Your Life Upgraded: You Matter

Close your eyes. Picture where you want to be a year from now. Five years from now. Forty years from now. What do you need to make that happen?

We want to help you make your money dreams a reality. That’s why Ellevest’s online investing platform is goal-based — you tell us what your financial goals are and when you want to hit them, and then we’ll suggest an investment plan designed to help you slay.

Of course, investing comes with risk, so nothing’s guaranteed. But investing has historically been more powerful than saving alone, and Ellevest’s projections show you the amount we estimate you’ll end up within 70% (or more) of market scenarios going forward.

So let’s do some dreaming.

Upgrade Your Life

Your rainy-day fund

What your savings is now: Intentions? Good. Reality? Let’s go with “working on it.”

Maybe you have some savings in an account that you started one day when you were feeling inspired. And maybe you usually resist the urge to “borrow” from that savings when things get tight, but some moments have been more tempting than others. (Hi, tapas night.) After all, you can always pay yourself back later.

But maybe you read something recently about how a financial emergency can swoop in and cause utter chaos. And you’re determined to save more … tomorrow.

Enter: Ellevest’s Emergency Fund goal, which helps you to gradually save up three to six months’ worth of take-home pay in cash.

What your savings could be like in one year: You’ve got several months’ worth of your take-home pay stashed away in a designated emergency fund, waiting to back you up if (when) something goes wrong. It feels really good knowing that you have a security blanket — and you’re ready for whatever.

Financial freedom to buy a home

 

Your living situation

What your home is now: Maybe you have two roommates who are mostly great, but who also occasionally don’t clean up after themselves and/or invite unexpected overnight visitors. It’s annoying enough that you’ve started thinking you want to move when the lease is up — but coming up with the cash for a security deposit would not be fun.

Or maybe you and your partner are dreaming of owning your own place together someday. Or maybe you’re starting to plan for kids, and you’re definitely going to need more space. Or maybe it would just be nice to have a shorter commute … and a functional garbage disposal … or even just like ten more square feet of living space.

Enter: Ellevest’s A Place to Call Home goal, which helps you invest toward a home down payment with a default timeline of six years (although you can always change our plans’ timelines to fit your goals).

What your home could be like in six years: You walk through the front door of your home (which you own) and hang your stuff in the coat closet (which you own).

Hear that? That’s the sound of ~not having roommates.~ Or maybe it’s the sound of your fur baby running to greet you as you come in the door. Or maybe it’s your custom sound system playing that song you love so much. Or a kiddo. Whatever it is, it’s home.

Financial freedom to do what you want in your life.

Your kiddo’s future

Your family sitch now: Maybe you just welcomed a tiny human into your home (congrats!), or maybe you’re planning to someday. Kids are unbelievably cute, but you know that they’re probably also going to cost you a lot of money when they get old enough to start doing things that … you know … cost money.

You want to afford whatever they’ll need. But also, you’re now ridiculously busy (and tired), so you’ll figure out how you’ll pay for them … someday.

Enter: Ellevest’s Kids Are Awesome goal, which helps you invest to build a fund for

things like summer camp, extracurriculars, etc., with a default timeline of six years.

What your family sitch could be like in six years: That munchkin is very cute, especially when you’re taking copious videos of them on the soccer field. Or the ballet stage. Or the dojo. Or all of the above — you may have a prodigy on your hands, tbh.

Financial freedom to do what you want when you want.

Your career

Your job now: It’s … fine. You guess. It pays the bills. But you aren’t exactly passionate about what you’re doing, and you don’t wake up excited to go to work every day. You’ve got this itch that says you were always meant to work for yourself.

But you’re probably not quite ready to make the move yet. That genius business idea still needs some testing. Plus, if you quit your job now, you’d be quite broke.

Enter: Ellevest’s Start a Business goal, which helps you invest to pay yourself two years’ worth of salary so you can take that leap. It has a default timeline of five years.

What your job could be like in five years: HEY ENTREPRENEUR. You left that blah job and set off on your own. Your new company has a name and a prospective audience, and your fundraising process is underway. You’re on top of the world. You’re unstoppable. You’re the boss.

Invest with Ellevest to provide for your own dream lifestyle.

That one thing you’ve been dreaming of

Your birthday this year: Four words: “drinks with the girls.” (Another two: “frozen margaritas.” No use denying it.) You’re surrounded by people who love you and who you love back, and life is good.

But that upcoming milestone birthday? That one, you want it to be big. You and the girls will go all out … if you can swing it financially, that is.

