Showing: 1 - 10 of 12 Results
Common Room, Community Management Startup Used By Confluent, Figma And Notion, Launches With $52 Million In Funding

Common Room, Community Management Startup Used By Confluent, Figma And Notion, Launches With $52 Million In Funding

Linda Lian believes the next generation of software businesses will find customers differently – not through account managers and top-down company-wide contracts, but through communities, the fans and avid users of tools who discuss, critique, and share best practices about them online.

“We’re trying to reinvent the relationship that software companies have had with their customers,” says Lian, the CEO of a startup called Common Room. “It should be more authentic, and more personal.”
The entrepreneur would know. At Amazon Web Services, she helped manage arguably the web’s largest such community of technologists and entrepreneurs, first as the cloud giant spread the gospel of serverless computing, then its Alexa voice-app’s developer tools.  Now at Common Room, a Seattle-based company she founded last year, Lian’s hoping to bring the same ability to identify and leverage engaged users and fans to software companies as soon as they’re ready. 
Staying behind the scenes for the past year, Common Room has already assembled a first group of test companies that includes high-flying startup customers like Confluent, Figma and Notion. Now the company is announcing itself to the world with its own community for community-minded professionals and $52 million in combined funding from venture capital investors. The most recent: a $32.3 million Series B funding round led by Greylock. While both parties declined to comment on valuation, a source tells Forbes that the recent capital infusion values at about $300 million.
Why so much excitement for a year-old company with more businesses testing it than it has employees? Some of it is the reputation of the businesses happily trying Common Room so far, a who’s who of the types of new wave of work software and infrastructure businesses that Common Room wants to reach first. It’s also, Greylock partner Sarah Guo says, because as more of work and personal life moves online, how people pick software tools is increasingly up to the individual users, informed by where they spend their time in internet groups.
 “I really had the story of Common Room in my head, and not because I’m so brilliant, but because I’ve seen the power of community for a lot of our companies,” Guo says. “We’ve entered a period of time where more informed people are choosing their own tools.”
After stints at Morgan Stanley, mobile security startup Lookout and venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group, Lian spent just two and a half years at Amazon before leaving in January 2020 and incorporating Common Room the following month. She added cofounder Francis Luu, a longtime product designer at Facebook, in June, then engineering-focused cofounders Viraj Mody and Tom Kleinpeter in August. Mody had led engineers at trucking startup Convoy and previously sold a business with Kleinpeter to Dropbox, where Kleinpeter still worked until Common Room. Along the way, she raised a $4.3 million seed round from Index Ventures and Madrona in March while still solo, then a $16.3 million Series A led by Index in September, with former Twitter executives Dick Costolo and Adam Bain’s 01 Advisors and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s Next Play Ventures joining. (Common Room also has a large group of tech executive angel investors from the likes of Discord, GitHub, Salesforce, Stripe and Twilio, among others.)

 After six months of collecting feedback from potential customer, Lian shifted Common Room’s focus to start as essentially a dashboard for tracking and managing who is interacting with a business online and how. They started building around the Series A in September, and brought on the first beta test customer in December.
At Clubhouse – not the voice-based app, but the project management software maker –  creative marketing director Richard Huffaker uses Common Room to see who is talking about his company’s tools on GitHub, Slack and Twitter, and who seem like the brand’s most loyal fans. “It’s much easier to find those people and recognize them,” he says, allowing the startup to consider campaigns like an upcoming one to send swag to power members of its community. On the reporting side, Clubhouse can then see how those users engage afterward, helping the company budget more for such projects in the future.
“Everyone kind of intellectually gets that community is important in a company like ours,” says Rudan Zhang, Clubhouse’s vice president of marketing. “But when it comes time to actually allocate budget and resources, it’s one of those areas that is the least straightforward.”
 Key to Common Room’s prospects is Lian’s ability to expand the idea of community, too. Some of the startup’s earliest users don’t have community in their title or job description at all, she notes. At Gremlin, a startup that helps companies prevent outages by testing their reliability using “chaos engineering,” principal site reliability engineer and executive team member Tammy Bryant Butow uses Common Room to help manage a Slack group of nearly 8,000 people. Most importantly, she says, she can easily see who the first few people interested in Gremlin’s approach to site reliability at a new business are, and make sure to reach out. “It’s creating a really genuine place, creating win-win opportunities,” she says.
With the funding, Lian plans to hire aggressively in Seattle and remote locations as well. Common Room has interest from large public companies, she says, meaning it needs to build out customer success functions while also investing more in its product and sales.

