Tag Archive | "screen"

Why can’t I get my HTML email to look great on Android devices?

Why can’t I get my HTML email to look great on Android devices?

Newsletter on Android

Every now and then, we receive a mobile email question that goes along the lines of, “I’ve done everything to get my HTML email to look right on mobile devices. So why does it still fall apart on my Android handset?”

Aside from the fact that there are no guarantees that any HTML email design will adapt nicely from one email client to another, there are two distinct issues that give email design for Android a bad name. We’ll look at both and how you can do your best to tackle them.

Gmail for Android doesn’t heart CSS

We may have been responsible for disproportionally raising everyone’s hopes about CSS support on Android devices when we said that “Android is powered by WebKit. WebKit has great CSS support!”

While Android’s default email client and browser do a superior job at rendering HTML email, the Gmail app for Android is undoubtedly popular… And sadly, shares the same quirky CSS support as Gmail on the web.

If you’ve created a responsive design (or used our template builder) and a client pipes up, saying that they can see the ‘full’ or ‘desktop’ version of your email newsletter, chances are that they are viewing it in Gmail for Android.

We’ve also seen issues where columns of text will automatically get ‘narrowed down’ to fit the viewport, but large images (say, a header banner) will blow out to the right, creating a really awkward flow when reading the email.

What it boils down to is a combination of Gmail a) stripping out @media queries and offering shoddy CSS support. There’s often very little that can be done to overcome these email client limitations from a coder’s point of view, but you can alleviate the pain.

I’ve got 99 viewports, but 480 x 320 ain’t one

When targeting mobile devices, we usually recommend using a @media query like:


@media only screen and (max-device-width480px... 

That’s all good for iPhones and many others, but how about handsets and tablet devices with viewports that exceed 480px in width when in either portrait, or landscape orientation?

As Stephanie Rieger points out in ‘The ‘trouble’ with Android‘, she and others have identified over 500 screen sizes across the Android family of devices. The problem of designing for an abundance of sizes is compounded by unpredictable zoom levels on each device make and model. As Stephanie points out, these can potentially trigger @media queries, even when they’re not desired – like when viewing an HTML email on a tablet device.

How can we optimize our email designs for Android devices?

Despite what seems like overwheming odds against getting your design to look great in one or any Android email client, there are ways you can make your message readable, if not presentable when under the pump. Here are a couple of ‘em.

Use a fluid layout to adjust to any viewport size

Although not always a silver bullet, designing with percentage-width, over fixed-width elements (ie. table cells, images) can improve readability and reduce display quirks across a range of email clients and devices. As Stephanie notes in the earlier post:

“Designing to fixed screen sizes is in fact never a good idea…there is just too much variation, even amongst ‘popular’ devices.”

While fluid layouts should be applied with both caution and lots of testing, we’ve seen some examples where they’ve worked out pretty well. A good fluid layout can even potentially remove the need to add width-specific @media queries to your HTML email code.

Stick to a one-column layout

Even in worst-case situations where the text has been zoomed/resized, but not the images or surrounding table cells around it, one-column table layouts have always come out best in terms of usability and readability. When possible, keep the text large and layouts simple.

Find out which CSS properties work in Gmail for Android

Thankfully, you are not alone in your noble quest – we’ve found out which CSS properties are supported by Gmail for Android and documented them for you. You can say farewell to nice bulleted lists, but staples like margin and padding still work fine.

Embrace the chaos

The final word is that you’ll almost never get an email newsletter to look pixel-perfect in all conditions. Given the variety of devices and email clients out there, your focus should be equally on graceful degradation and managing expectations, as it is on making a design beautiful in WebKit-powered clients. Sometimes there just isn’t a code solution for every mobile quirk – in the interests of preventing potential terse calls, suffering and all-nighters, it’s important that your clients understand this, too.

Email marketing software for web designers – Campaign Monitor

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Desktop Wallpaper for August

Desktop Wallpaper for August

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The summer goes by too fast, so we’re bringing you a perfect summer day to keep your mood sunny.  When you’re feeling positive, the world goes your way. At least that’s what we’re counting on!

