Insights

Simple Tricks for Cutting Back on Sugar

Consuming a lot of sugar contributes to a lot of diseases and disorders in the human body. Keeping track of how much sugar you are consuming is an essential part of healthy living. Ideally, taking in large quantities of sugar makes you susceptible to many life-long health conditions, for instance, diabetes. Also, a recent study done in America shows that sugar contributes to obesity more than fats.

While must of us know that excessive sugar is not good for our teeth and the rest of our bodies, cutting back is easier said than done. With that said, it’s not impossible. The following are several helpful tricks that may help you cut back on sugar:

Regulate the Pantry

Sugary foods usually trigger overeating, and having many sugary foods inside the pantry may be a disaster for many people. For instance, if you have many cookies inside your pantry, realistically speaking, you will not eat only one cookie. You may even end up eating the whole bag in a single day. Therefore, it would help if you tossed any sugary foods in your pantry to avoid overeating. It is a helpful technique in cutting back on sugar.

Keep Sugary Drinks Away

One of the worst habits you could have is drinking a lot of soda, flavored coffee, or cocktails. All these drinks contain loads of sugar. If you continue to consume them for a substantial amount of time, they may end up messing with your overall health. Since it’s harder to notice the difference between real sugar and artificial sweeteners when a beverage is cold, consider iced coffee instead of hot. Likewise, enjoy cold carbonated drinks with zero sugar. This way, you will have control over the amount of sugar you consume while still enjoying your favorite beverages.

Learn More About Nutrition Labels

Most nutrition labels may contain added sugars into their products. Therefore, you must research the nutrition products you are using and see how much sugar they contain. You have to do research even for essential items like sauces or bread, and be sure to go for the products with the lowest sugar levels. However, fruits and dairy products contain natural sugars, and they should be of no concern to you, provided you are taking them in regulated quantities. You can be able to identify the added sugars on the ingredient list of the products.

Make Low Sugar Desserts

Making low sugar desserts is also a helpful trick in cutting back on sugar. While many people always have a sweet tooth and would like to eat sickly sweet desserts rather than reduced sugar options, finding ways to prepare a low sugar dessert may be exceptionally helpful. Desserts like dark covered almonds, or frozen bananas blended with cinnamon, are okay. If you make such, you will be able to cut sugar and boost your overall well-being significantly.

Spice Your Food

Spice is an incredible tool in adding taste to your food while at the same time not adding sugar. You can try using spices for your food most of the time instead of using sauces, which might contain added sugars. Moreover, spices do not add calories, unlike a sauce. With this in mind, using spices instead of sauce is another nifty trick to cut back on sugar.

When you reduce your sugar intake, it helps you live a healthy lifestyle free from diseases and many disorders like obesity caused by excessive sugar intake. Be sure to follow our guide, and you will cut back on sugar significantly.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Best Google Chrome Extensions for Small Businesses

Google Chrome has arrays of extensions that you can use to scale your business. You can use them to send emails, automate tasks, and safeguard your documents online. The extensions work on your PC or Mac once you have downloaded them. Here are the top applications that are of immense benefit to your business.

1. Todoist

Todoist is a useful tool that will help you organize all tasks in your organization. You will work with other workers as a team to complete all the jobs. Plus, you can assign individuals to work based on their skills and talents as well. As the boss, you can track the tasks regardless of your location. The highlight is that you can set reminders via Todoist so that you won’t miss out on significant job events.

2. Helium 10

Helium 10 is an Amazon Chrome extension for sellers that help them check prices on various items. You can keep tabs on the cost of specific products in your line of business. Once the prices drop, Helium 10 will alert you so that you can set competitive rates. This way, you will generate profits based on the trends that come with the cost of goods. The best part is that you will get data on Amazon and other global online sellers. You will be ahead of other businesses that trade in the same products as your enterprise.

3. Grammarly

The app is essential since you need to create content from time to time about your company. On that account, Grammarly removes typos and grammar mistakes that make online content appear unprofessional. Once you install it, it automatically corrects all errors when you write to attain polished posts. Your emails will be easy to read and have the correct spelling as well.

4. Buffer

It is a widely used Google Chrome extension that links all your social media accounts. You can advertise your products via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn with one click. The posts become automatic, making social sharing a seamless thing to do. The highlight is that you can track and analyze results to see the number of likes, shares, and comments.