That need, not some bid for exclusivity, is why Common Room remains waitlist-only for the next few weeks at least. “We hope it won’t be too long,” says Lian.
Down the road, Common Room may look to expand out of developer- and work software-focused businesses to serve media companies, online education businesses, or even some consumer-facing businesses – anything where a close relationship with customers who stick around is valuable. “We’re creating a new category that doesn’t exist yet, so we have to take a consulting mindset advising on strategy, best practices and creating the playbook,” Lian says. “But we want to enable our customers to feel heard, supported and connected.”

Best WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builders

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.WordPress is a popular blogging and Content Management System (CMS) that has become an invaluable asset to businesses of all sizes. This free platform offers a do-it-yourself opportunity to spruce up the look and feel of a website without knowing any coding or having to hire developers. This helps businesses create enticing landing pages for sale events, products, services, and more.A WordPress drag and drop page builder offers a number of design elements and add-ons. WordPress page builders include functionalities like responsive controls, export/import, and a real-time editing system with all the bells and whistles to power a full-fledged website.This open-source platform can accommodate a variety of page builders to give users the ability to create secure and customizable sites faster and with relative ease. You also have the option to choose from a collection of pre-built options which you can add to any of your pages. Simply put, you have the ability to re-arrange and style your home page to suit your particular needs.15 WordPress Page Builders for Small BusinessHere are 15 of the best WordPress page builder plugins around. Take a look and choose the WordPress page builder that will make launching your website a breeze.1. ElementorElementor is among the best drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins around. This live WordPress page builder plugin allows you to see the changes in real-time as you edit them. With Elementor, users can easily start creating sections and select the number of columns for each of your web pages. They can then drag and drop widgets from the left panel to the place where they belong on the page.Elementor has a wide selection of widgets including the most commonly used website elements available to design your pages. These range from basic image and text widgets to advanced options that include sliders, testimonials, icons, social media, tabs, and more. The Essential plan for Elementor comes with a $49 annual subscription fee and provides you with over 90 widgets, 300+ templates, over 10 full website template kits, drag and drop page builder, a theme builder, a form builder, a WooCommerce builder, and more. With its landing page builder, you get handy tools for maintenance mode, under construction pages, landing pages, and more.2. OxygenOxygen is another popular WordPress page builder option and offers a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) visual editor so you can create headers, footers and everything in between without leaving the confines of your WordPress dashboard. One of the best drag and drop WordPress website builder options for publishers, it provides users with a collection of building blocks, pre-built components, and standard WordPress features to build sites without needing to code everything from scratch. Oxygen can be considered a full-fledged site builder for designing your entire site from the header to footer and everything in between, guaranteeing faster loading with cleaner markup.Oxygen’s drag and drop WordPress page builder plugin lets you create powerful WordPress websites with a combination of pre-built templates and other basic features. Its drag and drop editing lets you drag items to the right spacing, or re-order options on your pages. Oxygen is one of those developer-friendly page builders meaning it lets you create fundamental HTML; use a layout block editor; and write PHP, CSS, and JS live. Oxygen starts at a set price of $99 for an unlimited lifetime license.3. Beaver BuilderBeaver Builder is a popular drag-and-drop page builder plugin that works with no coding and helps users to create and customize their website. It offers a visual editor, so the page you are tweaking looks almost exactly like what the public sees.  The Beaver Builder also offers a page builder for WordPress featuring pre-built homepage templates and inner page layouts such as contact, portfolio, about us, and services among others.In addition to allowing you to add rows, columns, videos, testimonials, and galleries, Beaver Builder also lets you format text, place images, and embed content from platforms like YouTube. It also includes mobile-friendly responsive layouts. Beaver Builder works with any theme and you can switch themes without losing your content. Even if you decide to stop using Beaver Builder, your content gets imported right back into the WordPress editor. Beaver Builder comes with a free WordPress theme called Beaver Theme. The payment for Beaver Builder starts with the Standard tier set at $99 and comes with unlimited sites, page builder plugin, support for one year, premium modules, and templates.4. SeedProdSeedProd is considered one of the best drag and drop page builders for WordPress around. It is a user-friendly WordPress Landing Page plugin builder that helps you create website pages and layouts within minutes with no coding required. You can create a variety of landing pages including sales, opt-in, coming soon, maintenance mode, webinar, login and thank you pages.  