Book Review: A Bully on the School Bus

Book Details:

Book Title: A Bully on the School Bus by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and Leah N. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 26 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: Sept 2015
Tour dates: Oct 8 to 26 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Nicole is the main character in the book “A Bully on the School Bus.” Nicole is a young girl who rides the school bus to school every day. It wasn’t until Nicole started experiencing problems with another bus-rider named Dylan when she became uncomfortable being on this bus. Her experience with Dylan is a form of bullying, and she was frightened. After several incidences, Nicole made her parent aware and found a way to solve the problem.

My Thoughts:

This short book presents the reader with an important scenario in today’s school systems: bullying. A young girl named Nicole is being bullied by a boy named Dylan while riding the school bus. Despite the fact that seats are not assigned Dylan asks Nicole to get up and move so that he can sit in her seat. There are, of course, other seats available, but Dylan wants this particular seat that Nicole is currently residing in. Dylan is simply trying to strong-arm Nicole into moving as an act of aggression and power. There is absolutely no reason he cannot go elsewhere.

It’s easy for a child to get picked on while riding the bus. The bus driver is completely engaged in driving the bus and keeping the children safe from other cars and traffic. He or she does not typically have the ability to monitor the situation among the students riding back and forth to school each day. A lot of bullying takes place on school buses and this book is the perfect introduction to such a scenario.

After speaking to her mom about the situation on the bus Nicole comes up with a new solution for addressing Dylan’s misbehavior. If Dylan demands she change seats Nicole has a game plan to speak with the bus driver directly about the situation. So the next time Nicole boards the bus and Dylan demands she give up her seat, Nicole walks up to the bus driver and asks for assistance in the matter.

Of course, this is a short book, and the problem is resolved immediately for Nicole. In real life the solution may not come so quickly and Dylan may choose to taunt Nicole in other ways or other places on the bus or at school. Still I think this book is a solid introduction to the topic of school bullying and the types of solutions, such as reaching out to adults, that children should know about and understand.

To read reviews, please visit Dr. Mildren Peyton’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author:

 

 

Dr. Mildred Peyton is the President and Founder of Peyton Consulting, LLC. Dr. Peyton established her consulting firm, which was initially geared towards school bullying services, in March 2016. She was inspired to create Peyton Consulting and become a children’s author on bullying after completing her doctoral research study entitled, “Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children.”

During her undergraduate internship in 2002-2003 at Salisbury Middle School in Wicomico County, Dr. Peyton and her team developed and facilitated a mentoring program, providing one-on-one conflict resolution and mediating skills to students who were identified by the program coordinator with ongoing needs of behavioral issues. One of the key/primary areas Dr. Peyton and the other mentors focused on was educating and addressing bullying issues with bullies and victims. And in her graduate program, Dr. Peyton also facilitated a school bullying focus group in 2005 at Maryvale Elementary School in Montgomery County, to teach participants about bullying behaviors and how to avoid bullying others. She also attended several bullying workshops to learn about the latest studies while working with the students. Her passion on this topic followed her even as she served as a member on the Committee on Hate/Violence at Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, in 2013. There she developed a brochure for students and parents for the annual bullying symposium and, provided rich knowledge and skills on this topic throughout the year.

Today, the company has expanded its services to target workplace bullying as well. With the experiences of others and Dr. Peyton’s personal experience with adult bullying in the workplace (which caused her to resign from her employer in 2016), she believes attention, guidance, and solutions are also critical in this area. Dr. Peyton holds a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Peyton is committed to using her knowledge and skills to influence positive change among students and adults.

Connect with Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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October 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

Is Suze Orman Right About FIRE?

Three mornings a week I drop my children off at school and head directly to the gym. My neck and back are forever tight and achy, but I find that a quick jaunt on the elliptical machine loosens my muscles and my mind. In the beginning I listened to music and pounded out the minutes with Linkin Park. Then I discovered a few podcasts that introduced me to so many amazing ideas. Those three days of the week, when my children aren’t underfoot, I can focus on the voices and ideas being fed directly into my ears.

I have a few favorites that I listen to without fail, but every once in awhile I search for something new. This week I ventured into the Afford Anything podcasts and listened intently to the “Why I Hate the Fire Movement” podcast.

Although I didn’t agree with everything Suze Orman had to say in that podcast I did agree with a lot of it. My grandmother lived to the ripe old age of ninety-four. She lived on her own, in an apartment with little more than an aide to cook her lunch and dinner two to three times a week. I can only hope that I am lucky enough to live that long in such great health with such an active and strong mind. My luck hasn’t been that great so far.

