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4 ways to improve your email newsletter form

Hey Cats

An important tool as a blogger now is to introduce a email newsletter. It is a fantastic way to update your readers on an overview of posts they may have missed, run competitions and just make sure you generate lots of interest to keep driving that traffic to your blog. Making sure people who love your content get a reminder that you're there will keep your blog active. I am super guilty of loving bloggers and then getting snowed down and not checking in to see what they are up to but those emails always make me click to go through and find out. They are also a fantastic tool for monetising or businesses. 

Here is a fantastic article from MY Emma om getting that interest.

One of the most overlooked facets of creating a successful email newsletter campaign is the actual form itself—the one people have to fill out in order to become subscribers.
Companies spare no expense when it comes to the funnel that precedes it and the content that comes after, but the form often gets overlooked.
So, if you’re not seeing as many people signing up as you would like, consider the following four ways you could improve what might be the bottleneck, your form.

1. Create compelling copy based on your newsletter’s offer.

Although it might seem like just about every company these days has an email newsletter, that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Does your newsletter offer the exact same value as that of a competitor?
Then, it’s vital that you use copy to explain what makes your newsletter stand out in the form. It should outline exactly what recipients have to look forward to if they decide to provide their email addresses.
Don’t assume your entire audience simply sees the intrinsic value in a newsletter. Instead, be specific. If possible, include what current recipients have said about the value you offer.

While lead magnets can boost subscriptions, don’t forego compelling copy in the form itself. Otherwise, many people may simply provide their address for the magnet and then immediately unsubscribe.

2. The design/UX of your email newsletter form

Is your newsletter form user-friendly?
Just like with the rest of your site, if your form doesn’t follow UX best practices, you may still see some interest, but it won’t be nearly as much as you’d enjoy if your form was more intuitive.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by allowing people to use social login credentials to sign up for your newsletter. Instead of making people remember yet another password, let them click on the social platform of their choice to quickly sign up for your newsletter. It couldn’t be any easier.
If you do need to use multiple fields, consider a platform like Garlic.js, which automatically saves the text for them. That way, if someone makes a mistake and needs to reenter information, they only need to do it for one box, not the entire form – something that is sure to chase away a potential subscriber.
Finally, choose a minimalist template. While compelling text is important, a bunch of graphic bells-and-whistles are not. You don’t want any distractions between the user and a completed form.

3. Where the email newsletter form lives on the site

It’s never been easier to add an email newsletter form to your website. The challenge is knowing where it should go to see the most attention and garner the most signups.
In essence, this form is no different than other CTAs that might be on your website. As such, it’s imperative that you not display it where it wouldn’t make sense. At best, this mistake will simply fail to boost subscriptions. At worst, you’ll turn off potential subscribers to the idea of signing up.

A prime example of this is using pop-up ads. Although there is evidence these ads can work, for most companies, it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Most people aren’t going to sign up for your newsletter simply because an ad shows up the minute they visit your website.

Again, think of traditional CTA. Where do you tend to put them for best results? For the most part, they come after high-quality content, right?

That’s why you should pair your signup forms with content upgrades. Once a prospective subscriber is done reading a well-written, informative post, they’ll be ready for more, especially if all they need to do is provide you their email address (or, better yet, click a social login link) to get it.

4. The data fields in your email newsletter form

How many data fields should you include on your newsletter form?

This is a very common question.

Fortunately, the answer is a simple one: as many as it takes to segment your audience.

For some of you, this may not be an issue. If you’re just starting out with your list, you probably haven’t been able to segment it yet. In that case, give people the opportunity to sign up with a single click through a social login.

On the other hand, if you do have different segments, include enough fields in your form to address them through different newsletters.

Do not overdo it, though.

Many companies use their forms to gather information they don’t actually need to properly serve each segment. They ask about age, marital status, location, and a whole host of other traits that may help improve their marketing but isn’t necessary for providing a newsletter.

Back in 2013, at the MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit, a test proved that each additional field decreases conversions by 11%. That likely hasn’t improved much over the years, so keep it simple.

It’s just not worth losing recipients who don’t want to go through this entire process. Ask for what you need and leave it at that.

Prioritize your email newsletter form

If you value the potential of your email newsletter, you need to also value the importance of the form people must complete in order to subscribe.

Until you do, the success of your email newsletter will never reach its potential. You’ll never put it in front of as many people as you otherwise could.

However, while it’s always wise to continuously test for better results, optimizing your form based on the above advice is a one-time investment. After that, you can put your focus back on the newsletter itself, confident that you’re not missing out on a much larger audience.