Landing pages created through SeedProd work across all devices no matter which size screen your audience uses to browse.It also helps you to track subscribers with or without a third-party email provider — such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit and Constant Contact — and get metrics through visual data about page subscriber counts and new subscribers over time. You can also use pre-built sections like headers and calls to action, so you don’t need to be a designer to create layouts. The paid plan starts at $39.50 for an annual subscription. This includes pro templates, page blocks, section templates, drag and drop page builder, maintenance mode pages, email marketing integrations, subscriber manager, and more.5. DiviThe Divi builder offers a comprehensive design framework that allows you to design and customize every part of your website from the ground up. In addition to offering a collection of design tools, the simple drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress lets you build your marketing lists with Bloom pop-ups, promote your website on social media, and even increase website conversions with the Divi builder feature known as Leads split testing. The Divi builder comes with pre-packaged wraps in a fully customizable theme that works perfectly with all other features.This easy-to-use complete website builder replaces the standard WordPress tool with a visual editor. In fact, unlike other page builders, the Divi builder lets you edit your content using both a visual interface and a back-end interface. With it, you can add, delete and move things on the front of your website with no coding and no complicated back end options. You get access to dozens of unique page features and thousands of design options. The paid plan starts at $89 for annual subscription and offers access to hundreds of website packs, the Divi page builder plugin, product updates, premium support, and more. The Divi builder is compatible with WooCoomerce and offers specific WooCommerce integrations to boost your eCommerce efforts. This WordPress page builder also offers a lifetime of updates and support.6. Visual ComposerVisual Composer comes with a free intuitive drag and drop visual editor that lets you create professional sites. It offers templates, blocks, elements, and extensions to easily start building your custom website with the capability to see results with a truly what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor. Visual Composer is among the few plugins available that allow you to edit all aspects of your landing page such as logo, menus, headers, footers, sidebars, and others.As a complete website builder, Visual Composer works well with any other WordPress theme and comes with a free cloud marketplace with weekly content updates that offers you more options to create a website. This is in addition to more than 300 unique content features that include simple images or buttons along with advanced slideshows, tabs, and WooCommerce blocks without the need to know any coding. You also have a Popup builder that will help you create your own unique popups to boost conversion rates that are mobile-friendly. Although a lightweight, free version of Visual Composer is available the robust paid version starts with an annual subscription of $49. Visual Composer also works well with all WordPress themes allowing you to switch your themes without losing custom layouts that you created with Visual Composer.7. Themify BuilderThemify is a WordPress theme shop that offers some useful features to help you build responsive sites while designing your custom layout. This quick and easy website builder comes with a drag-and-drop interface so you can drag content based on your design needs. It also offers pre-designed layouts and sections; front end and back end builder interfaces; more than 60 animation effects; and the ability to style everything from color, background, font, spacing, border, and more.All content made inside of Themify builder is touted to be 100% SEO friendly and is completely indexable by search engines. The paid plans start at $59 and come with one year support and updates along with Themify builder and WordPress themes.8. GoDaddy Website BuilderEven though it is more famously known for domain names and web hosting, GoDaddy can also help you build your own pages without the need for any coding skills. This website builder makes it simple to create a modern, professional site with no technical knowledge. Using GoDaddy InSight, you can access an all-around solution including marketing with its content creator to create social media posts, a blogging feature, an email marketing tool, and an SEO Wizard to help you optimize your site.This website builder helps you create layouts that are responsive and adapt to mobile phones and tablets. You can even use the tool on your mobile devices. A free version is available with some limited features. It comes with the domain where an ad will be displayed at the top of all pages. Paid versions start at $9.99 a month and offer editing capabilities; five social media messages a month; 100 email marketing messages a month, website security (SSL), and more.9. Thrive ArchitectThrive Architect is another landing page builder for WordPress with a visual website builder. It helps you boost your outreach and conversions. Thrive architect works with all WordPress themes regardless of which WordPress theme you want to