5. Boomerang

Boomerang is the best extension for your email account since it manages the messages that you send or receive. It can delay texts until when you are ready to view them in free time. In addition to that, Boomerang can help you schedule when you want to send emails. You can track messages if you don’t get feedback from your clients. The best part is that you will know if the recipient has read the content or not, thanks to Boomerang.

6. Click & Clean

As part of technology, your business will face risks such as cyberattacks and other cybersecurity breaches. Therefore, you need to protect vital information that you have searched via your browser. Click & Clean is the ideal mechanism to clear history and cookies. It gets rid of cache and typed URLs so that no one can have a wind of what you are doing as part of your venture.

7. Fakespot

If you buy products in bulk online, you need to know if they are authentic or not. Fakespot allows you to determine genuine and fake reviews from customers. This way, you can purchase items that will not discredit your business. The extension pans out the difference between honest and untrue comments about specific goods. You will view the real grades from A to F that show the value or worth of the items that you intend to buy.

DevelopmentMartechSEOStartups

Why San Diego is a Great Location for Tech Startups

Tech startups are some of the hottest companies in existence today. However, there’s always the question of where they should be located. For 2020 and the future, let us take a very close look at why San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups.

Great Location with Relatively Lower Costs

To start things off, San Diego features relatively low costs compared to the rest of California. Let’s not get confused, the price of living is still high. But it is moderately affordable, especially for a startup. An office can be rented at a reasonable price. If you’re willing to commit to several years of rent, these deals are even better. Utilities also aren’t extremely high. On a day to day basis, tech startups will find that they pay less than their counterparts in other cities with a large tech presence. As for your employees, they’ll be spending less as well. Food and transportation costs are very affordable in San Diego. This means that more people are flocking to the city, and your employees will be set up for success in financial regard.

A Strong, Supportive Tech Community

Next in line, San Diego features a strong tech community. There are already many tech startups in the area that make for high competition. In particular, this is a friendly sort of competition. While companies in some industries are fiercely at war with each other, this is not true for the tech industry. Many of these startups work alongside one another and even bounce ideas off each other. As the company across the street makes progress, you’ll want to achieve the same. There are tech festivals and celebrations throughout the year that feature the latest developments. These are fantastic ways to stay up to date with the newest tech and look toward the future. When your startup wins an award or recognition, other businesses throughout the city will respect this achievement for what it is worth.

A Rich Talent Pool

Another factor that is similar to a strong tech community is the number of tech graduates. Thousands of students from nearby universities are looking for internships or their first job out of college. They have completed all the relevant coursework and are more than qualified to take on a startup job. Moreover, they are hungry and have a genuine interest in tech. If you situate your startup in San Diego, you’ll be able to work with all of these graduates. It’s a relationship that goes both ways. You’ll have the best workforce at your fingertips, and your startup will surely see success. At the same time, these graduates will be able to work for a promising startup instead of a company that doesn’t fit their interests.

A Diversity of Resources

Last but not least, the diversity of resources is phenomenal, from San Diego water purification resources like Rayne Water to San Diego billboard companies like Lamar. Solar energy is a thriving business, as well, because San Diego is a city that is highly focused on renewable energy. In particular, solar panels are commonly found on the roofs of many downtown buildings. The Southern California climate is perfect for generating these sorts of renewable energy. It will lower the cost of your electric bill and help the environment at the same time.

That Perfect Weather

Northern California draws a lot of people in the tech industry, but unless you like wearing a jacket most of the year, there’s no comparison to the weather in San Diego. Every few years, another news publication writes an article about how San Diego is the finest place to live. Maybe that’s why the city’s motto is: “America’s Finest City.”

When all is said and done, San Diego is an excellent location for tech startups. It’s nearly the perfect environment for a startup looking to make waves in the tech industry. Take all of the above factors and more into consideration!

DevelopmentInsightsSEO

How to Work With an Outsourcing Company as an In-House Developer

As a developer, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to check every item off your checklist. When these small tasks and items snowball over time, projects end up delayed, things are overlooked, and mistakes are made.

When an in-house team can no longer handle the amount of work and needs extra hands to get projects completed on-time and within budget, it’s time to partner with a software outsourcing provider.

Outsourcing software development helps companies of all sizes and industries accomplish their goals in the most time and cost-efficient manner possible. It also helps relieve some of the stress put on in-house developers by providing them with an external resource and the additional manpower required to get things done and increase overall productivity.