My grandmother loved to watch the news and she loved to debate. Sometimes we agreed, but often we did not. No matter how much we challenged each other’s thoughts we always walked away with love in our hearts. I loved to hear the conviction with which we shared her opposing thoughts. Until the very end her arguments were well constructed and sound.

In the last few years of her life my grandmother went back and forth between her house, the hospital and a rehabilitation center. Over and over again she rebounded from her bouts of illness and made her way back home and while she enjoyed living on her own she was often quite lonely.

My grandmother and I shared a deep connection. Many times when I thought about her the phone would ring and there she was on the other end. Telling me she “wasn’t dead yet” and that “she hadn’t talked to me in awhile.” Even if I had called her earlier in the week to chat. I would give anything to give her a call right now and tell her how much I miss hearing her voice or the cackle she made whenever my kids did anything to amuse her.

I learned so many lessons from my grandmother. She was my money mentor and although I’m not sure she ever listened to Suze Orman she certainly echoed her sentiments. She taught me to use my money wisely. She taught me to save. Above all else my grandmother didn’t understand why people used credit cards if they couldn’t afford to pay off their bill each month. She lived in a time before credit cards. In a time when layaway meant you had to earn and save enough to buy the item you coveted.

While my grandmother never wanted to admit she was aging I sometimes wonder if she would have lived longer in a place that assists the elderly. On her own she failed to feed herself as often as should and lacked social interactions, but the truth is she couldn’t afford to move into a nice retirement community.

When she turned ninety my dad met with a financial planner who said she could only live five years in the retirement home where she wanted to go. It was a nice place, but not extravagant by any means. My grandmother had spent her life living frugally and saving money, yet when the end was near she was told her half million would barely cover half a decade.

It was unclear what would happen if she outlived her money, but one thing is certain. She wouldn’t have been able to stay at the place after they sucked up her $500,000.

Luck was on my grandmother’s side. She lived a long and healthy life, but what if she had been sick sooner? What if she hadn’t been able to live alone in those last few years? Perhaps long term care insurance would have been the answer. But like all insurance you are hedging your bets and paying a hefty price while praying you don’t get sick enough to need care. When do you purchase insurance and what do you do if you have illnesses that prevent you from attaining coverage?

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think Suze Orman made pertinent points in saying that in old age we often need much more money than we might expect when we are young and healthy. You might not think a ninety year old woman would need more than half a million dollars, but as you wind down your life do you really want to spend it in a subpar facility?

I particularly liked Suze Orman’s comments about searching for a job you enjoy. I love how she talked about Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Elon Musk continuing to work even though money was no longer a worry. I know many in the fire community thought this sounded elitist but I disagree. Some of these people are shining examples of those who could have walked away decades ago.

I do think that Suze Orman misunderstood some aspects of the FIRE movement, and her delivery was far from ideal, but in her defense the RE portion of FIRE stands for “retire early”. Perhaps we need a new term for FIRE. Something that indicates the desire to continue to work and contribute to society, not just step away from it all, which is what many people think about when they think about retiring.

While I know Suze Orman makes a ridiculous amount of money selling her books and television shows I still think her message in this podcast is relevant and important. None of us can project how healthy we will be or how long we may live. While it is certainly important to live for today we wouldn’t want to make the mistake of believing we may never need more money than we initially projected.

October 24, 2018 at 4:55 PM 6 comments

The Sooner The Better: Investing For The Future

In the world of investing, many people tend to delay their saving strategies until they are in their mid 40’s. Statistically, the average American’s financial situation becomes more stable around this time. For this reason, people tend to invest only when they have extra money. Truthfully, investing at a younger age is more beneficial. Between low salaries and college debts, people tend to think their younger years are years meant for getting by. However, younger adults have a time advantage, allowing for more risk tolerance. This is partly because time is your friend when it comes to investing early, especially compounding interest. Additionally, the younger an investor is, the longer they have to recover from investing mistakes or mishaps. Having room for miscue is an excellent sign of a sound investing plan. On the other hand, a mistake at a later age can greatly jeopardize your entire financial situation, which you may never recover from.

One of the most popular long-term investment strategies is investing in real estate. When investing in real estate, make sure to familiarize yourself with terms like “mortgage” and “what is a land trust.” Owning a property and renting it out to tenants is a sure way of earning a passive income for as long as the property is occupied. Renting out a property allows the monthly payments to contribute towards the total mortgage of the house, evidently paying off the home. After that, you are left with a property you own, and a steady stream of profit. This is by far the most overlooked yet most powerful way of planning for the future.