use. It integrates seamlessly into your website, making it one of the most popular WordPress page builders with users.It offers a good selection of full-page templates and sections where you can add almost any type of page to your WordPress website or create your customized designs using the pre-built sections. You can improve the user interface for easier content editing. Thanks to its drag-and-drop content editor, you can see the changes you make in real-time by just clicking. With Thrive Architect, you also get a large selection of customizable buttons, testimonials, countdown timers, and lead generation forms that integrate with your favorite email marketing tools. Thrive Suite comes with a monthly subscription of $19 that allows you to install up to 25 sites with unlimited support and updates. This makes it ideal whether you are a freelancer or a small business.10. SiteOrigin Page BuilderSiteOrigin’s page builder makes it easy for you to build responsive grid-based sites that are also mobile-friendly. The drag and drop interface helps you to generate light-weight, SEO-friendly code without the need for any skill as a coder. This page builder helps you create your custom homepage layout including advanced designs for your ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ sections and also upgrades the standard WordPress editor to expand your design options with live editing.In terms of widgets, you have the option to select from a wide range of choices including a fully customizable buttons module; row builder; responsive Google maps; image and video widgets to let you add responsive images and videos; a pricing table widget, and more. Pricing for SiteOrigin starts at $29 billed annually, while its business license starts at $49.11. WPBakery Page BuilderWPBakery’s page builder helps you build responsive sites and manage content thanks to its intuitive WordPress front end editor. You can create ready-to-use content features through its drag and drop interface without grappling with a single line of code. You also have the option to browse through an online template library and build your pages in seconds. Download any template you like without any restrictions. The library is constantly updated with new templates.For its part, the grid builder helps you to display posts, portfolios, and any other custom types of posts or media in a masonry grid with access to over 40 predefined styles. Paid plans start at $45 where you get free updates, premium support, and access to a template library for a single website.12. Fusion Builder (rebranded as Avada Builder)Avada builder offers users the ability to create sites with no coding knowledge required in virtually any design style. Its drag and drop editor helps you to place, edit, and customize layouts, add features, and start typing your narrative all in one go. The intuitive visual design and editing tools help you to create sites with relative ease. You can also work with over 70 design elements with Avada’s Global Styling Options. Then edit individual features by changing the options for each once added to a page.You can import any prebuilt website with the click of a button. In terms of compatibility, Avada is built with HTML5 and CSS3, SEO optimized, and perfectly compatible with plugins like Yoast SEO. Regular licensing for Avada starts at $60.13. WPFormsWPForms offers a drag and drop online form builder that allows users to create forms in WordPress. Options range from Contact forms to Order forms, Multi-page forms to Offline forms. This plugin comes with pre-built templates to help you save time as well. On top of that, WPForms are responsive and work on mobile, tablets, and desktops.The tool allows you to split long forms into multiple pages to improve user experience and even integrates with AWeber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, and other survey and email marketing platforms through add-ons. Paid plans start with Basic at $39.50 a year. You get unlimited forms; advanced fields; templates; multi-page forms; spam protection; conditional logic; one year of support and more for one website.14. Live ComposerLive Composer offers users an all-in-one solution for creating and customizing WordPress sites. It simplifies building a website by adding new sections and modules or you can opt to choose from a wide selection of themes. This best page builder has a drag and drop interface along with over 40 content modules for quick and easy page composing all with no coding skills required. In terms of editing, the content is built directly on the pages saving you time and providing instant feedback on the changes you make. The core website builder is free, but there is a paid option that starts at $49 and offers more robust support including premium extensions.15. WP Page BuilderWP Page Builder is a drag and drop WordPress page builder for creating websites brought to you by Themeum, an established WordPress developer. You can create professional websites by using the intuitive live page composer with no coding knowledge required in just minutes. You also have a choice of ready-to-use features, predesigned templates, addons, and more to create your desired layouts and bring different styles to your website. Website layouts built with WP Page Builder plugin will fit into smartphones, tablets, and desktops. This WordPress page builder plugin helps you build beautiful websites like a professional.Though a free version is available, a premium version comes with a number of pre-designed layouts and a wide range of ready blocks with priority support starting at $39 for a single license. WP Page Builder