 

Now don’t waste time staring out the window or at that boring default screen art. You can get work done and still feel like you’re outdoors with this month’s wallpaper selection.

 

Download our happy scene in one of the most popular screen resolutions…and start smiling!

 

800 x 600

 

1024 x 768

 

1280 x 800

 

1280 x 1024

 

1440 x 900

Desktop Wallpaper for August is a post from: Email Marketing Tips – Blog GetResponse

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Poll: Which Android handset should we be testing HTML email on?

Poll: Which Android handset should we be testing HTML email on?

Android phone

As you probably picked up from our recent home screen roundup, we’re largely an iPhone shop. However, the time has come for us to update a couple of the HTML email guides and resources on our site, so the team is looking to get an Android handset for testing purposes.

As you can imagine, we’ve opened up a can of worms here – while we’ve decided to go with a phone running Froyo (Android OS 2.2, as featured in our design and spam tests), we’re absolutely torn on handset we should be using. So, we’ve decided to open this up to you.

Are you an Android user, or do you optimize your emails for mobile handsets? Let us know the Android phone you think would be most useful for email testing. We’ve got 3 top-notch Campaign Monitor t-shirts to give away and by voting, you could win one of them.
Sounds good? Then lets get started:

Voting closes at midday on Monday, 6 June and the winners of the t-shirts will be contacted via email. Thank you for helping us out here – your vote will help us create more balanced resources for both you and your clients. Not everyone uses iPhones, I know!

Email marketing software for web designers – Campaign Monitor

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Speaker Training Tips – How To Make Your Sound Better

Speaker Training Tips – How To Make Your Sound Better

Speaker training tips come in all manners but this one is hitting close to home. I did a quicky screen capture video that I popped out in a couple of minutes to have for the YouTube and a blog post. While I am a HUGE proponent of launching something without taking a million takes to get there, I did have one watcher call and say that the sound was a little distracting and could he give me a couple of pointers to make it better next time? Sure!

Voice Presentations
guest post by James Todd Shiffer

Original video posted about Twitter Marketing For Small Business

This video posted above is very informative and done very nicely, although a couple things that I did notice that Tara should have done differently.

Sound Mistakes Made On The Video

  1. She had her microphone too close to her mouth.
  2. She was talking directly into her microphone.

Public Speaking Training TipsTechnically, this is what went wrong!

  1. Being too close to the microphone can cause distortion
  2. While talking directly into a microphone can cause what’s called “sonic blast” an annoying popping sound that is created when you say “T”s & “P”s this and “blowing” into a microphone can cause damage to the microphone element, the diaphragm that is inside the microphone that acts like your ear drum.

Now with my experience as a 2 way C.B. radio operator and a licensed Amateur radio operator for about 20 years. I will explain the proper way to speak with a microphone, which there are two important things to remember.

How To Talk With A Microphone To Make Your Screen Capture Videos Better

  1. Hold the microphone about 3 inches away from your mouth.
  2. When you speak never speak directly into the microphone speak across it. You can accomplish this by either holding the microphone to the side of your mouth, which does NOT look pretty, but works or hold the microphone under your mouth below your lip line.

A way you can tell where you will need to hold your microphone is to test with you hand. Hold your hand around your mouth about 3 inches away and speak if you can feel your breath on your hand at all this will be the areas you WILL need to avoid holding your microphone, also try different spots around your mouth. Once you have found a spot that is comfortable for you next test this with you microphone to see if you end up hearing a “sonic blast” at all.

I hope this information helps you with speaking in public venues or like Tara did by making informative videos. Thank you for taking the time to read this and Happy Speaking!!!!