Examining the investment process, we know that it is a lifelong process. Starting to invest at a younger age allows for much faster goal achievement, whether that may be college funds, a home, vacation or retirement. Beginning to invest and plan your finances strategically at a younger age teaches the individual lifelong disciplinary skills. Learning to automate the saving process by systematically contributing money to a savings account is one of the most constructive strategies you can take. Once saving money becomes a regular habit, you will then have to assess how you want to invest your savings and your risk tolerance level. However, this is often the hard part as many younger individuals are not too absorbent with the proposal of investing. Learning self-discipline by saving a portion of your income is one of the best ways to rapidly achieve investment goals.

The sooner an individual plans for their future, the easier it will be to comfortably achieve their future goals. While many younger people may think of retirement as a distant conviction, implementing an early retirement plan presents greater opportunities for living the lifestyle of your choice at a later age. Early investing will indoctrinate patience and discipline from experiencing highs and lows in the world of investing. The earlier you start to invest, the quicker you will figure out the strategies for success.

Compounding interest also plays a huge role when deciding to invest early, especially for retirement planning. Each year, individuals earning an income must pay an income tax, which is deducted from their paychecks. Investing as much as you comfortably can allows for retirement account growth potential, since you are investing capital that would be paid in taxes regardless. Most retirement accounts, such as 401k’s and IRA’s, are not taxed. This leaves the clever investor with the option to put aside as much money as possible in these accounts to avoid taxing, and evidently earning an interest rate on that sum of money. Another reason to invest and save as much as you comfortably can is compounding interest. This is basically added interest on the sum of your deposited funds in a particular account. The earlier you can start this process, the longer your capital has the chance to compound or grow. Waiting to invest for retirement at a later age may cost you thousands of dollars, especially waiting until your mid 30’s and 40’s like the typical American. Although many people have the desire to invest the maximum amount permitted by their plans, many find that it cuts into a huge portion of their paychecks. Below are two solutions to this issue:

Give your retirement plan a raise whenever you get a raise at work. Adding a higher percentage of your salary to a retirement plan can benefit you and your compounding interest plan.

Gradually increasing your payroll deduction contribution, 1% or so each quarter or two quarters, until ultimately reaching the maximum allowed deduction amount. That little-contributed percentage can be worth much more in the future.

October 23, 2018 at 11:18 AM Leave a comment

Traveling To The US

The United States of America, the prioritized destination of travelers, is the most popular country in the world. A well-developed state comprising of establishing 50 states, is the dream place of millions of people in the world. The world is captivated in the entrance of the American dream; the US with its embarking journey to lead in various fields of expertise has made them a country where people from all across the globe come to, fashioning the compartments of technology, opportunities for jobs, studies and industrialization.

With the recent headlines engulfing the media about various intrusions from the country into the affairs of other homelands, people are encompassed with specific political ideas regarding America and its people. But, I got the fantastic opportunity to travel to this place of dreams and revolutionize that concept for you because disregarding the political opinions, you cannot visit a place with an immense provision of opportunities in different fields and the beautiful traditions exhibited over this state.

Coming here, the first thing I was surprised to learn was that English was never termed as the official language of the state. People have been conversing in English for as long as I can remember, even invaded by the West dare I say, and transitioning the world to communicate internationally with this particular language. Yet, you may find it queer that English has been regarded as the unofficial language amongst people like an unspoken binding promise, a confession made in the streets that proclaimed to be agreed upon by the people. And while that is true, official documents are in English and that is why certified translation is needed when you try to move in the country.

What might dazzle you, slightly more, is that the country is consumed by the Spanish people, enough to proclaim Spanish as the second unofficial language of the country. YES! Out of 19 million folks across the country, a large group of people tends to communicate in Spanish for conveying their general idea.

The country is quite relaxed and busy simultaneously. People find themselves working regularly in their routines around a fixed schedule but find enough time to hang out with friends as they ponder upon their daily life issues over a cup of coffee. In the city of New York, you will be overwhelmed by the embracing vibes of the determination to work and the bustling streets occupied with noisy cars and a hush of a busy chill in the air. People are always on their clock, rustling around the city, in taxis, rummaging in their briefcases and on the hurry most of the time.

They are animal lovers without a trace of doubt. You will often find people walking their cats home, playing with their dogs in the park, nestling with the puppies and building a proper shelter at their respective home and even so, taking them to dates to sniff out the sense of loneliness often consuming the lives of people.