Have you got an email newsletter?


*collab


Do Men And Women Look At First Dates Differently?

Hey Cats,

We all get those first date jitters and the worry if our date shares pour dating etiquette. Like who should pay and where to go? The truth is there are no real rules when it comes to dating just unwritten things we all do or have come to expect from each other. Ferratum already did did some great first date research for us/


I was actually super surprised how little both men and women preened for their first date. I genuinely would have though like 90% would admit to taking that extra effort. A crazy 14% of women however did say that they spent £100 on new items for a date night...however is it just a great excuse to buy those things you have been eyeing up. I am not sure I have ever bought a dress especially just for a date out but then i do have a bit of a dress addiction so it is more of a "ooo which one should I wear"/ I wonder how many of you have a lucky date outfit? I can still remember what my Mr had on our first date 4 years later so it really is worth making that effort. 

I was surprised in the rise of social media that more people haven't checked their date out because lets be honest the rise of online dating means most likely that's where we met them. If we didn't you can be sure that I am going to have a good look. It can be a great way to find some common topics and get a good look at the embarrassing pictures. Careful not to obsess though.

The main thing that seems to stand out is the dreaded bill... this can be the most awkward part of the date. It doesn't have to be though and you really shouldn't go into a date assuming and penniless because that is just not cool. It is interesting to see that men are still taking the traditional root of offering to pay though. 

What do you think of these dating statistics?



10 Practical Ways To Improve Your Life

Hey Cats,

There may come a time when you look around and arrive at the conclusion that you’re not satisfied with your life. Maybe it’s that you’ve been spending too many hours in the office and haven’t had enough time for yourself. On the other hand, maybe you’re simply bored and need to spice up your life.
Either way, the good news is that there are several practical ways for how you can improve your situation and feel happier overall. Avoid dwelling too much in the past and put your energy into making real changes today that will help you to create a brighter tomorrow.
Increase Your Level of Physical Activity
Exercise has physical, mental and emotional benefits, so it’s worth you making an effort to increase your level of physical activity. Set goals and do your best to try to meet them each week so you can keep developing your abilities. Hit the gym more often, pinpoint a workout buddy or play a new sport to help you achieve this goal. The more you move, the more natural energy you’ll have. Also, your mood will lift, and your clothes will fit better. You’ll likely experience a boost in your confidence and will wonder why you didn’t start working out sooner because of how great you feel in general. Have fun with it and use this opportunity to engage in new physical activities you normally wouldn’t even consider doing.

Focus on Your Relationship
You can also improve your life by focusing more attention on your current relationship and the person you love. For instance, schedule regular date nights, communicate more clearly with your significant other and don’t be afraid to be a little spontaneous in the bedroom too. Take time to check out the whizzinator and see if your partner would be up for being a bit more adventurous with you. Make these types of changes, and eventually, you’ll be connecting on a deeper level and enjoying each other’s company a lot more. Give each other the attention you each deserve and appreciate one another, so you don’t take your relationship for granted.
Change Your Diet
The food you consume has an impact on your mood and overall health, so it’s a wise idea to make good choices. Pull yourself out of a slump by changing your diet for the better and eating more nutritious foods. You can do this by grocery shopping and cooking for yourself at home. You may find you truly enjoy the art of cooking and that it’s a relaxing and engaging activity for you to do more regularly. You can even improve your life by becoming a bit bolder with your food choices and branching out when it comes to making new recipes.
Take Control of Your Calendar
Ultimately, what will help you improve your life is to hold yourself accountable for overseeing your schedule. For example, overbooking yourself and having no time to attend to your self-care activities will leave you feeling exhausted and drained. You have to learn how to say no to obligations when you don’t have time for them and take control of managing your calendar. Fill up your time with more of what you enjoy doing and less of what causes you anxiety and stress. Do the same for work and in your personal life and you’ll notice what an impact this modification has on your health and wellbeing.

Adopt A Pet
An additional way to improve your life that’s practical, and fun is to adopt a pet. A pet is a great companion, will make you smile when you’re feeling down and will help add more structure to your days because you’ll have to care for them. There are a lot of animals out there that need a loving home, and you could be the answer they’ve been waiting for. Get a dog and you can go for walks or hikes in your free time and bring it to the dog park where you can also meet new people. Pets bring so much joy to your life and will truly turn your mood and attitude around and make you realise that your situation isn’t so bad after all.  
Find A New Hobby
If you’re feeling lonely or bored lately, then you may want to think about finding a new hobby to take up your extra time. There are a lot of different options out there for you to explore such as drawing or painting, building your own furniture or picking up photography. It’s not only a practical way to use your talents, but you can also join clubs or groups, so you can expand your social circle. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself and more productive when you stay active and engaged in life instead of sitting on the couch watching television and waiting for opportunities to find you. It’s important to take up hobbies that make you feel good about yourself and challenge you so that you’re forced to step outside your comfort zone.