Related posts:

  1. How To Get Paid For Speaking My Top Ten Tips
  2. Free Tampa Speaker Training!
  3. Public Speaking Tips and Tricks

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Prevent Yahoo! Mail from displaying the mobile version of your email

Prevent Yahoo! Mail from displaying the mobile version of your email

Soon after publishing our recent post on ‘Mobile email design in practice‘, it was pointed out to us that using @media queries to optimize email for mobile devices has a glaring downside. As it turns out, Yahoo! Mail inexplicably gives precedence to the @media stylesheet, using the CSS styles defined within, over any inline styles in the HTML email. The result is predictably sub-optimal:

Narrow email in Yahoo! Mail

Thankfully, there’s a straightforward, if less-than-elegant solution. It turns out that Yahoo! Mail ignores any styles that use attribute selectors, meaning that you can use these in your @media queries to ensure that Yahoo! Mail doesn’t override existing inline styles with your @media -defined ones. For example, you would change:


@media only screen and (max-device-width480px{
   
...
   
table.tabletd.cell { width300px !important}
   table
.promotabletd.promocell { width325px !important}
   
...


…to the attribute selector format, like so:


@media only screen and (max-device-width480px{
   
...
   
table[class=table]td[class=cell] { width300px !important}
   table[class
=promotable]td[class=promocell] { width325px !important}
   
...


The result for us was a restored-width email newsletter in Yahoo! Mail that displays consistently across the most popular webmail and desktop email clients.

Restored newsletter

Thankfully, this solution doesn’t affect the display of mobile-optimized email in the iPhone and Android’s respective Mail email clients. However, it does bung up how emails render in Yahoo! Mail’s mobile browser client… If that’s a concern to you.

Of course, the danger is that Yahoo! Mail will someday support attribute selectors and render this technique useless. So keep testing and hope that they properly implement @media queries well before then.

Many thanks to mobile email design legends Ed Melly and Stefan Velthuys for outlining this excellent mobile optimization for our monthly newsletter. We hope this helps you get your HTML emails close to pixel-perfect in both desktop and mobile email clients alike.

Email marketing software for web designers – Campaign Monitor

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Prevent Yahoo! Mail from displaying the mobile version of your email

Prevent Yahoo! Mail from displaying the mobile version of your email

Soon after publishing our recent post on ‘Mobile email design in practice‘, it was pointed out to us that using @media queries to optimize email for mobile devices has a glaring downside. As it turns out, Yahoo! Mail inexplicably gives precedence to the @media stylesheet, using the CSS styles defined within, over any inline styles in the HTML email. The result is predictably sub-optimal:

Narrow email in Yahoo! Mail

Thankfully, there’s a straightforward, if less-than-elegant solution. It turns out that Yahoo! Mail ignores any styles that use attribute selectors, meaning that you can use these in your @media queries to ensure that Yahoo! Mail doesn’t override existing inline styles with your @media -defined ones. For example, you would change:


@media only screen and (max-device-width480px{
   
...
   
table.tabletd.cell { width300px !important}
   table
.promotabletd.promocell { width325px !important}
   
...


…to the attribute selector format, like so:


@media only screen and (max-device-width480px{
   
...
   
table[class=table]td[class=cell] { width300px !important}
   table[class
=promotable]td[class=promocell] { width325px !important}
   
...


The result for us was a restored-width email newsletter in Yahoo! Mail that displays consistently across the most popular webmail and desktop email clients.

Restored newsletter

Thankfully, this solution doesn’t affect the display of mobile-optimized email in the iPhone and Android’s respective Mail email clients. However, it does bung up how emails render in Yahoo! Mail’s mobile browser client… If that’s a concern to you.

Of course, the danger is that Yahoo! Mail will someday support attribute selectors and render this technique useless. So keep testing and hope that they properly implement @media queries well before then.

Many thanks to mobile email design legends Ed Melys and Stefan Velthuys for outlining this excellent mobile optimization for our monthly newsletter. We hope this helps you get your HTML emails close to pixel-perfect in both desktop and mobile email clients alike.

Email marketing software for web designers – Campaign Monitor

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Top 5 iPad Apps for Real Estate Agents

Top 5 iPad Apps for Real Estate Agents

The more I use my iPad, the more I see how valuable it is for real estate agents.

In addition to the “cool factor” – there are tons of great productivity tools for real estate agents and brokers. Not only that, but using an iPad in the field eliminates the need to lug around a laptop – making your job much easier!