The US is a developed country, making it extremely accustomed to the idea of technology. You will not find many places where people are without their phones or surrounded by laptops and phone calls as they work their way through their busy routines. This also follows with the population being extensively obese. The junk food and processed, canned foods are their choice of flavors as they are cheaper and accessible for ready-made meals making food a mere choice to determine whatever you want to eat at any hour of the day. Another thing that I observed is that people like to achieve their goals in life independently. After reaching a certain age, kids carry on exploring the wonders of life as they travel to find their purpose and follow their aim in life. The disconnection is varied but not constant.

You will find yourself surrounded by the different cultures in the different cities of the states. It is as if you are visiting a whole different country when you travel backpacking your way into the premises of another beautiful city because each city, with its vast blue sea, or attractive landmarks, or tall skyscrapers or markets of produce or farms and mountains spread across the horizon, differ from each other in some aspect making your traveling dream come true.

America is best known because of its entertainment industry and the influence it has produced on the majority of people all over the world. It has evolved its industry by producing sets on a large scale and opening them to public affairs. The fandoms continue to grow and evolve as their merchandise is exhibited and the concerts have prevailed with an undying love for their respective idols.

America is a place with joyful people. They are loving, caring and are aware of a particular space that needs to be accustomed to every individual. They respect people but are liberal in their terms of speech and though. They are independent citizens believing in the equality of the justice and proclamation of the love all across the country. They are not hesitant to speak up about their issues but carry their protests in a professional method, refraining from certain aspects of violence to establish a sense of respect amongst the individuals of the state.

Countries are not just recognized on the basis of their strength and military, but importantly, with the profound impact, they leave on other people because of their intense culture and the roots of their tradition beautifully proliferated into the vast area of the exhibition. America has left a relentless desire in me to revisit this entrancing country.

October 22, 2018 at 10:11 AM Leave a comment

Book Review: Sophia Writes To Her Bully

Book Details:

Book Title: Sophia Writes to Her Bully by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton, with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: February 21, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 8 to 26 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!

Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyberbullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.

My Thoughts:

If you want to talk to your child about bullying Sophia Writes to Her Bully is a solid introductory book worth sharing and reading together. In this story Sophia feels excluded by other children at school. When Sophia attempts to play with other students at recess she is purposefully excluded and mocked for being overweight. When she comes home visibly shaken and upset from the experience Sophia’s mom tries to help. Her mother suggests writing a letter to Amber, the student in Sophia’s class who seems to be the ringleader of this bullying circle.

Sophia loves the suggestion and writes a short letter explaining how hurt she feels when the other children exclude here and call her names. She asks Amber to step into her shoes. She wants Amber to think about how awful it would feel to be alone on the playground while everyone else enjoyed recess playing games and talking together. After writing the letter Sophia leaves it on Amber’s desk and waits for her to find it. The book unfolds with a happy ending where Amber befriends Sophia and invites her to play at recess.

While I think the book does a good job of introducing bullying I think it wraps up the ending rather quickly. As a child a friend of mine wrote a note to bully and was further mocked for trying to make peace. While I think writing a letter is a good suggestion I think the resolution of this story came to quickly. I am not certain if simply reading a letter would make most children stop their bullying behavior and I worry that a child reading this book would get their hopes up on such a happy ending.

Nonetheless I think this is a good book for children to read. It’s a good introduction to the topic and would be a valuable book for a teacher to share in the classroom.

To read reviews, please visit Dr. Mildren Peyton’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author:

 

 

Dr. Mildred Peyton is the President and Founder of Peyton Consulting, LLC. Dr. Peyton established her consulting firm, which was initially geared towards school bullying services, in March 2016. She was inspired to create Peyton Consulting and become a children’s author on bullying after completing her doctoral research study entitled, “Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children.”

During her undergraduate internship in 2002-2003 at Salisbury Middle School in Wicomico County, Dr. Peyton and her team developed and facilitated a mentoring program, providing one-on-one conflict resolution and mediating skills to students who were identified by the program coordinator with ongoing needs of behavioral issues. One of the key/primary areas Dr. Peyton and the other mentors focused on was educating and addressing bullying issues with bullies and victims. And in her graduate program, Dr. Peyton also facilitated a school bullying focus group in 2005 at Maryvale Elementary School in Montgomery County, to teach participants about bullying behaviors and how to avoid bullying others. She also attended several bullying workshops to learn about the latest studies while working with the students. Her passion on this topic followed her even as she served as a member on the Committee on Hate/Violence at Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, in 2013. There she developed a brochure for students and parents for the annual bullying symposium and, provided rich knowledge and skills on this topic throughout the year.