Outsourcing teams act as an extension of your in-house talent to supplement when niche skills, extra developers, or specific expertise is required. However, as a developer working in-house for a company, partnering with an outsourced team may feel like a world of uncertainty even if the help is totally welcomed. After all, you are working closely with a team of strangers from sometimes thousands of miles away (or even on a different continent) on important projects.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. When done correctly, software outsourcing is a great way to help your company grow, succeed, and accomplish more with the help of a third-party team.

Tips for Working with an Outsourced Team

Before beginning any project with a software development outsourcing provider, it’s important that your team sets themselves up for success and fully defines a few items before bringing the new virtual team members into the working environment. While the work is going on, making some simple adjustments and changes to your normal development routine can help make it a smoother process for all involved.

Below are just a few tips for setting your in-house development team up for success when working with an outsourcing company:

  • Before your team starts to work with the outsourced team members, it’s a good idea to establish a leadership hierarchy. This will let your in-house devs know who is responsible for formally checking in with the team on items, who they should go to with questions, and a general game plan for management.
  • You should strive to treat your offshore developers just like an in-house coworker. When you begin working with an offshoring company, employees from that company become your virtual partners. Make the effort to make them feel welcome and like a part of the team. Not only does this boost the overall work morale and foster co-working relationships, but it will also boost productivity levels across the board.
  • Communication is, without a doubt, the backbone of a good outsourcing partnership. Without strong, effective communication from the very start of the working relationship, you are setting yourself up for failure. All project requirements must be set and clear from the beginning. However, just handing over a project explanation and having a few meetings isn’t enough. Daily communication between in-house developers and your outsourcing partner is important to help keep things on track.
    Programs such as Slack and Skype make it easy to communicate in a quick fashion to answer questions in real-time. The programs are a big help when challenges or problems come up as they allow for a timely response. Weekly meetings via voice or video calls are a great way to help bring your team back together for status updates and such. Making communication a top priority when working with an outsourced provider is one of the top ways to be successful in your software development projects.
  • Project management tools are a great way to keep things organized and visible to all team members at all times. When working with a development team that is not fully in the office, it can be difficult to know the status of each individual task for the current project. With a project management tool, such as Asana, Trello, or Basecamp, it’s easy to clearly communicate and assign tasks, determine deadlines, arrange meetings, and set goals or milestones for the projects. These tools help keep questions and answers, comments, and attached files organized and in one place for all of your team members to see. 

As an in-house developer or development team leader, working with a software development outsourcing firm may seem like a daunting task at first. However, these partnerships are incredibly beneficial for your team in terms of both efficiency and productivity. By setting yourself up for success with the right tools and effective communication methods, as well as clear and concise planning, your teams will be able to work together to knock projects out and achieve success.

DevelopmentInsightsSEO

10 Things to Consider When Outsourcing Quality Assurance

If software or website development project is to be successful, it has to go through rigorous quality assurance and testing to ensure that it’s ready for the market. However, this is a tedious and rather time-consuming part of the overall development process. For this reason (and many more), many organizations choose to outsource their quality assurance needs. 

What is quality assurance? One of the most important parts of the software development process, quality assurance (QA) is the process of identifying and maintaining set requirements for the development of reliable products. QA helps to boost a company’s credibility, improves overall workflow efficiency, offers a competitive advantage, and helps boost the customers’ product confidence.

QA outsourcing is when an organization chooses to partner with a third-party QA outsourcing company to handle all of their quality assurance needs. This process not only helps bring a fresh perspective and eyes to the project but also helps expedite the process and ensure that nothing goes unanalyzed. It cuts costs, improves efficiency, and provides organizations with access to quality assurance expertise without the expensive costs associated with hiring in-house.

Many businesses, however, get stuck on how to get started with third-party QA companies. They may know that the process is beneficial and that partnering with another company is something that they should do, but don’t really know where to begin or how to organize things.

