Soon, electric passenger ferries skimming above the surface across the seas may become a reality. At Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, a research team has created a unique method for further developing hydrofoils that can significantly increase the range of electric vessels and reduce the fuel consumption of fossil-powered ships by 80 per cent.
While the electrification of cars is well advanced, the world’s passenger ferries are still powered almost exclusively by fossil fuels. The limiting factor is battery capacity, which is not enough to power ships and ferries across longer distances. But now researchers at Chalmers and the marine research facility SSPA have succeeded in developing a method that can make the shipping industry significantly greener in the future. The focus is on hydrofoils that, like wings, lift the boat’s hull above the surface of the water and allow the boat to travel with considerably less water resistance. A technology that in recent years has revolutionised sailing, by which hydrofoils make elite sailors’ boats fly over the surface of the water at a very high speed. The researchers at Chalmers and SSPA now want to enable the sailboats’ hydrofoil principle to be used on larger passenger ferries as well, resulting in major benefits for the climate.
“The electrification of ferries cannot be done without drastically reducing their water resistance. This method will allow the development of new foil designs that can reduce resistance by up to 80 per cent, which in turn would significantly increase the range of a battery powered ship. In this way, we could also use electric ferries on longer distances in the future,” says research leader Arash Eslamdoost, Associate Professor in Applied Hydrodynamics at Chalmers and author of the studyFluid-Structure Interaction of a Foiling Craft published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering.
Even for ships that today run on fossil fuels the climate benefit could be significant, as similar hydrofoil technology could reduce fuel consumption by no less than 80 per cent.
Unique measurement method arouses broad interest At the centre of the research project is a unique measurement technique that the researchers have put together in order to understand in detail how hydrofoils behave in the water when, for example, the load or speed increases or the positioning of the hydrofoil changes. Using the data collected from the experiments, the team has developed and validated a method to simulate and predict with great precision how the hydrofoil would behave under a variety of conditions. The method is unique of its kind and can now be used to develop the design of hydrofoils for electric powered hydrofoil ferries.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the research facility SSPA – one of only a few of its kind in the world – where Laura Marimon Giovannetti works as a researcher and project manager. She is the lead author of the study and has herself competed at the elite level for both the British and Italian national sailing teams. Today she is a research and development adviser to Sweden’s Olympic committee and the Swedish national team with her sights set on helping the team win more medals at the Olympics in 2024. Marimon Giovannetti sees many possibilities for the unique measurement method developed by the team:
“At the Americas Cup in San Francisco Bay in 2013, it was the first time we saw a 72-foot sailing boat learning how to “fly” using hydrofoils during the competition. And since then, we’ve seen a huge increase in sailing boats with hydrofoils. With this new method and knowledge we are able to bring together a range of different branches of engineering – naval architecture, advanced materials and aeronautics as well as renewable energy.”
Paving the way for hydrofoils on electric ferries Hydrofoil technology is not in itself a novelty, but was developed as early as the 60s and 70s. Back then the focus was on getting boats to travel at as fast as possible and the hydrofoils were made of steel, a heavy material with higher maintenance costs. Today’s modern hydrofoils are made of carbon fibre, a much lighter and stiffer material that can maintain its rigidity even under high loads – and can be tailored to the expected loads. Part of the research project was therefore to fully understand how a carbon fibre structure behaves underwater during different operational conditions. The research team’s method developed in association with modern technology is now paving the way for the use of carbon fibre hydrofoils on larger passenger ships that can travel in a safe, controlled and climate-friendly way even at low speeds.
“You want the foil to be as efficient as possible, which means carrying as much weight as possible at as low a speed as possible with the least resistance. Our next goal is to use this method when designing more efficient hydrofoils for ferries in the future,” says Eslamdoost.
More about the scientific article
The study “Fluid-Structure Interaction of a Foiling Craft” has been published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. The authors are Laura Marimon Giovannetti, Ali Farousi, Fabian Ebbesson, Alois Thollot, Alex Shiri and Arash Eslamdoost. The researchers are active at SSPA (part of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden), Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and INP-ENSEEITH in France.
Hugo Hammar’s funding from SSPA and Rolf Sörman’s funding from Chalmers University of Technology provided the financial support to run the experimental tests at SSPA. This study also received funding from the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation for the strategic research project Hydro- and Aerodynamics.
In the America, more than two-thirds of adults (220 million-plus) are overweight or obese, and childhood obesity affects 13.7 million children. As of 2016, 1.9 billion adults were overweight or obese globally. People now know that obesity is bad for their health.
Our study sought to assess the forces that belly fat exerts on the spine with an increase in waist circumference. Using data from the Dallas Heart Study, Grundy et al. calculated belly fat mass according to waist circumference by ethnicity and sex. Using a finite element analysis, our study specifically placed the abdominal fat masses into position in the abdomen. Then, we calculated the levered forces seen by the spine.
For women, the magnitude of forces generated by abdominal fat to the lumbar spine ranged between 5 to 170 pounds of force in our measurements. By the standard set by the American Heart Association, abdominal obesity in women starts at a thirty-five-inch waist circumference.