Travel More
Travelling is an excellent way to get out of your comfort zone and see the world. You may not be enjoying life very much right now because you’re stuck in the same routine day in and day out. Mix it up by planning regular staycations and holidays away where you can get out of town for a few days at a time. This is your opportunity to try new foods, learn about different cultures and take part in exciting activities you normally wouldn’t have the chance to do at home. Be sure to take your camera and start documenting all of the various sights you see when you’re travelling, so you always have access to these memories. Create photo albums or videos in your free time as a side project, and handy way to take note of all you’ve been doing.
Live in the Present Moment
Focusing your attention on the present moment by practicing mindful meditation will help you avoid continuing to dwell in the past. Worrying about what you’ve done wrong previously is only going to hold you back from creating the life you desire going forward. Pay attention to your surroundings, what you’re doing at the time and try not to get too caught up with what’s happened or what’s to come. Work on clearing your head on a regular basis and noticing the freedom that comes with you not obsessing over your mistakes or what could be. Become aware of your thoughts and then let them pass like clouds in the sky so you don’t get too hung up on a single notion.
Spend Less Time on Social Media
Although social media is fun an entertaining, it could be damaging your psyche and overall outlook about yourself. It’s easy to compare what others have to what you don’t and to quickly become concerned that your life isn’t as good as everyone else’s. Try to spend less time on social media and more time dedicated to activities that lift you up such as connecting with loved ones, being out in nature or participating in a hobby. You’ll likely quickly find that you feel happier and more satisfied overall when you’re not engrossed with what the people around you are doing. Set limits to how long you’re going to engage on the platforms each day and then become aware of how much extra free time you have back in your schedule as well.
Be Kind to Yourself
One other practical way to improve your life instantly is to be kind to yourself and treat yourself once in a while. For example, schedule a massage, stay in and take a warm bath or cook a healthy meal at home as various ways for how you can be nicer to yourself and practice self-care. It’s easy to get busy and put yourself last, but this isn’t going to help you stay healthy or feel joyful in the long run. You need to dedicate time to nurturing your mind, body, and soul if you want to better manage your stress and have more energy to tackle your to-do list. Make taking care of you a top priority, and it’s likely that your life will feel less chaotic and demanding overall. You can’t be afraid to say no to people when they ask for your time, as you will end up in situations where you’d rather be attending to your own needs instead.
Conclusion

The reality is that your life isn’t likely to naturally get better without any effort on your part. You have to become an active player in designing the future you desire for yourself. Use these ten practical tips to help you create better days ahead that bring a smile to your face. Give it time, because change doesn’t happen overnight, and this process will require you to adjust your ways and habits a bit. Have fun with it and give yourself credit for at least trying to challenge yourself, and see where it takes you.  


Keep Your Home Warm And Save Money

Hey Cats,

We had a great summer but usually with a great summer in the UK comes a harsh winter. Over the last week we have already had crazy amounts of rain and I am not afraid to admit it has been time to start turning the heating on again. This can become a costly process though so I am going to let you in on some ways to save money and stay warm this autumn and winter.

Windows

Having the right windows in your property is really important and if you don't already have double glazing then you should invest. Not only does double glazing keep noise to a minimum which can be a real blessing but it also helps keep heat in your home too! Double glazing Wellingborough have lots of great advice on the benefits of making sure you go double glazed. Remember it is still important to make sure over the cold months that you open your windows for ventilation.



Heating On Timer

If you live up North then you will understand when I say I am nesh. I get cold super easy and if I could would constantly have the heating on and live in a tropical sauna. However my bank balance is not so extravagant so a great compromise is setting the heating to come on twice a day for just and hour at a time and it really heats up the house and keeps it warm for much longer than you would think. For me it has to be on for just before I am getting out of bed and when I come home from work! Nothing better than coming home to a toasty warm house. I also do this with my water heating because heating just a few times a day is plenty to keep you with constant hot water unless you plan on having 20 baths a day.

Turn It Down

We all seem to think we need our heating and radiators at max temperature so we can have that full tropical beach effect. By turning down the temperature just a little bit you can save a heap of money you can do this by turning the thermostat down by 5. You can also think about which rooms you want to be warmest in the house and adjust your radiators accordingly. I would suggest keeping at least a low temperature in all rooms when the heating is on to avoid issues with damp. However you can turn the radiator down low ion rooms you do not use often like guest and dining rooms and have the higher in the rooms you use the most.