Today, the company has expanded its services to target workplace bullying as well. With the experiences of others and Dr. Peyton’s personal experience with adult bullying in the workplace (which caused her to resign from her employer in 2016), she believes attention, guidance, and solutions are also critical in this area. Dr. Peyton holds a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Peyton is committed to using her knowledge and skills to influence positive change among students and adults.

Connect with Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Nov 3, 2018

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October 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

7 Email Marketing Tips for Local Businesses

For small businesses, it can be a struggle to compete with large competitors, especially if you have a limited budget.

However, who says you have to spend a fortune to get results?

In the ever-evolving landscape of online business, there is one aspect of marketing that continues to reap rewards for all businesses, big or small. That’s right: we’re talking about email marketing.

While social media and video hog the spotlight, the reality is that email marketing can generate a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other channel.

That’s great news for businesses who are looking to grow their brand locally.

In this article, we’ll explore the key email marketing tips for local businesses, giving you all the insights and proof you need to understand just how powerful email can be, and more importantly, how you can use it to drive success.

How local businesses can boost the ROI of email marketing

Big brands with deep pockets have the luxury of being able to spend and experiment with a plethora of marketing strategies. You may not have the same financial freedom.

To increase the chances of long-term success for your business, focus on growing your reputation locally.

Here are some essential email marketing tips for local businesses that will get your metrics moving in the right direction.

  1. Make it easy to subscribe

It shouldn’t be hard for people to sign-up to your newsletter. If it is, you’ll simply deter people and will lose out on potential sales as a result.

Here are a few ways to improve the sign-up process:

  • Include calls-to-action (CTAs) on your social media pages and also on blog posts.
  • Reduce the fields on sign-up boxes to a minimum. By just requesting the email and first name upfront, you make it easy for people to register in seconds. You can always request more data later on.
  • Make your emails shareable by adding social share buttons in the email copy. Doing this will allow your existing subscribers to share your email content with their own audiences, which will increase brand awareness and potentially earn you more subscribers.

From your sign-up forms to your CTAs, everything should be clear and easy, paving the way for a simple sign-up with the minimum number of digital touchpoints.

  1. Let people know what to expect

Nobody wants to receive spam or have their inbox polluted by irrelevant emails. Ideally, you’ll only ever be sending valuable content. Occasionally, however, you may intend to send out some promotional offers or company news.

It’s crucial that you make people aware of this before they subscribe. This is not optional now—it’s required by law since the GDPR was enacted earlier in 2018.

Even if the legal requirements weren’t a factor, you should be forthcoming and transparent with prospects, as then they will know exactly what they are signing up for. This will reduce the chance of people unsubscribing soon after.

This newsletter sign-up form from Everlane lets users know exactly what they can expect when signing up to their newsletter list.

  1. Offer promotions

Who doesn’t love a good deal?

Although hard sales emails rarely go down well, companies can generate more site traffic and sales with a timely promotion.

Studies indicate that most people do want to hear about discounts or special promotions from local businesses, and 64% of customers state that email is their preferred channel to receive such offers.

Let’s say you own a restaurant that is going through a bit of a quiet patch. While business is slow, you do have a lengthy list of emails from previous customers who used your online booking service in the past.

You can put that list to use by emailing your customers special offers, such as:

  • Lunch discounts
  • Coupons for couples meals
  • Complimentary bottle of wine with any meal

Special offers like this can soon kickstart sales growth, and it is one of the most cost-effective email marketing tips for local businesses to use.

Deliveroo, a premium restaurant delivery service, offers existing customers a deal if they choose to order an entire meal for delivery.

It’s much cheaper and faster to send out an email promotion instead of printing fliers and handing them out on the street.

  1. Audience segmentation

Going niche is essential in today’s competitive world. But even if you are catering to a specialist market, your marketing must consider several buyer personas.

You can drill even deeper into your own audience to target smaller subgroups of your customer base with content and offers that are specifically tailored to their interests.

Research shows that segmented campaigns can deliver a 760% revenue boost.

Here are a couple of common ways of implementing segmentation to get more out of email marketing:

Geo-targeting

By asking for zip codes during the sign-up process, your business can target local customers. You can group customers in the local area together, and send them targeted content that is more engaging and relevant to them. For example, you can make them aware of sales at the nearest store.

