Email Grammar Quiz

How good is your grammar? When writing email messages, proper grammar is important. By being aware of common mistakes, you can avoid them.

In other words, you don’t need to know all the rules. (What a relief!) But,… (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?) you need to know what you don’t know. If you are unsure if something is correct, look it up. Or, ask someone knowledgeable for assistance.

If you don’t have the time to seek help, here’s a quick tip. Use different wording. To put it another way:

If you can’t determine how to make the sentence correct, re-word the sentence so it doesn’t contain the item you’re having trouble with. Please don’t tell your high school English teacher that I made this suggestion!

Yes, it would be great if the entire country knew proper English. However, the reality is many people don’t. The goal of this article is to convince you to select the grammar that you know is correct.

Quiz

Are your grammar skills good enough? Find out by taking the following quiz.

Directions: Indicate whether the specified phrase is Correct (C) or Incorrect (I).

C I 1. John is (laying) on the couch in the office.

C I 2. Peter (laid) the file on the desk.

C I 3. He (sat) in front of the computer.

C I 4. (Set) the files on my desk when you are done.

C I 5. The customers want (their) price quote now.

C I 6. The customer wants (their) phone call returned.

C I 7. Wilma had (less) callers on her line.

C I 8. Fred has (fewer) employees.

Solutions

1. Incorrect.

The correct answer is lying.

To lie means to recline.

The verb is intransitive; it does not require an object.

The past tense is “lay.”

2. Correct.

To lay means to put or place.

The verb is transitive; it requires an object.

The past tense is “laid.”

3. Correct.

To sit means to be seated.

The verb is intransitive.

The past tense is “sat.”

4. Correct.

To set means to put or place.

The verb is transitive.

The past tense is “set.”

(Yes, it is the same as the present tense. This is, after all, English grammar. It is not supposed to make sense.)

5. Correct.

The antecedent is plural which requires a plural pronoun.

In other words, the plural form of “customers” requires using a plural pronoun “their.”

6. Incorrect.

The antecedent is singular which requires a singular pronoun.

In other words, the singular form of “customer” requires using a singular pronoun “his or her.”

This can also be written “his/her.”

7. Incorrect.

The correct word is “fewer.”

Fewer is used when you can count the quantity (e.g., “fewer students,” or “fewer hours in the workday,” or “fewer corn kernels”).

Less is used with an indeterminate quantity (e.g., “less interest,” or “less time,” or “less corn”).

8. Correct.

Fred can count the number of his employees, so “fewer” is correct.

Score:

8 = You’re perfect. (But, you knew that already.) Keep emailing!

6 – 7 = You’re okay. You could learn a few tips from my book, Email Etiquette Made Easy (see link in resource box).

3 – 5 = You could use some help. Try my book, Email Etiquette Made Easy (see link in resource box).

Less than 3 = Ugh! Call me now! We’ll schedule your intense therapy immediately.



Source by Stuart Bazga

Do You Make These Website Traffic Building Mistakes?

Increasing traffic to your website is a key goal to a successful online business. But do you really want more traffic?

Or would you rather have traffic solely from your target audience?

There are three common mistakes you can make when investing in website traffic building.

Mistake #1: Getting Traffic From the Wrong Prospects

Imagine you owned a store on 5th Avenue one block away from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree during holiday season. Hundreds of thousands of people walk by your windows and door. Would you want all these folks to come into your store?

If you said yes to “all” these folks, think again.

Why Attracting the Wrong Folks from Website Traffic Building Can Hurt Your Business

That’s because many of these folks are not your target audience. And therefore, you would be spending resources on prospects with little chance of converting them into a customer.

On the other hand, if you solely attract your target audience into your store, your potential return on investment is much higher. Not only for the first sale, but for all future sales from repeat purchases.

The same goes with your website. Except, the costs of attracting the wrong contacts into your website are much higher.

You see, when you attract the wrong website traffic it can slow down your site. That can affect how long folks stay on your website, particularly those folks who are your target market.

Kissmetrics reported almost half of web users abandon a site within 3 seconds if it does not fully load. And about 4 out of 5 shoppers won’t return to the site to buy again. Plus, over 4 in ten shoppers who experience this slow speed would tell a friend.

The bottom line is that slower speed from increased traffic of the wrong visitors can cause many folks in your target audience to leave your website, never come back and tell their social network.

Other problems can result after the wrong folks opt-in to your email. These problems can include higher opt-outs, lower open email rates, higher abandon shopping cart rates and higher costs for maintaining a larger database.

Mistake #2: Sending Website Traffic to Your Home Page

A very common mistake is to send traffic to your website home page instead of a landing page.

You can learn more about this mistake here.