Enter: Ellevest’s Big Splurge goal, which lets you invest toward … whatever it is you want. No default timeline; it’s however long you have left until you’ll need the money.

What your birthday could be like on your next milestone: The sound you hear? It’s the voices of your absolute favorite people as you chat away the afternoon sipping wine and eating cheese in a villa in the south of France. (Or trail hiking in Patagonia. Or on a private island anywhere.) You’ve been here for four days, and you have three more ahead of you. Life is goooooood.

Your future grandma self

Your retirement account now: It’s there. It has some money in it. Maybe you’re contributing enough to get your employer match, but you aren’t sure if that’s enough. You’re guessing that you should probably be doing more, but … it’s not exactly the most urgent thing you have to think about, moneywise. And how are you even supposed to know how much you’ll need?

Enter: Ellevest’s Retirement on My Terms goal, which helps you plan and invest for retirement using a super special algorithm that takes your real-life info like your age, income, earning power, and gender into account.

What your actual retirement could look like: You are doing whatever your heart desires. Maybe that means you moved somewhere where you can read by the beach every day. Maybe you’re traveling the world. Maybe you’re pursuing lifelong passions and learning something new each day. Maybe you never retired at all — because you seriously love your job — but you’re doing it differently these days. Maybe you have lots of grandkids you spoil rotten. Maybe you’re on a couple of boards of directors. Maybe you’re doing some other really freaking cool stuff like this or like this. (Or maybe, in fact likely, more than one of the above.)

Enjoy the confidence of financial security

Your financial confidence

How you feel about money now: Maybe you have a love-hate relationship with your money. On the one hand, you’re already doing some good things for yourself. (Truly — why else would you be reading this?)

But maybe thinking and talking about money makes you feel a little squirmy. Because you’re sure that you could be doing more for your future self, but you just haven’t figured out what that is yet. And it’s easy to put it off. (Guess what: You’re not alone.)

Enter: Ellevest’s Build Wealth goal, which helps you invest to just bump up that net worth. It has a default timeline of 20 years. According to our research, the act of saving and investing is the #1 driver of women’s confidence in their future. Meaning just getting started can help you feel good about where you’re going.

How you could feel about money after you start investing: You started with just a few dollars a month, and then you gradually worked your way up (like a boss). Now, you’re doing Future You a favor by investing a good chunk of your paycheck every month. You feel great about your money choices, because you know that you’re making smart moves.

Spoiler alert: These life upgrades don’t have to be just dreams. You can get started right now. In fact, it just takes minutes.

So what are you waiting for? GIVE ELLEVEST A TRY

“I’m excited to work with Ellevest to start conversations about women and money. If you become a client, I will be compensated.”

I DO NOT work with products or services that I don’t honestly believe in. 

 

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Are You Ready to Give Up on Email Marketing? Read This First

Are You Ready to Give Up on Email Marketing? Read This First

Are you so frustrated with the results of your email marketing campaign that you’re ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry about it – we’ve all been there. Email marketing seems like a simple way to boost sales.

And it can be, provided that you can get your subscriber to open the email in the first place. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing message is if no one ever reads it, does it?

In the busy world that we live in, you need to time the email perfectly so that they get it when they have time to open it. Is there any point in sending it through late on Friday afternoon when everyone’s getting ready to go home, for example?

Security awareness training is another thing that you’ll have to consider when crafting your email. Many companies have software that allows them to remove any suspicious messages and spam before they get delivered to their servers.

There are a good few more, but these will be dealt with in the EveryCloud infographic that we’ve published below. You’ll learn:

·         Why email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread

·         How people use emails and whether or not they view them on their mobile phones

·         What might make people consider your email spam

·         When the best spending times are

·         And a whole lot of other interesting facts

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Tips For Choosing Your Thesis Advisor

Tips For Choosing Your Thesis Advisor

Choosing the thesis advisor cannot be a random decision since you will be a person with whom you will work for several (long) months. To choose a tutor related to your interests and to help you achieve the best result in your final work, you must take into account some issues. Edupeet.com is the best place to produce your thesis paper at great level.

4 tips to choose your thesis advisor

1 – Find an advisor with whom you get along

As already mentioned, the advisor will be your guide for several months to complete the final work, and often should give you encouragement when you get discouraged, should work many hours together and solve several problems. The affinity between tutor and student is key to cope with the hard and demanding moments throughout the thesis.

Of course, getting along well have nothing to do with the level of exigency proposed by the tutor. Find someone who is not too demanding or too relaxed about your work to get the best possible product.