Here are my top 5 must-have iPad apps for real estate agents:

1. Keynote – This is a must for all real estate professionals. It is $9.99 but well worth it. Think of Keynote as PowerPoint, but so much easier and more intuitive to use. This is the perfect tool for creating a simple and very slick listing presentation. Don’t want to use Keynote because you love PowerPoint? Download Documents on the Go – the only app available to edit PowerPoint files (also $9.99.)

2. Open Home Pro - This is a fantastic free tool for open houses. No more open house register needed! Simply tap the app, enter the basic details of the listing, and you are ready to go. Once you have buyers come in, they simply sign in with their name, email and any other pertitant info. You can add notes too. After they have entered their info, the screen reads “Please hand the iPad back to your real estate agent.” Love it!

3. Dropbox – Dropbox is the easiest way to store, sync, and, share files online. There’s no complicated interface to learn. This is the easiest way to transfer files from your desktop or laptop to your iPad. This free app is must-have for any real estate agent.

4. GoodReader for iPad ($4.99), iAnnotate PDF ($9.99) and PDF Expert for iPad ($9.99) – All of these apps allow you to annotate PDF’s in a variety of ways. You an edit text, move notes with your finger, draw, and add a personalized signature and so much more. iAnnotate PDF and PDF Expert for iPad support VGA-out, so you can share your work on the big screen if needed.

5. DocuSign – This free app is simply a must for any real estate agent. Send, track and sign documents anytime and anyplace. View real-time business document status so that you instantly know what is completed and what still needs your attention. Create, tag and modify documents for e-signature.

What are your favorite iPad apps for real estate? I’d love to hear your experience using any of these apps. Leave me a comment below!

Written by: Katie Lance, Senior Marketing Manager, Inman News, @katielance

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Mobile email more common than you think: design help and the fragmentation challenge

Mobile email more common than you think: design help and the fragmentation challenge

wireless emailThe mobile email challenge has got easier.

And harder.

Um, let’s try again…

Designing emails for mobile devices has got easier. But designing email campaigns for mobile use has got harder. And more confusing.

And actually, mobile email design is a little confusing, too.

Oh, and just to make matters worse, mobile email is a lot more popular than nearly everyone in email marketing assumes.

OK, let’s explore the issues and point to places and resources that can help…

True mobile email use

Tools – like Litmus, MailboxIQ or CampaignCog – are now available to give some estimates of how many people open your email on a mobile device.

The number is probably well under 10% for most senders, unless you’re serving a particularly mobile-friendly audience.

Phew…no need to panic.

But…the numbers typically quoted are a snapshot. They tell you what percentage of people open a specific single email using a mobile device.

This doesn’t account for the many people who check email from different places. Sometimes using the mobile, sometimes the PC.

If 40% of your list switches between mobile and PC for reading email, then maybe only 10% are using their mobile device to read any one single email campaign.

So the question we should actually be asking is how many people use a mobile device to read their email at least some of the time.

And that cumulative figure is much higher than stats on device opens suggest.

Look at broader Internet statistics:

1. The people at Pew tell us 79% of US adults use the Internet and that 94% send or read email.

2. The US Census suggests there are around 220 million adults in the USA. Which gives us some 163 million adult email users (plus a few children who email, too, when they’re not on Facebook).

3. In November 2010, Comscore estimated that 70.1 million US users accessed email on their mobile.

4. Even allowing for use of email by non-adults, the implication is that over a third of all US email users have read email on their mobile.

They don’t do it all the time, but that’s a big chunk of people doing so at least some of the time.

The number isn’t going to drop, either.

Comcore also note that “69.5 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in February 2011″. And Gartner expect 95 million smartphones to sell in the US across 2011.

And we haven’t even mentioned iPads and other tablet devices.

If I’ve done my sums correctly, we’re heading rapidly toward a situation where potentially half our subscribers could view at least some of our emails on a mobile device.

Should you be worried?

Maybe.

Implications for design?

Here’s a plausible theory:

People with mobile phones that handle HTML email badly don’t email much with them. If they do, it’s to deal with urgent, person-to-person email…the rest gets saved for later.