Things to Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Quality Assurance

  1. The lowest rate doesn’t mean the lowest total cost nor the best services. – When it comes to outsourcing vendors, sometimes rates sound too good to be true. Unfortunately, it’s likely that they are, in fact, too good to be true. Inexpensive rates and the promise of an enormous virtual team may sound rather enticing, but it’s important to consider all options before signing on the cheapest dotted line.
  2. A thorough and comprehensive Service Level Agreement is a must-have. – A good SLA describes the level of service that an outsourcing vendor will provide in detail. This includes client satisfaction, on-time delivery, the volume of work, system downtime, availability, reporting, project management, timelines, and so on. The SLA should also include the company’s quality assurance process and measures so that organizations know what they are paying for.
  3. Industry experience means a lot in QA. – Every industry vertical has unique business processes and procedures. If a tester or testing team doesn’t have any experience with the industry at-hand, they may slow down QA efforts. A team of professionals who understand how the industry works will not only improve efficiency but also help focus quality efforts to ensure that the areas with the most business impact get the top priority testing slots.
  4. Engagement model selection is important. – During the development of an outsourcing plan, one of the most important decisions for an organization to make is the selection of an engagement model. The main point of this choice is for organizations to decide whether total outsourcing or incremental outsourcing is the right decision. Incremental outsourcing is the process of outsourcing smaller projects to make things more manageable while total outsourcing includes multiple projects with the same vendor.
  5. Communication is everything. – Communication is the key to success with any sort of outsourced project or team, something that’s especially true when it comes to QA outsourcing. Hiring organizations should strive to ensure that they have open channels for any questions that need answering and provide effective, responsive points of contact within their organizations. Factors such as escalation, issue resolution, and reporting are all important aspects of the communication process for QA.
  6. Make sure the culture fits. – A good cultural fit with an outsourcing partner is also very important. The outsourcing team needs to get to know the hiring organization as a whole, the employees, how everyone works together, and other vendors that may work on the project. They should understand the pace at which the team works and how they need to fit within it as well.
  7. Make IP protection a priority. – Companies must ensure that all personally identifiable information is never duplicated, distributed, disclosed, or made available to third parties in any manner. Any outsourcing partner needs to have security testing standards that will prevent any unauthorized access or misuse of data for hiring companies.
  8. Ask about the technology framework and best practices. – Before hiring a QA outsourcing provider, every organization should ask about the unique intellectual property and best practices that the provider offers. This helps give insight into the methodologies, tool kits, and success rate of the provider.
  9. Learn about flexibility and scalability options. – To guarantee an effective and efficient response to any work fluctuations, hiring organizations should ensure that their chosen outsourcing provider offers flexible options. This means scaling the team up during peak times and scaling down during a lull. A good outsourcing partner should have adequate infrastructure and resources available for their clients.
  10. Learn about the provider’s methods and tech. – A good outsourced QA provider uses the latest technologies and methodologies to keep up with the times. This is an obvious item, but also commonly overlooked.

By keeping these 10 notes in mind during the process of finding and hiring a software QA outsourcing company, organizations are set up for success before the projects even begin.

DevelopmentInsightsMartechSaaSSEO

Visuals in Landing Pages: Using Them Right

Tapping on the emotional instinct of your prospects and customers is imperative if you want your landing pages to convert and bring you better sales. Visuals can be a powerful element that can make your visitors smile, share valuable information, inspire the readers, and encourage them to make the purchase.

Take a look at this landing page inviting the visitors to a webinar that would discuss the future of retail-borderless commerce. It has perfectly combined text, visuals, and CTAs to encourage the readers to take action. 

That said, let’s move on to exploring the world of visuals in landing pages. 

1. Use relevant imagery

When your content is accompanied by relevant images, readers find it easier to grasp the message and make up their mind to complete the purchase. The key to using imagery is that if a message can be conveyed with the help of an image, there is no need to have a wall of text to explain it. 

Moo has gone a step ahead and incorporated the principle of storytelling in their email landing page. 

While the email shows an interesting GIF of a toaster with the CTA “Push the lever”, the landing page continues the story and displays a toast with toaster marks of 15% to promote their 15% off and coupon code.

2. Grab attention with GIFs

GIFs are the perfect substitute to videos as they emulate a video-like experience without any major impact on the loading speed of the landing page. According to GIPHY, 500 million active users spend close to 11 million hours in viewing GIFs on their channel which demonstrates the love for GIFs.  

Just make sure that the size of the GIF does not go over 1MB so that your page does not take too much time to load. 

3. Let videos do the magic

So many companies have started using videos in their landing pages to make the message more impactful for the readers and showcase your products or services effectively. You can either use the videos in the background or have a different section for the video followed by a sign-up form and CTA. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can even try out personalized videos on the landing pages. These videos can be easily created with the help of tools like Hippo Video in which you create a video template with placeholder text and then edit it with tailormade content according to the reader’s preferences.