plugin is built with all-inclusive features and is literally built for everyone.Why use a drag and drop WordPress page builder for your business website?The popularity of WordPress page builders is due to the relative ease with which users can build websites and make changes to their feel and look. These WordPress page builders offer a one-stop-shop for creating a functional website that helps set you apart from the competition without spending money on a developer. They allow you to create custom page layouts by using templates, adding widgets, building elements, and customizing navigation menus.If you are looking for an easy way to build and customize your WordPress site, drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins are the way to go. Drag and drop WordPress plugins are a subcategory of page builders that offer features to quickly and easily build custom websites.Here are some of the key benefits:User Friendly Features: They come with an intuitive interface to help you perform most tasks with just a few clicks and without the need to know any code. This translates into saving time and money as it is a Do-It-Yourself option. In essence, these plugins make it easy for you to redesign existing elements of your page as you see fit.Pre-Built Modules:  With a drag and drop WordPress plugin, you can add pre-built content elements, blocks, modules, and widgets. You can customize, move, and arrange these elements on your site with relative ease.Templates to create websites faster: Drop and drag plugins offer you a good selection of templates that can help you create websites faster. This means that you can choose any layout that matches your specific needs, tweak it to fit your content, and launch a complete website quickly. Some of the best drag and drop page builder templates help you cut across the process of creating a website from scratch and get the job done in relatively less time.Real-Time Editing: Drag and drop plugins provide a real-time review of your website.  You can tweak the layout of the page while creating it. This includes making changes to layout elements such as rows and columns and even content elements like sliders.Which WordPress page builder is best for your business?Elementor can be considered the best drag and drop page builder for WordPress. This popular page builder is compatible with most popular WordPress themes, and is user-friendly and flexible. Its intuitive user interface helps you to easily figure out how to build your site section by section with relative ease. Users do not have to grapple with code and are not required to have technical knowledge of Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).With Elementor, you get access to content widgets that are customized to function in the live page builder. These widgets cover headlines, text, images, videos, galleries, testimonials, and much more. Other key elements you can easily control using the drag and drop function include buttons, social media icons, and other elements. All you have to do is to drag and drop them to the page you are building and you are done. Elementor offers you the ability to design flexible popups using all the regular Elementor widgets. This lets you create email opt-in popups, contact form popups, and more. Besides this, Elementor is compatible with other third-party widgets allowing you to integrate them into your page design. This makes it easy to build a robust website that gives visitors a positive online experience. Elementor is the best drag and drop page builder for WordPress business when it comes to its features and ease of use.What should you look for in a drag and drop for WordPress?The best drag and drop editors offer ease of use and flexibility for users who might want to add custom modules. Selecting the right tool for your business lets you create, manage, and optimize your website quickly and easily. Now that you have a good pool of popular WordPress page builders to choose from, here are some core features to look for when making your selection: Ease of Use: It is important your website design process doesn’t cause for frustration and headaches. The WordPress page builders you choose should be easy to use right from the start and provide you with a good selection of design options.Versatile features: The ideal drag and drop plugin should come with features that include styling options, pre-built templates, and other content elements to give you the options for easily building your site.Real-Time Customization: The ideal drag and drop plugin should help you make live edits and see the changes in real-time for easy and speedy tweaking.Responsiveness: Your page builder should create a website that is responsive in terms of ease of access and should be SEO-friendly. You should also make sure your page builder can help you create a website that is compatible with all devices including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.Compatibility: If in the future you plan to change your existing WordPress theme, you will need to check whether the drag and drop plugin is compatible with your WordPress theme and other plugins you might want to use.One of the greatest benefits of using WordPress to build your website is the market share it holds. WordPress is now powering 39.5% of all websites in the world. What this means for you is that you will have a thriving ecosystem of tools such as WordPress Gutenberg and support when you choose this platform. The page builders for WordPress are getting easier to use and more intuitive so you can start building your website with minimal technical expertise.Image: Depositphotos