People who do more than triage their email using a mobile device are investing in email-friendly devices with good HTML email display capabilities.

Those same phones and devices are also encouraging people to use mobile email more.

The result: most mobile email that needs to display well will be read on mobile devices that do a pretty good job of it.

Yay for us!

Designing for mobile is no longer about coping with devices that display HTML email in a myriad of dissatisfactory ways. There was never a reasonable solution to that problem anyway, as previous posts explain.

But before we get too self-congratulatory, this does not mean the design challenge is over. It’s just changed.

Disparate screen sizes, fingers not cursors

Mobile, by definition, means smaller screen sizes.

Not just smaller, but more diverse too. Compare an iPad with one of the smaller Samsung Galaxies.

And different devices have different approaches to how they (re)size (or not) content.

So the new generation of email designers are now moving to simpler, narrower layouts and/or fluid designs that allow images and other elements to collapse gracefully as the screen size shrinks.

Now throw in coding that specifies specific styles for specific viewing situations and you have the magic of mobile email design.

But we’re not finished yet.

Designing for mobile devices also involves designing for touchscreens. As Anna Yeaman puts it, this…

“…means reevaluating the placement of each element in our email creative. Making adjustments for ergonomics and user expectations that are sometimes in conflict”

For example:

  • How big do links need to be to allow touch navigation without expanding the email first?
  • How much space should be left between clickable items?
  • Where does the eye focus when using a mobile device? Is it different to classic desktop viewing habits?
  • Do navigation conventions on different mobile operating systems change what makes a good email layout?
  • What about font sizes? Sentence and headline lengths?

And as smartFocus point out:

“…seemingly innocuous instructions like ‘click here’ don’t hold much relevance when using a touchscreen.”

And there’s more…

Most webmail and desktop email software put sender names and subject lines on one line in the inbox, with a common font size. Is this the case for mobile devices?

Paul Rijnders notes that his iPhone email display was:

“…encouraging me to focus primarily (if not solely) at the sender of my emails…the subject lines were not truncated, but they were in a subordinate position…the sender literally receives top billing: Bold, double size and on top.”

Oh yes, and if your emails look great on mobile devices, do your landing pages and website look great, too?

Recommended design reading

I don’t have simple answers to many of the questions and issues raised above. My aim is simply to raise awareness of the changing mobile email design challenge.

Others with more experience have offered their thoughts and answers. Try:

Implications for tactics and strategy?

But the mobile challenge doesn’t finish with design.

The spread of mobile email also affects how people use email in the first place.

Many email marketing practices are based on the idea that users are dealing with email in a much more uniform manner, largely at desktop PCs in a study corner, library or office.

Not any more.

The fragmentation challenge

Previously, those few folk using mobile email were mainly “sorting for later”. They only interacted with those emails that were urgent or personal.

Given improvements in the mobile email and browsing experience (not to mention cheaper and faster mobile Internet plans), it seems reasonable to suggest people are more willing to interact meaningfully with all sorts of email now.

After all, at the end of 2010, mobile commerce had jumped 550% compared to the previous year.

The outcome is fragmentation

Fragmentation in timing, as new “peak times to open email” emerge through mobile email use in, for example, the early hours and late evening.

Fragmentation in location, as people use mobile email…um…when mobile.

Fragmentation in behavior, as people check mobile email in a growing range of scenarios.

The mobile challenge is to account for and exploit this fragmentation. A challenge accentuated by the lack of consistency in mobile use and behavior: people switch devices, scenarios and locations constantly.

Consider, for example, “mobile email users”.

Traditionally we’ve seen them as purely skimmers and scanners. Loren McDonald describes them so:

“Mobile readers — those on smartphones, tablets and other portables — probably are more time-pressed and purpose-driven or simply have less time to scroll down through the inbox.”

As a result, all advice on mobile email recommends trimming the content down. Adam Holden-Bache writes:

“Use the bare minimum needed to get across your offer or information. This may mean using small amounts of copy and linking to your site more often, or simply reducing the amount of textual content in your campaigns.”