Demographics

Just as men and women have different shopping habits, so do millennials and middle-aged professionals. By considering these various demographics, you can cater to the specific interests of each group.

Sending generic, broad emails to everyone may be easier, but by taking the time to craft emails for each group, your engagement levels, clicks, and conversions will go through the roof.

Personalization

Email provides companies with a chance to communicate with customers in a conversational, casual manner. This helps nurture trust, as people can see the human side of your business and appreciate that you are not just another faceless brand with eyes on their wallets.

All this to say that one of the best email marketing tips for local businesses is to get personal.  There are several effective ways to use personalization in email marketing, such as:

  • Subject line: Add the customer’s first name, or use language that resonates with them to drive open rates.
  • Copy: Adopt a conversational tone and focus on the recipient. Instead of talking about the features of your products, highlight the benefits for the users.
  • Visuals: Include infographics or video content to boost engagement.
  • CTA: Add powerful hooks that play on the customer’s specific needs.
  • Offers: Make personalized recommendations based on data you have gathered about your customers.

Flight Centre use personalization to great effect in their emails, sending relevant offers to customers based on the data they collect about their customers’ browsing behaviors.

For example, if you were researching the best places for a skiing trip, your next email may offer you deals on cheap flights to areas with ski resorts.

  1. A/B testing

In the early days of any business, a major challenge is finding the methods that actually work. There is inevitably a lot of trial and error, and you may incur some losses due to the guesswork.

If you only try one of our email marketing tips for local businesses, then make it A/B testing.

Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket and charging ahead with methods that aren’t gaining traction, take the time to test out different techniques with your emails.

A/B testing helps you gather more information on your subscribers, and from that, you can make smarter marketing decisions. The benefits are well worth the effort:

  • It improves user engagement. Making minor tweaks to the layout, images, or colors can make a big impact on user behavior. By trialing different versions of your emails, you can find the one that users like best. Enhancing the user experience (UX) should always be a top priority, and with A/B testing, you can deliver emails that people love.
  • It improves your content35% of people open emails based solely upon the subject line. By using A/B testing, local businesses can send several versions of their copy, with variations to the  subject lines, body text, and CTAs. Soon enough, you’ll learn what works best for your audience.
  • It boosts conversion rates. A/B testing in email marketing allows you to fine-tune your emails for the best ROI. Discovering what works and what fails will help you drive more clicks, more leads, and ultimately, more conversions.

Analyze and optimize

An integral part of A/B testing is data analysis. However, even if you aren’t implementing A/B testing, you should still invest some resources in analytics.

Using an email service provider makes it easier for you to keep track of the emails you send, and provides you with key insights into important email metrics, including:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates (CTR)
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Conversion rates

By assessing these numbers, you can evaluate performance on your email campaigns and make the changes needed to improve results.

Wrap up

Email marketing allows you to communicate with your target audience at the lowest cost. Email marketing is one of the most affordable ways to communicate with potential and actual customers, obtain valuable information about their preferences and is an effective way to increase sales. Nevertheless, it requires a clear strategy for converting subscribers into sales. All letters in your company should be based on each other, and show that you know everything about the client, based on his past activities. Work with each segment of your subscribers so that each recipient receives the most relevant offer based on their preferences. Letters that include images can help stand out in a crowded inbox, especially if you select it correctly, and it can elicit an emotional response to your offer or service from the recipient.  Emma by Campaign Monitor https://myemma.com will help you get the attention of the most sophisticated clients.

October 13, 2018 at 3:56 PM Leave a comment

The Wisdom of Listening

Book Description:

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to look around you. Each and every person you see holds wisdom in their pockets–pieces of gold they’ve accumulated as they walked their own unique life journey.

Within these pages, Marilyn shares some of the many pieces of gold she has received over her decade-long career. They have been offered to her during interviews, through random encounters and while facing difficult challenges. The most important? We are each unique and exactly who we are meant to be.

Are you ready to dig for gold? All you need to do is be brave, be present in the moment and be open to the possibilities–then start a conversation.

My Thoughts:

Have you ever sat on a bench waiting for a bus and started up a conversation with a random stranger? Have you ever learned so much about that person or been told such an amazing story that you completely forgot you were waiting for a bus at all? These days cell phones prevent us from starting up conversations with random strangers, but in my twenties and thirties I had countless conversations with grandmothers, mothers, job seekers, college students and tourists all sharing a bench with me while waiting to go from point A to point B. To this day I’ll strike up a conversation with anyone who is looking out into the world rather than staring down at his or her screen.