10 Tips for Increasing Your Landing Page Conversion Rates

22, 2020

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s The Content Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/3/21.A conversion email series typically sends recipients to a landing page that offers more in-depth content or sells merchandise. Depending on whether you’re selling a product directly from your landing page, asking visitors to download a free white paper, or promoting a webinar or demonstration, conversion rates can range from less than 1 percent to more than 50 percent. Here are 10 keys to creating landing pages that maximize online conversion rates:1. Build Credibility Early People have always been skeptical of advertising, and with the proliferation of spam and shady operators, they’re even more skeptical of what they read online. Your landing page copy must immediately overcome their doubt. One way to do that is to prominently display one or more “credibility builders” on the first screen visitors see. In the banner at the top of the page, put your logo and company name. Within or immediately under the banner, put a strong testimonial or three above the headline. Consider adding a subhead that summarizes the company’s mission statement or credentials.2. Capture the Email Addresses of Nonbuyers There are a number of mechanisms available for capturing the email addresses of visitors who click on your landing page but don’t buy the product. One is to use a window with copy offering a free report or ecourse in exchange for submitting their email address. This window can be served as a pop-up (it appears when the visitor arrives) or a pop-under (it appears when the visitor attempts to leave without making an inquiry or purchase). These will both be blocked if the visitor has installed a pop-up blocker. A floater is a window that slides onto the page from the side or top. Because the floater is part of the site’s HTML code, it’s not stopped by the blocking software.3. Use Lots of Testimonials Testimonials build credibility and overcome skepticism, as do case studies and white papers posted on the website. If you invite customers to a live event, ask if they’d be willing to have a brief testimonial recorded on video. Have a professional videographer tape it, get a signed release from the customer, and post it on your site as streaming video. Require visitors to click Play to hear the testimonial, rather than have it play automatically; autoplay videos are generally disliked.4. Use Lots of Bullets Highlight key features and benefits in a bulleted list of short, easy-to-read items. Online buyers like to think they’re getting a lot for their money, so when selling a product directly from your landing page, be sure you cover all major features and important benefits in a comprehensive bulleted list on your landing page. When generating leads by giving away white papers, you don’t need a huge list of features and benefits. But using bulleted items to describe the contents of the paper and the benefits that information delivers can raise conversion rates for download requests.5. Arouse Curiosity in the Headline The headline should either arouse curiosity, make a powerful promise, or otherwise grab the readers’ attention so they keep reading. For example, the headline for a landing page selling a program training people to become professional property locators makes a big promise: “Become a Property Locator Today—and Make $100,000 a Year in the Greatest Real Estate Career That Only a Few Insiders Know About.”6. Use a Conversational Copy Style Most corporate websites are unemotional and sterile: They just offer “information.” But a landing page is a letter from one human being to another. Write it that way. Even if your product is highly technical and you’re selling it to techies, they’re still human beings, and you cannot sell something by boring people to death.7. Incorporate an Emotional Hook in the Headline and Lead Paragraph Logical selling can work, but tapping into the prospect’s emotions is much more effective—especially when you correctly assess how they’re feeling about your product or the problem it solves. Another effective tactic for lead generation landing pages is to stress your free offer in the headline and lead. Example: A landing page for industrial manufacturer Kaydon showed a picture of its catalog with a bold heading above it reading, “FREE Ceramic Bearings Product Selection Guide.”8. Solve the Reader’s Problem Once you hook the reader with emotional copy dramatizing their problem or making a powerful free offer, show how your product or information can help solve their problem. For example: “Now there’s a better, easier, and more effective solution to wobbly restaurant tables that can irritate customers and ruin their dining experience: Table Shox, the world’s smallest shock absorber.” To maximize conversion rates, you have to convince visitors that the quickest route to solving their problem is taking the action indicated on the landing page, not surfing the rest of the site. That’s why I prefer landing pages with no navigation, so the reader’s only choice is to respond or not; there’s no menu with links to other interesting pages to distract them from the offer.9. Make It Timely and Current The more your copy ties in with current events and news, the higher your response rates will be. This is especially critical when selling financial and investment information, as well as regulatory compliance products in fields where laws and rules change frequently. Periodically update your landing page copy to reflect current business and economic conditions, challenges, and trends so visitors see that your company is on top of what’s happening in your industry.10. Stress the Money-Back Guarantee If you allow customers to order directly from the landing page, make sure you have a money-back guarantee clearly stated on that page. All your competitors give strong money-back guarantees, so you must do the same. If your product is good and your copy truthful, your refund rates can be less than 1 percent.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/3/21.