Smart Meter 

Smart meters are on the rise and being fitted in homes and businesses all around the UK right now. They are great for understanding your energy use and coupled with the other things mentioned you will be able to see what a saving you are making by making small changes but still staying warm and cosy. Most suppliers are now providing free smart meters now which is fantastic they help you pin point where you're spending money most and you can work out how to cut back without sacrificing too much warmth.

How do you save your warmth and money?





*collab 

Fun Days Out In The UK: A Guide

Hey Cats,

Despite being a small island, in comparison to many other travel-lovers dream destinations, the
United Kingdom has no shortage of fun activities for everyone, young and old. Whether you’re
more into city breaks, or would rather enjoy the peace and quiet of the English countryside, we’ve
compiled a guide to fun days out in the UK, as there truly are so many to choose from.


The below guide covers what you’ll need to know before you book, how you should pack, who to
travel with, and what to do when you get there.


Fun days out for the family…


In and outside of British cities, you’ll find plenty of fun days out for all the family.


If you’re headed to the countryside, the UK has done a fantastic job at maintaining lots of historic
sites, including the best castles (such as Bodiam Castle), forts and manor houses, which the kids will
enjoy exploring. In the cities, you’ll find museums — Madam Tussauds, for example — art galleries,
and other such attractions, to pass many fun-filled hours. Furthermore, there are numerous theme
and adventure parks scattered all over the region, such as Thorpe Park or Alton Towers.




Of course, you must think of the British weather when planning a family day out in the UK; rain
can be disruptive to your activity if you’re spending time outside. So, if you’re planning to visit
during the winter, autumn and spring months (generally speaking October - April) then you may
be best off searching for inside attractions, or places with some level of shelter. Either way, pack
your wet weather gear, as you never know what the British weather has in store!


Fun days out for adults…


British cities are well renowned for their arts, culture and entertainment. Indeed, whatever your
hobbies and interests you will undoubtedly find something that suits your interests.


If you’re interested in arts and culture, you should head to the literary cities of Norwich and Bath.
The Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow also have much to offer; in Edinburgh, you’ll
experience the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Glasgow the breathtaking
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art.




For music and theater, London is perhaps the unparalleled champion, as you’ll find hundreds of
performances taking place every night in gig venues and on-stage across the capital. London’s
West End lights up at night, and you can usually find cheap London theatre tickets on sale in the
area, for performances the same or next day. These days, the theatre is accessible to all, so you
needn’t worry about dress code — a casual evening outfit is all you’ll need, rather than black tie.


On the other hand, be aware that many music events at venues such as The O2 in Greenwich will
sell out months in advance, so if you’re visiting with a specific event in mind you’d do well to book
ahead.


In conclusion…


You’ll surely find a great many opportunities for fun days out during your stay in the UK, and
preparation should help you enjoy all the events and activities you’d like, before they sell out.



Self-Confidence Habits That Actually Mean Something

Hey Cats,

We’re often told that in order to increase our self-confidence, we simply need to tell ourselves the right thing. We might hear suggestions such as ‘just be yourself!’ or ‘don’t be worried!’ or ‘there’s no need to feel shy!’ However, often these suggestions mean little, and are hard to implement. Almost no one hears them spoken, and immediately feels better. If anything, statements like that just make us realize how ‘irrational’ we are being, even if that’s a completely false feeling to keep.

If you want to develop your confidence, empty platitudes mean nothing. Of course, personal positivity and self-acceptance can help you get started. If you wanted to lose weight, feeling awful about your current shape isn’t going to help you lose the weight, provided you know a change needs to be made. For this reason, self-confidence must always be refined with a sense of maturity. Here are some tips to help you do just that:


Body Positivity

We all know that body positivity is important to practice, so long as we also commit to living a healthy lifestyle. You should always feel confident about your curves, but of course never use that to justify an unhealthy weight. However, there are other ways to help you feel gorgeous no matter your shape. Practicing this can help you develop much more of a healthy relationship to your body, flaunting both your perceived weak points and strong points with love equal to one another.

You may decide to take it slow, such as wearing something more flattering when headed on vacations. You made decide to stock up on bluebella with Lingerie Outlet Store options. You may decide to book a photoshoot for no other reason than to teach you the fabulous art of posing, and to come away with a set of photographs you’re truly proud of. All of this can help you once again reinforce your personal beauty - and that’s an amazing thing indeed.