4. Take help of illustrations

Illustrations are way more convenient to create when compared to videos or GIFs. Another advantage of these modern images is that they have a great visual appeal too. They can be used to symbolically represent an idea through graphics and explain your offerings to the visitor.

5. Harness the power of graphs

Often, marketers need to showcase complicated statistics on a landing page. Graphs can help you with this.

Here are some ways in which you can use graphs to their maximum potential.

i. Take help of scatter plots and treemaps to display huge set of information.

ii. If you want to show trends over a decade or two, use line charts or bar graphs. 

iii. Pyramids and pie charts work well if you want to show the proportion of elements.

6. Choose the right colors

Whenever you sit to strategize your landing page design and visual elements, pick the right colors according to your business type and industry. For example, if you are a premium brand, black and white would be the perfect choice for you. Remember Apple?

On the other hand, if you are an FMCG brand, red would work better for you. (Example: McDonald’s)

Green stands for tranquility, health, and good luck which makes it a good choice for brands that are related to growth.

To learn more about how to use the appropriate visuals, colors, and CTA in your landing pages, head to the insightful infographic by Email Uplers: A deep dive into “the use of visuals in landing pages”.

IMAGE EMBED CODE 

<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/” target=”_blank”>

                  <img src=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/images/embed.jpg” alt=”How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions” /></a>

                 Source:<a href=”https://email.uplers.com/infographics/landing-page-visual-elements/”> How to Use Visual Elements in Landing Page to Boost Conversions </a>

About the author

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

Products

Having a State-of-the-Art Fleet of Company Vehicles

A fleet of vehicles is at the heart of any company. If these vehicles feature the latest technology, they’ll stand out from the crowd. For 2020 and beyond, let us take a very close look at how having a state of the art fleet of company vehicles is in your best interest.

All-electric

An all-electric fleet of vehicles is a great way to associate your brand with the future. Electric cars have taken off as environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional cars. Mileage on these vehicles increases every year, and you get more distance out of every charge than ever before. Some drivers are concerned about a lack of chargers, but this isn’t too concerning. Have a series of level 2 charger units installed in the company lot or garage. These chargers work incredibly quickly and at a minimal energy cost. Electric vehicles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so there’s no limit to the type of vehicle you can acquire.

Onboard navigation

Another impressive piece of tech is onboard navigation. With a reliable GPS, employees can get their jobs done without worrying about getting lost. While most people rely on their phones for directions, they aren’t ideal for dedicated navigation purposes. Not to mention, this is a dangerous practice when operating a moving vehicle. You’re much better off with an onboard navigation system. It’s easy to program these systems with common destinations for your drivers. They’ll know exactly where to go, and if they run into any trouble, they can easily report this to your headquarters.

GPS tracking

Tracking devices installed on company cars might sound Orwellian, but there are many reasons why such tech is essential for business fleet vehicles. For one, most insurance companies require them for vehicles used for business purposes. Secondly, they help with stolen vehicle recovery. Trackers can also provide data that helps companies optimize their routes and make recommendations to drivers in the future.

Company customization

Last but not least, company customization shows that you are invested and committed to transportation. Featuring your company logo on the side of a vehicle is a powerful move. You can even acquire custom license plates and banners that let other drivers know that it is a company vehicle. This display isn’t to assert your dominance on the road but rather to establish an industry standard at all times. When you have a fleet of hundreds of these identical vehicles, you know that the job is getting done every time.

Parking scheme

A fleet of vehicles needs to be backed by an efficient parking scheme. There’s nothing worse than a congested parking lot full of vehicles. It’s nearly impossible to take out a vehicle in the back, and there might not be enough space during off-peak hours. Look for tiered parking structures or even rotating platforms to make it easy to park and retrieve vehicles. You’ll save so much time when handling the fleet.

At the moment, having a state of the art fleet of company vehicles is a fantastic asset. You’ll be able to conduct transportation efficiently and in style. Look for the latest technology to propel you forward!

InsightsMartechProducts

10 Ways to Maximize your Kickstarter Marketing Strategy in 2020

At a very trying time of COVID-19, times are quite tough for businesses, especially startups and entrepreneurs. However, what if there was a way to get funding by putting your project, idea, or invention online?

In this article, we will look at:

  • What is Kickstarter? 
  • Marketing Tips for Kickstarter Campaign 

What is Kickstarter?

For people who have been living under a rock, Kickstarter is a funding platform where creators can share and gather interest on a particular creative project they will like to launch.