When this occurs, the visitor will likely become distracted by looking at the content on the page, rather than opt-in in. As a result, the visitor judges your business based on what the site shows and states and may not opt-in before they leave.

Mistake #3: Not Having Persuasive Content on Your Opt-In Form and/or Landing Page

Persuasive copy is the most vital element on your website. Persuasive copy can move your prospect to act, such as opt-in or buy. Yet too few websites contain persuasive copy.

If you do not have persuasive copy on your landing page or opt-in form, why should a visitor opt-in?

But if you do not get your visitor to opt-in, you have no way to recover the cost of getting them there. And you cannot convert this into sales.

How to Fix These 3 Website Traffic Building Mistakes

The good news is there are easy ways to fix these website traffic building mistakes.

The first way is by attracting website traffic that focuses on your target audience. The more you know about your audience, the better the results. This includes demographics, psychographics and buying behavior. They key here is to exclude those who do NOT fit your target.

Direct mail lists, publicity, co-registration and affiliate marketing can enable you to focus on attracting your target audience. SEO and pay-per-click can too, but these strategies have a much higher risk of attracting too many folks that do not fit your target audience.

A second way is to create a landing page that promotes a lead magnet, such as a quiz or FREE report, plus an opt-in page. Your only goal here is to maximize opt-ins. That way you can develop a relationship with your visitor after he or she leaves your website.

The third way involves persuasive copy. This is what can enable you to convert your visitor into and opt-in lead and customer. But the copy should focus on the emotional needs and desires of your target audience. The more you know about your target audience, the better your potential results. Persuasive copy can help you increase response rates, so you can make more money.



Source by Jeff Traister

Woodworking Precision Measuring and Marking Tools {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

If you are just getting started with woodworking these are some basic measuring and marking tools that you should own.

Measuring Tape

Having a measuring tape handy helps you take measures on the fly. Measuring tapes are available in “Imperial” format or “Standard”/metric version. Typical lengths are 16, 25 and 30 feet.

Ruler

Always keep at least one good ruler in your workshop. You will use a ruler for a wide range of tasks, like plan drawing, measuring of material, table saw wing alignment and surface regularity check, among other things. It’s always better to invest in a steel ruler.

Combination Square

If you are just getting started with woodworking, buying a combination square is an excellent investment.

A combination square will help you measure 90° and 45° angles, determine flatness, measure the center of a circular bar and mark the work surface.

A classic combination square consists of: 1) a square head and 2) a steel ruler. By sliding the square head along the steel ruler, it is possible to depth gauge or transfer dimensions.

Framing Square

A framing square (also called steel square or carpenter’s square) is also another useful tool to own. It is made of steel and consists of 2 arms: a long arm and a short arm meeting at 90°.

Having a framing square will allow you to measure any construction design that you need. Typically, framing squares can be found with a 24 inch blade and a 16 inch tongue. There are also smaller ones but they come without the framing tables.

Marking Gauge

The marking gauge is used to mark out lines before cutting. It allows you to draw a line parallel to a reference edge. Generally, the marking gauge consists of a beam, headstock, pen, pin, wheel and knife.

Scratch Awl

The scratch awl is basically a steel spike with a sharp tip. It etches a shallow groove on the wood that you can follow when using a hand saw or a chisel.

Sliding Bevel

Using a sliding bevel, wood cutting will be much, much easier and smoother. The sliding bevel is basically a gauge that allows you to set and transfer angles. It consists of a handle, usually made of wood or plastic, connected to an adjustable metal blade.

Knife

The Drawknife cutting tool is classically used by chair makers. It usually consists of an 8-12 inch long straight blade and perpendicular handles at each end.

The Froe (also called lathe axe and splitting knife) is a tool used for riveting or splitting. The froe has an 8-12 inch long straight blade and a perpendicular handle at its end.

The Scorp is a drawknife with an almost completely circular blade. Very handy to hollow out bowls and similar objects.

The Utility Knife is a knife with has a retractable blade that is sheathed inside a metal handle. Available in all sorts of sizes, the utility knife is used in woodworking to cut all types of materials.

Dial Gauge

The dial gauge is a caliper with a dial readout in the hundredths or thousandths of an inch. You can use it to measure the depth of a hole. It’s an ideal tool to use for precision measurements from cylindrical tenons and mortises.



Source by P. Wheeler

QR Codes: What’s the Marketing Buzz About?

In the hot space between the tech and marketing worlds there has been some considerable buzz of late about the efficacy of QR codes. QR — short for Quick Response — codes are black patterns in a square shape on a white background. These are the codes used by many airlines to check-in for flights using your smart phone.