Treating Yourself

Treating yourself at random with no questions asked can help you identify your self-worth. Many people only wish to treat themselves when they’ve earned it, and that’s a healthy attitude to have too. But, once in a while, a simple carefree treat can help you remember your personal worth, and help you remember that sometimes, you don’t need a reason to be gifted something. You needn’t spent too much money in this habit. Just one small, targeted effort can help you feel more comfortable in the long term, and that is a confidence and self-love habit you may find real use in.



Surround Yourself With People You Respect

Without people you respect around you, you’re going to be hard pressed to confirm your self-worth with others. There’s almost nothing better than a fair and honest friend praising you for something, and bringing that emotional core to the life of someone else. No person is an island, and sometimes you really do need that opinion of someone you deeply love. You may not always like their pure honesty, but good friends will never lie to you, instead hope to build you up and help you develop your best self. Just having someone in proximity like this can help you feel much more confident in the long term.

With these tips, you’re sure to build reliable self-confidence over time.


Avoid Holiday Nightmares and Get Travel Insurance

Hey Cats,

We all love travel and planning trips,  booking lovely places to stay and exciting ways to get there but sometimes we forget about one of the most important things for any trip. When travelling abroad one of the most important things you plan on your trip should be making sure you book a great insurance cover. I know it can be super tempting not to bother and have a little extra spending money but when you need it you realise how important it is. Even the best plans can fall apart and it is completely out of your hands.

Lost and Stolen

It is everyones worst nightmare to be on the other side of the world and to lose something important. It can be anything from your luggage getting lost or having your money and passport stolen. Luckily they can be replaced if you have insurance and yes you may feel like your holiday has been spoiled  but you still have a chance of fixing it.



My little brother went on holiday with my aunt and on the holiday they kept the valuables including money, phones, passports and even gameboys in the safe in the room thinking they were protected. Sadly they were stolen but due to us having travel insurance we were able to act fast and make sure that he had his money gameboy and passport returned as did my aunt with her insurance. Sadly a friend of my aunts who went didn't have insurance and really struggled to get help. There are two lessons to be learnt here that one of course get travel insurance but also be careful when storing valuables. Don't keep them all in one place and keep important items like passports with you. 

Medical 

As a UK traveller it is important to remember that not all countries are blessed with the NHS and free health care is unheard of. A medical emergency can pop up when you least expect it. I worked in a job where travelling with young people was a main part of my role and on almost every trip we had to use medical side of our travel insurance . On one trip a girl fell off a horse and on another a boy burnt himself making a cup of tea and these were 20+ young adults! They are silly little accidents that can happen in the blink of an eye and could happen to anyone because lets face it we all love a good brew.



Your insurance can cover you for any emergency trips to hospital and any stays you may need or even if you have to go home early. Make sure when booking your insurance you;re covered for the worst case scenario.

Trip Cancellation

When you book a trip you have no idea what will happen in your future. You may lose your job, have a bereavement or your trip may get cancelled on the other side. If you have your insurance covered and a valid reason for cancelling then you will not end up being out of pocket. Now I don't think there are many insurance companies that will refund you for a break up you may need to find an amicable agreement that someone buys the other out and goes on the trip but if you can't and they refuse to go then you may be able to get their side covered which could fund your solo trip. 



Travel Issues

There are lots of times when have all been waiting for delayed trains and planes and they can be frustrating. Even more frustrating if you have more than one to catch and end up missing your connection. In most occurrences travel companies can be reasonable and get you on the next flight. However we all have that pre holiday nightmare that the alarm won't go off or the car won't start and we end up missing the flight....sometimes this happens and when you just haven't showed then most travel companies will show no mercy. This is where your travel insurance becomes your best bud again and saves the day. You can jump on a flight and soak up the sun after a few annoying phone calls but a small price to pay in return for a fab holiday. 

Bankruptcy 

Over the last few years airlines and hotels filing into bankruptcy have been a reality for many holiday makers. Just imagine being on holiday and finding out the company who are meant to fly you home have vanished. This is exactly what happened to my partners grandparents. They were on holiday in Spain having a lovely time and suddenly news dropped that their airline was gone and not honouring any of the flights. They were due to fly home the next day!! luckily they had some cash and were able to book an extra couple of weeks in their apartment and when they got hold of the insurance company not only did they sort the flight but also paid for the extra few weeks too. Although they enjoyed their extended stay they were happy to come home and have actually been a little put off travelling abroad.

In all there are lots of reasons to pay out that extra bit of cash to make sure you are safe!

Do you have any holiday horror stories?



*collab