Every project is created and independently crafted while the general public offers to fund them in return for rewards or the finished product itself.  They are the ones that ultimately send the projects into production.

Kickstarter is split into two types of users: creators and backers. Creators are of course the ones who present their project ideas and the backers are the ones who fund them.  To establish a great Kickstarter project, creators need to step up a page to display all the details of their project using text, video, and photos to tell viewers about their project. From there, creators set a funding goal and a deadline, and also need to include different levels of rewards backers can receive by pledging a specific amount because the more the higher the amount they pledge, the bigger the reward.

Kickstarter also has a number of general rules that creators must abide by for their projects. They must create something that can be shared with others; be honest and clearly presented; not be fundraising for charity; not be offering equity; and not involve prohibited items.

Marketing Tips for Kickstarter Campaign

The reality of any Kickstarter Campaign is that it takes a lot of time and energy o prepare, create, maintain, and manage a Kickstarter campaign. There are definitely certain steps that people as project creators can improve their chances of success on Kickstarter. 

1. Do your research

Creators need to research their project before anything happens. The questions that they need to answer before starting their campaign is: how much does it actually cost to make their project? What is the minimum amount of funding they need? How many days do they want to run the campaign? Are there already similar projects?

You need to figure out how much it actually costs because it will help when it comes to creating rewards. They also need to research domestic and international shipping costs. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so companies need to remember and understand that if they don’t reach their funding goals, they do not get any money. If they set the money goal too high, they risk not hitting their goal and won’t get any money and reciprocally, if it is set too low, you may not be able to fulfill your obligations to backers. 

Campaigns can last anywhere for one day to 2 months. Longer campaigns do not guarantee success because companies may have exhausted resources by the time the project wraps up and on the other hand, campaigns that are under 30 days risk not getting enough exposure and can result in less funding. 

Companies also need to do their research to see if there are other similar campaigns because if there are, there really is no point in putting the campaign up because just because something similar that raised a lot of money will not translate into instant success for your project. 

2. Spread the news about your upcoming launch

It is important to spread awareness for the upcoming launch. Having a website is very important because it drives traffic to it. Adding a banner at the top of your homepage with a call to action to sign up is very important so that people could learn more about your upcoming launch. The leads that you receive should be nurtured leading up to launch day with about one email a week. The emails that are sent out should educate subscribers on your product, tell them why they need your product, and explain how Kickstarter works and inform them of when and why you’re launching your project. 

It is also important to build up social media presence and creating advertising campaigns. The more informed subscribers are about your product and upcoming launch, the more likely they are to convert into actual backers once your project goes live. 

Sometimes it can be difficult to run everything and stay on it constantly, so employing companies like Pressfarm can help with public relations and creating everything needed to build a successful crowdfunding campaign. 

3. Email existing and new contacts

Email marketing is a great way to spread awareness for your upcoming launch to new and existing contacts who have shown interest in your product. The main goal is to get subscribers on board with your project and have them ready to spread the word. However, don’t stop emailing when you are live, you can keep sending out emails with important campaign milestones too. But, during your campaign, do not bombard your family, friends, or other subscribers incessantly because it can lead to a large number of unsubscribers. 

4. Make an engaging video

Your video that you create is the main point of your campaign and it is the first thing that people look at. You need to make sure that your video is easily understandable and gets your project’s point across. Longer videos tend to have a lower video completion rate and there is a correlation between a high video completion rate and overall funding.

5. Create an easy-to-read Kickstarter page

Digital content should be written for the people who tend to skim instead of reading in detail. When you do this, you are making your content more digestible and easier to understand. Campaigns should be very visual and get to the point without using too much content. 

6. Make sure your rewards are easy to understand

Keep your rewards descriptions short and to the point. You need to let people know what they are getting, how much they are saving and when they will be getting them. Do not over do your rewards because a campaign with a lot of rewards rarely works and creating a small quantity gives you a chance to introduce new rewards like flash sales, during your campaign.

7. Include multiple images

You should use high resolution, high-quality images for your social networks, advertising efforts, press releases and blog posts. Also, if you will be using any print media, they should also be hi-res images. 

8. Create a Bitly link

You can use Bitly to shorten your Kickstarter page URL and use that link when you are referencing your project. Bitly actually provides great stats because it includes how many clicks you link there and where they are coming from. This information will help decide where to spend the most time promoting your project. 