Sitting on a bench I sometimes felt like I was just meant to meet that person on that particular day. Perhaps it was the story they told or the smile they provided that made me feel so connected to the world in a way I just couldn’t describe. Sometimes our conversations filled a void, sometimes they made me view life differently, and sometimes they just made me feel so happy to be alive. If you’ve ever had one of those moments than this book might be for you. The author retells stories and lessons learned from various interviews throughout her lifetime.

This is not the type of book you need to set aside a huge amount of time to read. You won’t find yourself immersed in chapter after chapter trying to find a way to sneak in one more minute of reading before it’s time to prepare dinner, give your kids a bath or get a wink of sleep before waking up to start your day all over again. This book can be read in just about any way you choose. The chapters can all be read independently of one another, because each chapter is a like a mini-life lesson. So you don’t need to dedicate large chunks of time to reading. You can simply read a chapter or two and then pick up the book at a later point in time to learn another life lesson.

If you’ve ever met anyone that influenced your life and the way you thought about this world this book will feel very familiar.

Praise for The Wisdom of Listening:

“Every life has a story and, no matter our background, we share similar hopes, dreams and fears. This book not only gives you insight into the varied lives of its subjects but, through Marilyn’s reflections, shows how we each walk a similar spiritual path.”
Robbin Whachell, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bahamas Weekly

“Marilyn shows us, through her compassionate and incisive interviews, how to grasp and link those golden moments, like sparkling prisms of light, into an animated and profound acceptance of ourselves, the people we encounter, the relationships we build, and the dreams that will set us free.”
Gabriella Contestabile, Author, Founder of Su Misura Sensory Journeys

“I was reminded we are collectively each walking our own paths, but often experience similar emotions, feelings, obstacles, challenges, triumphs, rewards and successes. We all learn as we go and we all become wiser as time passes. This is humanity. The diversity in each of us as a whole is awesome.”
RozeMerie Cuevas, Co-Founder and Designer at JAC by Jacqueline Conoir

Meet the Author:

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer, published author and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way: by answering a Craigslist ad from a NYC magazine. The world shifted when she conducted her first interview—she had found her passion.

Since 2006, she has interviewed over a hundred and fifty people from around the globe, co-owned a local magazine, wrote freelance for others, worked as an editor, published two books and provided author support for her publisher. Her goal as an author — to give wings to the stories of others and to pay forward some of the many “pieces of gold” received during interviews – bits of wisdom that have changed her life.

Connect with Marilyn: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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October 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM 1 comment

Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Quickly

Are you looking for easy ways to make a little bit of extra money on the side? As the cost of living continues to rise, many people are now taking up extra jobs to bring in some more cash and this can be a lot easier than you may think. If you want to get some ideas for easy ways to make extra money quickly then make sure to check out our top tips below.

Take Online Surveys

Want to make some extra money from the comfort of your own home? Then why not hop online and take some online surveys! Research companies are always looking for people to answer surveys and test new products and just a few minutes of form filling out can earn you a few pounds. Different surveys will pay out different amounts but this can quickly add up to provide you with a nice little side earner.

Review Websites and Apps

Another great way that you can earn some extra money quickly and from home is to review websites and Apps for cash! There are platforms out there that will pay you to review lots of different kinds of websites and one review will only take you about 20 minutes to complete. You will then be awarded cash that will go straight into your PayPal account.

Become a Delivery Rider or Driver

If you already own a bicycle, motorbike or car, then there are plenty of opportunities for you to make extra cash as a delivery driver. There are lots of companies now who will hire people to deliver food and you will have flexibility to work whenever you want. Your job will be to deliver food from a restaurant straight to the customers door and you can potentially make quite a bit of extra cash doing this. You can also contact your local takeaways to see if they have any delivery jobs available.

Sign Up to a Flexible Working Agency

Another great way to earn some extra cash is to sign up to an agency that allows you to work exactly when you want and at a time that is convenient to you. The Staff Heroes website is the perfect place to sign up to if you are looking for part time flexible working. They can match you up with great flexible and temporary jobs across London that are based on your skills, personality and values. This allows you to be as busy as you want to be and you can fit these jobs around your current lifestyle to make some extra cash.

Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shopping is super easy to do and you can make a nice income doing it. There are lots of different agencies online that will pay you to visit a range of shops and restaurants and all you need to do is provide them with some feedback as to how they are performing.

Become an Extra

Do you think of yourself as a budding young actor? Then why not become an extra on tv or film? Being an extra is usually pretty well paid and the best part about it is that you really don’t have to do much at all, it is super easy money! Just make sure that when you are signing up to an agency that you know how big their cut will be of your earnings.