For men, the magnitude of forces generated by abdominal fat to the lumbar spine ranged between 3 to 120 pounds of force in our measurements. According to the American Heart Association, abdominal obesity in men begins at a waist circumference of forty inches.
You have to imagine what it feels like to lift this much weight to put these numbers in perspective. The magnitude of these forces is significant. If you are a man with a thirty-eight-inch waist, the excess fat in your abdominal area is equivalent to having nearly thirty pounds of pressure on your spine. For women, a thirty-six-inch waist is close to having forty-eight pounds of pressure on her spine. Imagine walking around all day carrying dumbbells that weighed nearly fifty pounds. That would be equivalent to carrying a large bag of dry dog food, six gallons of water, two cinder blocks, or, as the chart shows, a twin mattress. Not only would it be exhausting but carrying those weights would also cause significant wear and tear on your back.
Your spine is designed to carry your body’s weight. When you are overweight, your spine must assimilate the burden, which may lead to damage. The lower back is most vulnerable to the effects of obesity. In addition, abdominal fat interferes with good posture. Excess weight around the middle can alter the natural curve of the spine. The weight presses on the shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae, which can cause them to become dehydrated, herniated or pinched, or create pressure on nerves that travel through the central canal. In addition, carrying extra weight can strain the muscles and ligaments that support you’re back, and you know what that means, pain.
A literature review shows that fat cells comport an essential variety of metabolic influences. Our waist circumference is related to our metabolic health risks. Abdominal fat is a critical player in health problems. The fat around the abdominal organs, called visceral fat, is more disease-causing than the fat under the skin, called subcutaneous fat, that a person can pinch by hand. This visceral fat is linked to metabolic disturbances, increased cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. The visceral fat leads to an apple-shaped abdomen, while the subcutaneous fat leads to a pear-shaped body.
Fat itself is considered an endocrine organ that is biologically active. Abdominal fat cells disrupt the balance of the body’s normal hormones. Fat cells play a role in inflammation, secrete tumor necrosis factors and interleukin-6, increasing heart disease risk. Furthermore, fat cells blunt the body’s sensitivity to insulin and propagate high blood pressure. Data suggests that adipose tissue has been linked to increased risk and aggressiveness of carcinoma.
Regular physical exercise can help one to lose belly fat. A moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes per day shifts body weight and diminishes belly fat. Proper nutrition and food choices also help.
This paper helps people plan the stress forces seen by the spine as related to the abdominal size. Obesity is then a better-defined factor in the calculus of back pain. The link to abdominal circumference is predictable and relatable to the general public.
As Mental Health Awareness Month kicks off, news and stories about mental health may seem to saturate media outlets. Yet a new report reveals that in top movies, mental health is rarely in the spotlight.
The study, entitled “Mental Health Conditions Across 200 Popular Films” is the second report on mental health in popular media from Professor Stacy L. Smith and the USCAnnenberg Inclusion Initiative. The report is supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NYT best-selling author, purpose coach, host of the top health and wellness podcast “On Purpose,” and former monk, Jay Shetty. The study provides an update on the prevalence and portrayal of mental health conditions in popular films by examining the 100 top-grossing films of 2019 and comparing the findings to those from the initiative’s report on popular movies from 2016.
Of the 4,502 speaking or named characters across the top films of 2019, 1.5% were depicted with a mental health condition. There has been little change over time, as 1.7% of characters in the most popular films of 2016 had a mental health condition. As a point of contrast, 21% of U.S. adults experience mental illness, according to national population research studies, such as the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey.
“Stories can provide a window into different worlds and experiences, but the results of this study demonstrate that mental health is rarely a focal point in popular film,” said Smith. “With the growing need for mental health care in the U.S., and the ongoing concern about well-being, storytellers and creatives are missing critical opportunities to educate audiences.”
More than half of the films included in the study from 2019 didn’t feature even one character with a mental health condition, and thirty percent had only one character with a mental health condition. A total of seven different mental health conditions appeared across the sample. Those included: addiction, anxiety/PTSD, depression/mood disorders, suicide, significant disturbances in thinking, cognitive impairment, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. There were more depictions of anxiety/PTSD in 2019 than in 2016, while portrayals of cognitive impairment and spectrum disorders declined. The remaining mental health conditions remained consistent with 2016.
More than half (59.2%) of characters with a mental health condition in the most popular films of 2019 were male while 40.8% were female. Three-quarters of the characters with a mental health condition across the films of 2019 were White, while only 16 characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Only two characters with a mental health condition were LGBTQ, and 42.3% had a disability. The picture of mental health conditions in popular film remains one of predominantly white, male, straight, and able-bodied characters.
“The portrayal of mental health in film has a powerful role to play especially during this period of global mental health crisis,” said Christine Yu Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Entertainment educates the public, whether it’s with intention or not. And because humans are deeply wired for social connection and imitation, contagion can occur with detrimental effects or with positive impact. Portrayals can not only destigmatize and stop perpetuating dangerous tropes about people who live with mental health conditions, but they can also have the potential to deepen mental health literacy and inspire hope. All people have mental health, and now more than ever, Americans are hungry for information and resources to allow us to not only cope, but to flourish, and to support others’ mental health.”