The information encoded can be a text, a URL or almost any other form of data. When these bar codes are posted in public or private spaces they can be scanned by smart phones so users can get fast, direct access to websites or other online data resources to promote businesses, offer deals, deliver information or just plain advertise. The advantage is the speed and efficiency that smart phone scanning can offers users who may not have time to remember or write down a website address or surf the web to get to the site that features the information that is being promoted. Huge in Japan (where they were conceived in the 90s to as a manufacturing tracking device) and quickly catching on in Europe, QR codes are just making their way to America. It’s hard to tell whether this will be Beatlemania Stateside or if this is just another techie trend that won’t play in the Peorias between cities like New York and San Francisco.

Not surprisingly, some of the “hippest” industries in the country — fashion and rock music — have been some of the first to take the QR code buzz to maximum levels of exposure.

The Music and technology festival South By Southwest, held annually in Austin, TX, is known for introducing the latest technology to the mainstream (like it did for Twitter in ’07 and FourSquare in ’09) made a headliner out of QR codes. There were QR codes all over the festival, including on the official festival badges. According to Evolver, “QR Codes will be even more ‘everywhere’ at SXSW 2011 than they were last year, with good reason. As the smartphone-toting throngs stream past posters for bands and tech startups, plenty of potential exists to coax them into linking to websites, apps, videos and free stuff using the codes, which have grown significantly more popular since the crowds last surged through the streets of Austin.”

Obviously there are some great advantages to the technology. It’s fast and it’s made for people “on the go.” It integrates web technology and the virtual world with real, physical space. It’s eye-catching and it’s great for businesses who want to attract new customers or markets that wouldn’t otherwise find them.

What QR Codes Can Do For You

Bookmark a website, Make a Phone Call, Send an SMS, Send an E-Mail, Create a vCard, Create a vCalendar Event, Google Maps, iTunes App URL, Foursquare Venue URL, Play a video, send a tweet, and many other forms of data delivery. You are only limited by your imagination.

From erecting a whole new paradigm of marketing and advertising to being an over-hyped false alarm in a tech era that’s already peaked, those Americans who even know what QR codes aren’t all in agreement about how valid a marketing tool this kind of technology can become in the States. Defenders say it’s an absolute necessity for America to keep up with her Eastern and European counterparts on the technological scene; if we aren’t going to lead, we best stay in the game as followers, as peers. And then others point to the fact that America is an overwhelmingly automotive commuting country and that QR codes perform best in places with heavy foot traffic like Tokyo, Paris, London… and New York and San Francisco, two of the most atypical American cities in the country in almost every category.

Others still say the smart money is on context. No, there’s no purpose of posting a QR code on a billboard alongside a highway in a Midwestern suburb. But what about that Midwestern mall? Small businesses without major brand recognition can bring in new customers by being the first to add this exciting new technology in a small town or suburb that doesn’t see a lot of edgy, cutting-edge ideas in action. And by attracting the youth market, which is most likely to be turned on by QR codes in areas where they may not otherwise get a lot of lip service, mall-type stores selling sneakers, cellular phones and concert tickets can get a lot of business with this group, one of the advertising and marketing world’s most coveted — and, sometimes, fickle — demographics. With time and reputation-building, one can expect older users and less edgy businesses to follow suit, using QR codes to offer deals on every and any thing from the banal to the novel, from auto services, grocery coupons and public service information to movie trailers, music downloads and recreational events. They may even replace basic business cards.

Not to mention the fact that from a business owner’s perspective, QR codes are relatively simple, free and painless to create. There are numerous “creation tools” that can create the analytics of your QR codes like MyOR.co and QReateBuzz. Some of these will even offer tracking devices to see how many people are scanning your business’s codes, how often, in what location and with what devices. You can also brand them with style and color. Phone apps like QR Droid and QR Code Scanner Pro for Blackberry are already in the game for some smartphone owners with these features.

Of course, like any other marketing tool, the hard part isn’t finding a place to park your ad but knowing to whom it speaks. Without getting bogged down in the technological aspect of QR codes, it’s important to remember that this is just another marketing device and that knowing your brand, how to speak to your customer in terms of voice and place and what they’re looking for still apply as they would if you were erecting just another billboard on the side of the road. Will QR codes bring new customers? Probably. But will they change the demographic that your business already speaks to? Well, that depends on you and your business. What the window of newness offers right now, unlike any other quality when it comes to broadening a customer base, is that the glean and shine of the new is only effective when it’s new. So if that uniqueness and cutting-edge buzz of the QR code is something you think could attract customers who may not otherwise be interested in or exposed to your product but like the edgy cache that QR codes offer right now, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot.



Source by Joshua Tukel