German nutcrackers, lanterns Santa used on a camping trip with Teddy Roosevelt, and a lovely painting by Mrs. Claus herself.

Santa's Living Room

What inspired your designs?

MNB: There were so many wonderful pieces around the home that Santa had picked up from his world travels. One item that served as my muse was an apron with a Scandinavian print that he got for Mrs. Claus in Sweden. That helped inspire some of the Nordic elements that you see in the kitchen.

Santa's Kitchen

What’s your favorite element of the design?

DF: Before Santa hired me, the area above the dining and living rooms was closed off. Opening it up gave the house a whole new look, with more room to breathe. So I’d have to say the lofted ceilings is my favorite feature in the house.

MNB: Doug’s addition of the lofted ceilings allowed me to suspend a custom-made light fixture over the dining room table. I adore that piece. I commissioned it to be modeled after the property’s landscape.

Santa's Vaulted Ceilings

Want the full tour? See more photos of Santa’s house. 

Feeling inspired to put festive cheer in your home?

See how you can get Santa’s look with our five decor ideas for the holidays.

Get Santa's Look In Your Home


*Endorsement by the United States Department of Defense or NORAD is not intended nor implied.


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How can we keep aliens and Earthlings from contaminating each other?

Last year, more than 100 researchers convened at a three-day summit to identify the risks and possible solutions of biological contamination.

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NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing to field 2 teams in ’17

Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday it will drop to a two-car team in NASCAR’s Cup series in 2017. Trevor Bayne will drive the team’s No. 6 Ford and Ricky Stenhouse … Click to Continue »

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