2 – The advisor you choose must have availability

Because of the demands of work and your time of dedication, your thesis tutor cannot be the busiest person in the world.

There may be a teacher with whom you take great and meet several characteristics to be a good thesis tutor; but the truth is that if you do not have the availability of time that you need, you will end up suffering when you do not present your corrections on time or leave you waiting for hours when they have agreed to meet.

3 – Must know how to research the chosen topic

That the tutor knows how to research a topic is key, since it is there to be a support for you and not to learn together. For this the best thing is that the tutor you choose does not start with you in this area; that is, it is better to have experience advising thesis.

Maybe you are not the most expert in the subject you have chosen, but if you know how to approach an investigation you will have enough knowledge, methodology, and intuition to guide you and take you along the best path throughout the investigation.

4 – It would be very good if you can provide contacts

So that your tutor can provide you with good contacts and research sources maybe you should think of an expert on the subject you will work on. Can you imagine how you would feel if the advisor you have chosen tells you that you absolutely do not know anyone or any bibliography on the chosen topic?

Of course, it will be you who have to investigate, read and collect information wherever (and suffer a bit in this whole process); but it is recommended that your tutor have solid knowledge and sources to contribute to the research topic.

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Is Speed Important For Online Stores?

Is Speed Important For Online Stores?

E-commerce infographic about site speed for e-commerce

Online sales are on the rise and e-commerce is expected to grow at a much faster rate than offline retail. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that more and more businesses are working hard to build a strong online presence that often includes opening an e-shop.

Important as online stores are, there’s still a lot of misconception about what factors improve the odds for online success.

Take website speed for instance. Though many online marketers believe it is somewhat important for their businesses, they are unaware of the extent it impacts websites.

The gurus of web hosting reviews at the Hosting Tribunal created the fact-packed infographic below to show the latest stats about how page loading time affects online stores.

Meanwhile let’s bust some misconceptions related to speed and e-shops.

For starters, did you know that slow page load time negatively affects your total page views and bounce rate?

Research shows that for every second delay in page loading, you will have 11% fewer page views. Additionally, the bounce rate probability rises sharply with every small increase in page load time.

For instance, sites with load times of 5 seconds have the bounce rate probability of 90%. For sites with load times of 10 seconds, this figure is 123%. So, a 5-second delay in page loading causes bounce rate to increase by a whopping 33%.

But that’s not all. Majority of viewers who choose to stay for longer periods of time on slow online stores are likely to be unhappy with their site experience and as a result never shop there again.

52% of online shoppers rank site speed as an important loyalty factor and 64% of them will take their business elsewhere if their on-site experience is below-par.

A slow web page also means a high cart abandonment rate, which measures the number of people who add an item to their shopping carts but leave without completing the transaction.

All in all, slow page loading affects your online store in many ways. So what are you waiting for? Take a look at the graphic below and apply corrective measures immediately if your site is slow and sluggish.

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What you need to know about website conversion rates

What you need to know about website conversion rates

 

What you need to know about website conversion rates

If you haven’t heard, conversion rates are a big deal. Fail to optimize them and you’ll miss out on golden opportunities. But what do you need to know about conversion rates, and what methods can you use to boost them? Let’s take a more detailed look.

They’re not just for e-commerce

As evidenced by the featured image, conversion is often considered a topic for e-commerce marketers to obsess over while they toy with their UX designs, but it’s more than that. It’s important for every business with an online presence of some kind, with very few exceptions. Just imagine how many companies there are that genuinely neither need nor want anything significant in return for the resources and entertainment they provide: a handful, maybe?

 

Whether you sell products, market a service, or seek to collect data, the everyday operation of your business relies upon the visitors to your website doing what you want them to do: choosing, knowingly or unknowingly, to help you out in some way. Fail to inspire the level of action you need, and your website will sink.

What counts as a conversion is up to you

The reason this can get tricky for non-ecommerce sites is that it isn’t always obvious what exactly should be considered a conversion. With a product purchase, it’s simple: when someone places an order, that’s a conversion. But what about with a promotional site for a service? Does someone sending an email query count as a conversion? What about someone calling you directly? Is that more or less significant?

 

It all comes down to the likelihood of any given conversion leading to a more classic conversion (i.e. the contribution of money). The most sensible way to approach conversions for a non-ecommerce site is to have a tier of connected conversions, with each one assigned a different value.

 

If someone reaches out to you in some way, that can be a conversion — once money exchanges hands, that can be a more valuable conversion. It’s better than only considering the profitable exchanges as conversions because it highlights the difference between those stages.