9. Utilize updates and your backers

You should create periodic updates on  Kickstarter to send to your backers. Write updates when you hit milestones to thank your backers and use them to pass on the message of new stretch goal rewards and drive backers to your social network. 

Your backers already like your project, so they are the ones that will help you and be your biggest advocates. Ask them to help spread the word whether it be word-of-mouth or social media. Make it easy for them to share by including short messages they can copy and paste to share on social media outlets. 

10. Social media is important

Create your profile on the top networks by starting a Facebook Advertising campaign to build an audience base, help build your email list and begin building buzz around the upcoming launch. 

Conclusion

Creating a Kickstarter Campaign is very easy, but getting the right backing and the right amount of money is the hard part. Timing is everything because you want to be the project that people are wanting to back, so you need to see what your competition is. Your product needs to be something that people want and are willing to put money into. These tips are as simple as it comes and used correctly will maximize your Kickstarter Marketing strategy. 

DevelopmentInsights

6 Internal Communications Best Practices to Connect Your Workplace

How much internal communication matters in the business world simply can’t be stressed enough. When the management and the employees communicate effectively, all chances for misunderstandings disappear. The work environment is healthy so employees have all the conditions necessary for performing well at work. Through open and efficient communication, completing tasks and projects will be smoother and faster. For this reason, let’s look at the top 6 practices for enhancing communication at the workplace. 

Photo of Women at the Meeting

1. Use a Platform for Connecting Employees 

There is no better way of connecting employees than through a platform or an app. We live in a high-tech era so why not use it to our advantage. Although selecting the right platform seems like a piece of cake, it is easier said than done. There are so many options available that make it harder for managers to select the proper tool. In this situation, intranet systems are the go-to tool for most companies, especially large ones. They are largely praised for their ability to connect all employees and the management in one place. Once you have all the staff connected, you have set a great foundation for improving other, equally important, business aspects.

2. Celebrate Milestones 

Employees are an important, if not the most important, part of any company. They like to have their efforts acknowledged and valued. It motivates them to participate more and work even harder at their job. For this reason, it is essential to publicly recognize their contribution and share it with everyone in the company. This praise can take many forms. It can be a simple shout out in a corporate app, post on social media, or a special article on the company’s website. Celebrating milestones has a dual impact on the company. Firstly, it keeps all the staff informed about the latest events in the organization. Secondly, the management has clear insight into employee engagement and performance. This is why it is important to mark employee success, big or small.

3. Include Visuals during Communication

Most people are visual beings. For this group of people, messages containing images, colorful charts, and objects are more effective than plain text. With this in mind, managers should make use of visual effects to deliver the message more efficiently during communication with employees. Presentations are the ideal way to communicate effectively with employees. It not only allows managers to present their message visually but also concisely and straight to the point. As a result, employees will be able to refer to the presentation in the future if needed. Videos are another useful visual tools. However, they demand more time and it is easy to get carried away and show more content than actually needed.

4. Videoconference with Remote Workers

Past months have shown an increase in remote workers all around the world. While this arrangement has many advantages, employers are afraid internal communication and employee collaboration suffer. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With proper video conferencing tools and apps, employees can be well connected even when working remotely. Managers should make sure video conferences are timely scheduled and everyone is familiar with the agenda. Participants can clearly see each other so they have a feeling they are attending the real meeting. Before or after the meeting, managers can spare a couple of minutes and allow employees to catch up and chat. This way, all participants will relax and eagerly participate in discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Diverse coworkers having online conference in modern office

5. Avoid Overwhelming Employees

Every day, employees are swamped with numerous pieces of information, especially on a busy day at the office. It is impossible for them to consume so much content all at once. It can cause them to feel stressed, anxious, and frustrated which can reflect poorly on their performance. For this reason, managers should use various channels for various message types. In accordance with employees, they can decide which channel should be used for which type of information. If something demands their immediate attention, then the corporate app is the place to send it to. When internal communication is organized, employees won’t feel overwhelmed. They will receive the most important messages and act accordingly.

6. Encourage Employees to Post on Social Media

Social media has finally found its way into the workplace. Every company has profiles on the most popular social networks. Managers can encourage their employees to either take over them for a day or post photos from the offices followed by an appropriate hashtag. This is the ideal opportunity to let everyone interested in joining the organization see what is it like from the inside. Also, the brand will become more exposed and it will attract greater attention. All employees should be encouraged to participate in the activities, but only if they want to. Forcing them will only cause the opposite effect.