All of which makes total sense. But…as smartphones move out from the harassed business user to the wider consumer world, the pattern of mobile email use diversifies.

For every executive snatching two minutes of email between her meetings, there’s a dad killing two hours on his mobile while the kids are at soccer practice.

That second example’s me, by the way.

As Jeanniey Mullen writes:

“When you wait you get bored…When you are bored you pull out your mobile device…When you pull out your device you read things you may not have read in the past, you go back and reread things you’ve enjoyed, and you click through things you haven’t had time to click through to before.”

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen says of mobile in general:

“We’ve known since our first mobile usability studies in 2000 that killing time is a killer app for mobile.”

…presenting us with two complete opposites: one mobile email user begging for something to do, the other with no time at all.

We’re just dipping our toes in what all this means for email marketing.

Three approaches come to mind.

First, back to basics. The more value you offer, the less affected you are by issues of timing, location, behavior, design etc…people will simply seek out your messages.

Second, this sounds like another vote for trigger emails. It’s getting harder to guess when, where and in what circumstances people get your emails. Trigger emails let the user determine what they get and when, through their actions or unique characteristics.

Third, is there a role for dual-purpose emails? Where the core message is short and simple, but secondary elements and links lead off to more engaging, time-killing content and online experiences?

Fun times ahead. Thoughts?


Email Marketing Reports

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Twitter is Sweet. Twitter is About Art. About Community. What is it About to You?

Twitter is Sweet. Twitter is About Art. About Community. What is it About to You?

For quite some time time now, I have loved Twitter. I love how fast-paced it moves, I love the friends I have made on Twitter, I love the real-time updates, I love being able to get a birds-eye view onto events and world news, and I love that it’s a great platform to drive traffic to our website.

But, I haven’t always loved Twitter. I joined Twitter in 2007 because I had heard about it from someone I knew who suggested I sign up. I distinctly remember sitting at my cheap “put-it-together-yourself” Target desk with my old Dell computer, in our townhouse that we were living in at the time, typing in “twitter.com.” I remember signing up, and then blankly looking at the screen thinking “OK, now what?” I saw a few people I knew on Twitter – most had only posted once or twice. On the screen in front of me was the big empty box to type something profound in. Only 140 characters to say something good. So what did I type? I don’t remember my exact words but it was something about the fact that I was eating my favorite donut.

Profound.

My, how times have changed.

After that first non-momentous tweet, I tweeted here and there, but honestly felt like I didn’t know what I was doing or what was really the point. And then people I didn’t know me started “following me” – that creeped me out! Why were these strangers “following me” and what the heck does “following me” really mean?

I look back at that time and giggle, because now so much of my life revolves around Twitter. Twitter is one of the first things I check in the morning and then throughout the day. Since my job is to manage all the social media channels for Inman News, I am constantly checking my account, our company accounts, any pertinent hash-tags, and more.

As of this writing I am almost up to 1,500 followers and have certainly come a long way since that first tweet about donuts.

I realize though that there are still a large number of people in the real estate industry who don’t understand Twitter or why they should care to be on it.

I want to step back, and out of real estate for a minute, and give you a bigger picture of why you should care about Twitter.

I recently came across this fascinating page on Twitter’s blog: Twitter Tales: Our Users, Their Stories. Within this page, are links to stories of people who have used Twitter in all different industries across the world:

Each one of these sections contains poignant, funny, and interesting stories about how people have used Twitter. I know personally, as soon as I heard about the earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami warnings – I went on Twitter to get local, bay area information. Not one local newscast was broadcasting at 2 am when I first heard about this – but there were people tweeting and sharing good information!

I want to share with you a few amazing snip-its from this Twitter blog:

1. If you click on “Twitter is Sweet,” you’ll hear Jessie Oleary from Seattle, @cakespy’s story:

“Using Twitter as her primary marketing tool, Jessie has mastered the art of creating clever, entertaining updates and understands how to make Twitter work for her. “I think that people see through it and get tired of it really quickly when all you do is push your product,” she explains. “It’s often more interesting to give them some of the back story via Twitter – in addition to updating them about relevant news and products.”