Follow These 6 Basic Marketing Rules To Succeed

28, 2020

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Kim Walsh Phillips’s No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, Second Edition. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/3/21.There are just a few plain and simple direct-marketing rules to follow, and by committing to them, you’ll reap the long-term benefits you desire and develop a long-lasting business foundation.These basics are skipped by most businesses using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as their primary sources of communication. Realize you have choices, and you can make your marketing dollars work harder for you by offering people more than one reason and more than one means of responding to you.However many channels you market in, there are six basic rules you need to understand in order to succeed. These foundational concepts must be fully comprehended, practiced, managed and enforced.Related: How to Uncover Hidden Sales1. There will always be an offer There’s a popular saying out there that content is king. I would disagree. The sale is king. Without it, you have no market share and no kingdom to rule over. Your social media marketing needs to have an offer, telling your ideal prospects exactly what to do and why they want to do it right now. It should be irresistible and time sensitive, and it should give them some type of transformative value if they take action.Ideally, it’s a Godfather’s Offer — one that the appropriate prospect or customer can’t refuse.2. There will be a reason to respond right nowThe hidden cost and failure in all advertising and marketing is in the almost-persuaded. They were tempted to respond. They nearly responded. They got right up to the edge of response, but then they set it aside to do later or to mull over or to check out more the next time they were at their computers. When they get to that edge, we must reach across and pull them past it. There must be a good reason for them not to stop short or delay or ponder. There must be urgency.3. There will be clear instructionsMost people do a reasonably good job of following directions. For the most part, they stop on red and go on green, stand in the lines they’re told to stand in, fill out the forms they’re given to fill out and applaud when the “Applause” sign comes on. Most people are well-conditioned from infancy, in every environment, to do as they are told.Most marketers’s failures and disappointments result from giving confusing directions — or no directions at all. Confused or uncertain consumers do nothing, and people rarely buy anything of consequence without being asked. Sharing content alone will not bring measurable results from your social media. You must walk your prospect through the steps you want them to take in order to make the sale.4. There will be tracking and measurement If you want real profits from your marketing, you’re no longer going to permit any advertising, marketing or selling investments to be made without direct and accurate tracking, measurement and accountability. You’ll be given all sorts of arguments against such a harsh position by media salespeople, by online media champions talking a “new” language of “new metrics,” by staff and peers. You’ll hear terms like “engagement” and “reach” and “virality,” with no data to back up the results. You’ll smile and politely say, “Rubbish.” Each dollar sent out to forage must come back with more and/or must meet predetermined objectives. There will be no freeloaders; there will be no slackers.Related: Here’s Why You Should Stop Being Nice to Your Clients5. There will be follow-up Often, I find business owners with more holes in their bucket than they’ve got bucket. People read your ad, get your letter, see your sign, find you online, call or visit your place of business, ask your receptionist or staff questions, and that’s it. There’s no capture of the prospect’s name, physical address, email address and no offer to immediately send an information package, free report, coupons. This is criminal waste.I’ve been poor, so I abhor and condemn waste. Just how much waste are you permitting to slop around in your business? Probably a lot. When you invest in advertising and marketing, you don’t just pay for the customers you get. You pay a price for every call, every walk-in. Every one. Doing nothing with one is like flushing money down the toilet.To be simplistic, if you invest $1,000 in an ad campaign and get 50 phone calls, you bought each call for $20. If you’re going to waste one, take a nice, crisp $20 bill, go into the bathroom, tear the bill into pieces, let the pieces flutter into the toilet and flush. Stand there and watch it go away. If you’re going to do nothing with 30 of those 50 calls, stand there and do it 30 times. Feel it.You probably won’t like how it feels. Good.Remember that feeling every time you fail to thoroughly follow up on a lead or with a customer.6. Results rule Results rule. Period. Consider the simple agreement: You want your car hand-washed and waxed outside, vacuumed inside, for which you will pay your neighbor’s teen $20. If he doesn’t wash or wax or vacuum the car but wants the $20 anyway, what possible “story” could he offer in place of the result of a clean car that would satisfy you? I would hope none. You didn’t offer to pay for a story. You offered to pay for a clean car. The same is true with advertising and marketing investments in social media. Don’t let anyone confuse, bamboozle or convince you otherwise. Further, no opinions count — not even yours.Only results matter.Did you enjoy your book preview? Click here to grab a copy today—now 60% off when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/3/21.