 

These days, marketing campaigns can be very broad, supporting more traditional forms of promotion with social media activity (typically Facebook ads or Instagram marketing) to create more varied traffic streams. If you’re getting plenty of email, phone call or social media conversions but not ever winning any new business, that will suggest that there’s some problem with your follow-up procedure.

They need more than superficial changes

When it comes to product pages, landing pages, and even checkouts, you’ll find plenty of people talking in great detail about how minor alterations can make huge differences. For instance, you changing the color of a primary CTA from blue to orange might raise the conversion rate by 2%, and a comparably-minor change a font size might have a similar effect.

 

This is entirely true, of course: minor changes can make major differences. But the problem with getting too hung up on this truth is that it can limit your ability to improve by getting you stuck in a cycle of simple A/B testing. One month you change the CTA color to good effect, but the rates go down the next, so you tweak the image style, and so on. You get into a habit of making mostly-arbitrary changes to see what will happen.

 

And while you’re spending all that time on those speculative tweaks, you’re missing out on other issues that would take much longer to address but might prove even more effective if you did. If you’re simply using a site as a short-term digital asset, as website flippers do, then it won’t be worth your time to get so in-depth — but if you’re sticking with a website for the long haul, you will eventually need to ramp up your analysis to make a difference.

It’s entirely understandable that this happens. If you’re casting a critical eye over a site and you come up with two ideas, one being to radically overhaul the payment system and another being to pad out the product tiles slightly, you’re likely going to do the latter first because it’s much easier. Just make sure that you go deeper than that and look for broader ways to improve.

The best way of measuring conversion rates is by setting up goals & filters within your Google Analytics account. Here is an awesome video that will show you step by step how to set up your own goals within Google Analytics by David over at The PPC Machine. He’s graciously allowed me to embed it below:

 

They can ruin otherwise-excellent sites

Frustratingly, it’s perfectly possible for a site to have a highly effective marketing funnel right up to the point of conversion, only to drop the ball and see all that hard-earned traffic slip away. It’s such a waste, especially since the flaws responsible for the damage are sometimes remarkably simple and cost-effective to address.

 

As such, a catch-all solution to your website woes is to find ways to improve your conversion rates. Until you’re entirely sure that you’ve polished all the conversion-relevant elements of your site to a mirror shine, they fully warrant a lot of close attention.

 

Let’s recap what we’ve looked at here:

 

  • Conversion rates are vitally important for all websites, not just ecommerce stores.

 

  • You get to decide what metrics they track.
  • They require in-depth analysis to optimize.
  • If you get them wrong, they can undermine great sites.

 

My suggestion for an ongoing conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy is to combine basic A/B testing on all the small elements you can easily adjust (colors, sizes, ordering, etc.) with more detailed reviews of specific functions. Those improvements (both small and big) will add up, leading to better rates — and thus better business.

Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.

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Creating and Achieving Your Email Marketing Goals

Creating and Achieving Your Email Marketing Goals

While huge corporations can afford to spend a lot of money testing out different marketing strategies, small businesses do not always have that option due to a much more limited budget. That is why they usually need to stick to proven marketing methods which have the best ROI.

 

The Benefits Of Email Marketing

One such method is email marketing. It is a cost-effective way to reach a large number of customers and has the added benefit of enabling you to track the marketing campaign results easily.

Another great benefit of using email marketing is that you can target specific audiences with specially designed and personalized content. This improves the chances of the email being opened and read because it will reach people who are more likely to be interested in the products and services that your company is offering.

Email marketing also brings dozens of other benefits, all of which are listed in the infographic below provided by 99firms.com.

Know What You Want

Before you start creating an email marketing campaign, you need to define your goals. What is that you are hoping to achieve from the campaign?

  • Sales conversions – It goes without saying that every business wants to improve conversions. Luckily, there are many metrics that you can use to see how well your email marketing is affecting them.

  • Website traffic – Bringing as many people as you can to your website can only be a good thing. Not only will this raise awareness of your brand, but it will also improve its ranks on search engines. You can see how effective your emails are by taking a look at the click-through rates.

  • Increase revenue – Another common email marketing goal is to increase revenue. When recipients start to become customers, you can declare your email marketing campaign as successful.

Once you know why you want to use email marketing, you should segment your email lists into relevant groups. That way, you can send specially designed content to certain groups of people. If you do otherwise, i.e., send the same email to all the addresses you have, your campaign will fail.

The next step is writing the email, which also should be thought out carefully. There are many aspects to composing a marketing email, and you need to make sure that you take care of all of them.

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