2. Click on “Twitter is about Art,” to hear about how Victor Samra, the manager of @MuseumModernArt uses Twitter:

“Victor paid close attention to what resonated with followers through examining re-tweets and replies. In addition, he used the account as a listening tool by searching for relevant art terms starting with simple words such as “art” and “museum,” to get a feel for what people on Twitter were talking about. He looked at the replies to see what @MuseumModernArt fans wanted to know.

Victor also started conversations with fans, visitors, and institutions through replies and posting questions on the account. He sought out and followed a wide range of artists, organizations, and other notable people in the art world, thereby becoming a well-connected resource.”

3. Click on “Twitter is about Community,” to read about Ravi Pina, a techie 32-year old who created the Twitter account, @Caltrain

“I’ve been a Caltrain commuter since I moved here in 2006,” says the techy 32-year-old who travels daily to work in Silicon Valley from San Francisco. Like many other riders, Ravi quickly grew tired of unpredictable delays. “Coming home was a particular pain-point, especially in 2007 with a spike in delays sometimes up to two hours or more. Something had to be done.”

When Ravi started tweeting from @Caltrain, his idea for the account was simple: technology-equipped riders could send an email from their phone or computer to a special address Ravi managed. The first 140 characters of the email’s subject line would be broadcast from @Caltrain as a Tweet to all of the account’s Twitter subscribers. With over 4,000 followers and more than 400 approved contributors, the account has clearly taken off. For some, it’s become an invaluable source of information throughout their workday commute.”

Each of these three stories is unique, but they all have 3 common threads about how they use Twitter:

  1. Their tweets are clever, timely, and informative
  2. They have become a well-known, well-connected resource
  3. They engage with their followers in conversation

Anyone reading this who is a real estate agent, marketing director at a brokerage, branch manager, broker/owner or even a CEO or President of a real estate company can learn from these real-life examples.

Before you dive into Twitter, I think it’s really importatant to ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I have to tweet about that is interesting? What do I like to read online? Would my audience be interested in that?
  • What can I tweet about that reflects my personality but also show my expertise?
  • How can I be the well-known and well-respected resource without being pushy?
  • How can I be clever and unique?
  • Where can I get interesting content? My own writing? Other online resources?

If you are in a management position at a brokerage, you may even want to have a big brainstorm meeting where you get everyone in one room who is a key voice in the company. Ask these questions and brainstorm on a whiteboard the answers. It is really interesting to hear what the marketing department says versus the transaction department, versus the executive staff, shareholders, etc.

Once you have a brainstorm of what and why you want to tweet – the next big question will be who. Who will manage the voice of the brand, who will develop a day to day plan, who will monitor the account and reply to people in a timely manner? Even if you are not a broker/owner but just a hard-working real estate agent working day in and day out to do the best possible job for your clients, I know that you can still benefit from doing this exercise.

I’d love to hear your Twitter success stories. Have had successful transactions that you can attribute to Twitter? Have you made priceless connections because of Twitter? Have you expanded your network and reach because of Twitter? Have you become a better writer because of Twitter? What is your success story? Share your story below and we may re-publish it here on FOREM!

Written by: Katie Lance, Senior Marketing Manager, Inman News, @katielance

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Desktop wallpaper for February

Desktop wallpaper for February

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Can you believe it’s February! Just to remind you that sping is around the corner, this month’s wallpaper is like a big sticky note for your computer screen. If you really want to, you can count the days, but we don’t advise it!


As you all know, February is the only month of the year with fewer than 30 days, so if it seems like it’s flying by, it is! But did you know that February is really August in the Southern Hemisphere? So some of our customers may be glad it’s  short because of the heat, and some because of the rain and snow.


Wherever you are, and whatever the weather, we hope it’s a great month for you! So pick one of 5 screen resolutions and download February for your viewing pleasure.


As always, the wallpaper’s available in 5 most common screen resolutions. So go ahead and enjoy it!


800 x 600

1024 x 768

1280 x 800

1280 x 1024

1440 x 900

Desktop wallpaper for February is a post from: Email Marketing Tips – Blog GetResponse

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