Cardinal Health Stock a Buy: Healthy Gains on the Way

We take a look at Cardinal Health, a high-quality business that may be undervalued at this time.

Free Book Preview
Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

31, 2021

4 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

While the market has been somewhat difficult to get a read on lately, there’s still plenty of great opportunities out there for investors to consider including Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH). Anytime a stock breaks out from a three-year consolidation pattern, it’s worth paying attention to. It’s even better if said stock happens to be a high-quality business trading at a very attractive valuation. This is exactly the case with Cardinal Health, which has so much to offer investors at this time. As one of the top 3 U.S. distributors of pharmaceuticals, this health care company is one of the top picks in its sector given its growth prospects and strong competitive position. It’s the type of stock that you can rely on as the cornerstone of your portfolio for years to come. Let’s take a deeper look at this company’s business below and review some strong supporting points about why the stock is a buy at this time. A Healthy Business Model If you aren’t very familiar with the pharmaceutical distribution industry, it’s important to note that three big companies that control 90% of the U.S. market share. Those three companies are McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health. This is one of the great reasons to consider adding shares of Cardinal Health since there are big barriers to entry into the industry thanks to a highly regulated environment. That means Cardinal Health should retain its leading market position for years to come and continue benefitting from the sheer scale of the pharma industry. Cardinal Health essentially connects the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies with a huge range of customers that includes pharmacies, hospitals, physician offices, clinical labs, outpatient surgery centers, and more. Two of the company’s biggest customers are CVS and OptumRx, and Cardinal has deals locked in with them until 2023 and 2024, respectively. It’s also worth mentioning that Cardinal Health has more exposure to medical supplies manufacturing and distribution than the other “big three” companies, which could enable it to eventually become the go-to company for health care providers in need of medical supplies and medicines. Numerous Growth Drivers We know that the healthcare industry will continue to grow over the years, and the global pandemic has only highlighted the importance of companies that are involved in keeping the world in good health. That bodes well for a company like Cardinal Health, which should see strong earnings in 2021 and beyond. Consider the fact that the world’s population is constantly aging and will require more health care products and services each year. You also have to like Cardinal’s growth prospects as elective procedures pick up again as people get more comfortable with the idea of heading back to the doctor for non-essential care. Don’t forget about President Joe Biden’s stance on health care and his plans to build upon the Affordable Care Act, which could be another strong catalyst for this company. Finally, the fact that Cardinal Health became a network administrator of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Strategy for COVID-19 will help the company play a critical role in one of the largest mass vaccination programs of all time should be viewed as a strong growth opportunity. It’s safe to say that there are plenty of ways this company can reward long-term shareholders who are along for the ride. Dividend Aristocrat and Bargain Valuation If you still aren’t sold on Cardinal Health, keep in mind that this company is a dividend aristocrat and could be a nice way to generate income over the years. The stock currently offers investors a 3.11% dividend yield and increased its dividend payout for 32 consecutive years at this time. While the company’s dividend growth rate isn’t necessarily special, the fact that the share price has been benefitting from share buyback programs over the years and that the company is consistent in its dividend growth is confirmation that this is a well-run company that loves to reward its shareholders. While the company’s share price has been depressed due to the company’s issues related to its role in the opioid crisis, there’s a good chance that those issues have been resolved and that investors are still undervaluing this great company. When you compare Cardinal Health’s P/E ratio of 13x with the 42x P/E ratio for the S&P 500, it’s clear that this is a stock trading at a bargain valuation. The bottom line here is that Cardinal Health stands out in a market full of overvalued companies and is a strong buy given its recent breakout.