Rent Out A Car Parking Space

If you have a driveway or a garage in a busy area, that you are not using, why not rent it out to someone who is willing to pay for its use? There are many people who will gladly pay for a parking space that is close to the city centre as daily parking can be extortionate!

Become a Babysitter

Baby sitting is a classic money maker as a lot of the time you are simply being paid to watch the television! You don’t have to be trained in child care to do this and you can advertise your services online. There are, of course, some considerations to take with this type of job, but it is still a fantastic way to earn yourself some extra cash.

Sell Items on eBay

Selling unwanted items on eBay is an oldie but a goodie. If you are trying to get rid of junk that you no longer want, eBay is the perfect place to sell these items and make yourself some cash at the same time.

Dog Walking

Finally, a great way to make yourself some extra cash and quickly is to become a dog walker. If you prefer dogs to babies, then this may just be the perfect job for you. This is a great opportunity for those who have free time during the day and it is also a fantastic way to help you keep fit!

October 11, 2018 at 11:59 AM Leave a comment

5 Creative Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween is a former pagan ritual date now turned holiday, traditionally celebrated in most parts of the world on the 31st of October of every year. The holiday is unique in that it thrives on spookiness and the otherworldly, with people; adults and children alike, dressing up in their most morbid outfits trying to ‘out-Goth’ the next person.

With the popularity of the holiday, everyone wants to throw a party. A spooky Halloween bash is just what is needed to lighten up the dark mood of the holiday a bit.

From Halloween costumes to spooky decorations, here are 5 Halloween party ideas to blow your guests’ mind away (literally)

Halloween Costumes

What is a Halloween party without some spooky, bloody costumes? First, decide if you want your party to have a theme and if you do, be sure to state in your invitation cards that the party is a themed one; and maybe even add a little excitement by assuring your guests that the best Halloween costume will receive a prize.

Make sure you, the host, stand out from the crowd by putting on a truly mind-blowing costume. If you make it a family affair, create a theme with your outfits. A good idea for a family costume would be the wizard of Oz.

DIY Invitation Cards

Create a unique invitation card befitting the Halloween mood by making it a fun DIY event. Make an unexpected invite by purchasing plain paper and then adding unique embellishments to suit your taste. If you are going for extra bloody and gloomy, use some red paint and skull stickers to create that gothic effect. For extra spookiness, include tiny ghosts, bats or pumpkins inside.

Décor

Follow the age-old practice of carving pumpkins. The greatest jack-o-lanterns your guests have ever seen should be what your guests will come face to face with them as they step into your party.

If you are following a theme for your party, integrate it into your décor.

For a bit of fun, have guests carve and design their own pumpkins at the party and in the end, have a vote and decide whose is the scariest, the weirdest or the funniest. If you are from Los Angeles, you can go for Los Angeles party rental to have all the décor items you might need for your Halloween party. If you are from Palm Springs, you can check out event rentals Palm Springs. Remember, selecting the right event rental can make your break your party.

Snacks

Think way out of the box when it comes to snacks for your Halloween parties. Standard cakes and finger food (unless they are actual fingers) will absolutely not suffice.

Get creative with your everyday treats. Design your cakes into miniature pumpkins; add a bit of bang to Oreos biscuits by giving those M&M googly eyes and licorice spider legs.

And for those finger foods, how about crafting your bite-sized cakes to look like actual severed fingers, or a large cake to look like a severed, bloody head?

Potions and Gift Bags

You don’t have to think too far with drinks for your Halloween party. Stick to regular drinks like apple juice, grape juice and punch. Get creative and add that Halloween gruesomeness by sticking labels on the bottles or bowls; label your punch bowl as ‘bat blood’, your apple juice as ‘witch brew’ and maybe your lemonade as ‘vampire venom’.

For your gift bags, include party favours your guests will look back on and remember they came from your party. Personalize the gift bags with a Halloween picture of you perhaps, and include Halloween tricks and don’t forget the treats, too.

Halloween is a fun event for everyone, young and old. Add to the excitement of the holiday by throwing an unforgettable bash worthy of the spooky day.

October 11, 2018 at 11:56 AM Leave a comment

Spooky Fun with the October Shop Swago Board!

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shop Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.   
Click here to get started

Here’s what you need to know to get your 150 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):

  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value – up to 150 SB.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, October 12th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

October 9, 2018 at 1:18 PM Leave a comment

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