About the author

Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about business, marketing, productivity and workspace décor.

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Various Applications of Blue Hydrogen for the Energy Industry

Hydrogen is the tenth most abundant element on the earth. In order for it to be used at scale, hydrogen has to be extracted from compounds. Blue hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, typically natural gas. One of the mainstream methods used to extract blue hydrogen is known as Steam Methane Reforming (SMR). A considerable amount of carbon dioxide and methane is produced during the production of blue hydrogen. However, around 80% to 90% of the total emission is captured and stored. This process is known as Carbon Capture and Store (CSS). 

The potential for hydrogen to be used at a larger commercial scale is definitely promising and how it could positively impact the decarbonization of the energy sector is clear among industry operators, however, questions remain. Is it versatile enough to invest billions of dollars on? 

Various Applications of Blue Hydrogen 

Blue hydrogen is extremely versatile. It finds several applications across an array of energy-consuming industries. It is speculated that hydrogen fuel will eventually transform the energy industry, making it more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Considering that private companies are being incentivized to reduce greenhouse emissions, this makes it extremely important to take initiatives to start integrating hydrogen into mass-scale production. 

Along with various energy consulting firms in the UK and all around the world, key members of the energy sector are also taking keen interest and making great investments in hydrogen, especially blue hydrogen. 

  • Fuel Production 

Hydrogen is used in the production of fuel in many ways. Typically, it is used to process crude oil. As a result, refined fuels such as gasoline and diesel are produced. It is also employed in the fuel production process to get rid of various contaminants from crude oil or refined fuels. For example, hydrogen is used to remove sulphur from refined fuels, especially diesel. 

Over the years, the consumption of hydrogen in refineries has increased significantly. This is mainly due to the strict rules and regulations, such as the IMO 2020 sulfur regulation, regarding maintaining the quality of diesel by lowering the amount of sulphur in it.

  • Industrial Applications 

Hydrogen has an exhaustive list of industrial applications. It is extremely versatile, which is why it is used abundantly in not only the energy industry but also other core industries around the world. 

One major example is hydrogen’s application for energy production. Specifically, it can be injected into current grid pipelines so that it can be stored for later use. Examples include transport applications or power generation.

Some industrial applications of blue hydrogen outside of the energy industry include its use in the production of ammonia and flat glass. Blue hydrogen is used in metalworking, especially for metal alloying. It can also be used in the direct reduction of iron ore, which is an important process in steel manufacturing. It finds applications in the electronic industry as well.    

  • Energy Generation 

Blue hydrogen plays a vital role in generating electricity more efficiently. It can be used as an alternative to air-cooling methods for the cooling of power generators. However, the biggest contribution of blue hydrogen in regards to energy generation comes in the form of stationary fuel cells. 

Blue hydrogen can be used in stationary fuel cells. These cells are often employed as backup energy sources in buildings and there are major implications for long haul transport and commercial fleets that rely on fuel cells to operate. It is speculated that stationary fuel cells possess the potential to revolutionize the transport industry if they are used for other vehicular options like trains, cars, and buses. 

Blue Hydrogen or Green Hydrogen – Which is Better?

Many industry experts are still divided over the blue hydrogen-green hydrogen debate. 

We cannot ignore the economic benefits of blue hydrogen. While it is true that blue hydrogen is not as eco-friendly as green hydrogen, its current production costs are significantly low compared to green hydrogen. Plus, advancements and growing support for CCS is making blue hydrogen one of the most viable sustainable energy solutions at the moment. Across Europe, many hydrogen-CCS projects are going ahead.

There’s one more factor that must be considered when it comes to the significance of hydrogen for the energy industry – the storage of excess electricity or surplus energy. 

Storing Excess Energy

The energy industry is evolving and more sustainable, energy efficient solutions are being sought after. Unfortunately, certain technological advancements are required to ensure grid infrastructure is able to meet high demand and alleviate storage and demand imbalances.  As a result, many energy companies still favor the use of fossil fuels to produce energy. 

The good news is that hydrogen may be able to bridge this gap between energy production and consumption. There are electrolyzer technologies that are being used at scale today, which can draw hydrogen out of storage and place it into a fuel cell for subsequent electricity production or power-to-liquid schemes.

Author Bio

Pangea Strategic Intelligence’s on demand energy consulting platform facilitates engagements with market-embedded Experts so Clients make better business decisions, faster.