The study also explored the portrayal and context in which mental health conditions are depicted. Nearly three-quarters of characters with mental health conditions experienced some form of disparagement in the film — either verbally or nonverbally expressed by the character themselves or another character. While disparagement could be general and not connected to a diagnosis, 45.1% of characters with mental health conditions faced derisions specifically about their mental health. More than 40% of characters with a mental health condition were the object of jokes or humor related to their mental health, an increase from 2016 (22%).
“The confluence of these contextual factors means that when mental health is presented in film, it is often stigmatized or demeaned,” said Smith. “For audiences, the nature of mental health portrayals may heighten the possibility of negative effects when it comes to real-world outcomes.”
Characters with mental health conditions were also linked with violence in several ways. More than half of characters with a mental health condition were perpetrators of violence (63.4%), a significant increase from 2016 (46%). Additionally, nearly two-thirds (66.2%) of characters with mental health conditions were victims of violence. Finally, more than one-third (38%) of the characters with mental health conditions died at some point in the film, including by homicide or suicide. Over half (59.3%) of the characters with a mental health condition who perished did so by violent means. Nearly one-quarter (22.2%) of the characters with mental health conditions who died did so by suicide.
Less than one-third (29.6%) of characters with a mental health condition were shown in therapy, including individual appointments, group therapy, addiction, support, and inpatient care. Only 12.7% of characters with mental health conditions utilized medication or other treatments. Films in 2019 showed more characters receiving both therapy and medication or other treatment compared to 2016.
With solution in mind, the initiative brought Purpose Coach, NYT best-selling author, and “On Purpose” podcast host Jay Shetty into the fold as Chief Well-Being Advisor. In this role, he will serve as a resource to the program and entertainment industry at large on issues of mental health and wellbeing, strategizing new ways to approach the subject matter on-screen and on sets, to work towards positive change.
“I am thrilled to be joining Dr. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative as the Chief Well-Being Advisor,” said Jay Shetty. “It has always been my passion to bridge the gap between mental health and entertainment. The access that the initiative has to further explore these important matters on-screen and on sets and make real systemic change within the industry is what excites me the most.”
The study also provides a core solution for depicting mental health in popular entertainment. Building on the Mental Health Media Guide, the study offers a blueprint for a mental health policy that can be adopted by production companies, studios, and other groups. This policy outlines ways that creative talent, executives, and those overseeing production can tell authentic stories, provide opportunities to nurture mental health for those working in production, and provide audiences with more information on mental health.
The report is the latest from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and can be found online here.
Cooks Who Feed has already provided over 300,000 free meals to those in need. Now they will further that mission with the sale of their new aprons for kids. Every apron sold will provide 100 meals for those who need assistance. The new aprons come in three color combinations, and two sizes, fitting ages 3-12.
“We are really excited about our new aprons for kids,” explains Seema Sanghavi, founder of Cooks Who Feed. “Not only is there a great mission that the sale of them will support, but the aprons will help inspire kids to do more cooking, too. They are a win-win for everyone.”
Made using only high-quality fabrics that are eco-friendly and sustainable, the aprons for kids are all handmade through fair trade. They also match adult aprons offered by Cooks Who Feed, offering people a fun opportunity for kids and parents to have matching aprons in the kitchen.
Getting kids to cook is beneficial no matter what age they are. There is always something that kids can do to help learn to prepare meals, from preschool age through their teen years. It’s important to make sure kids are doing age-appropriate tasks, but that they get involved. A study published in theInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activityhighlights the importance of kids learning cooking skills from an early age, which will help with confidence, retention, cooking practices, skills, cooking attitude, and diet quality.
Additional benefits that children learn by learning to cook and prepare meals to include:
Encourages an interest in food preparation and healthy eating habits.
Children learn a lifelong skill that they can use, as well as food safety awareness.
Kids get experience with following directions by using a recipe, as well as practicing math skills associated with measuring. They can also engage in scientific observations by seeing how foods change form during the preparation process.
They can help develop fine motor skills, as well as other skills related to various types of cooking, such as using your senses.
Kids can learn about family traditions by helping with meal preparation. This helps them understand their family more, as well as be in a position to carry those traditions on.
Cooking with kids can be a bonding experience that also creates great memories. It also helps to boosts self-esteem once they have successfully helped to prepare a meal.
“Kids who learn to cook are going to grow up with a great skill and hopefully a healthier diet,” added Sanghavi. “This holiday, getting them their own apron will help inspire them to get into the kitchen. Plus, it supports a charity, so that’s hard to beat.”
Parents and grandparents who want to get kids interested in cooking with them can encourage them to do so by letting the child pick what will be prepared. They can also encourage them by being supportive of their effort and how the dish turns out. Additionally, finding ways to make it fun is a good way to get them more interested, including getting them their own apron, a cookbook for kids, and a special cooking utensil.
Cooks Who Feed brings food lovers together to fight hunger. For every apron sold, food waste is rescued and 100 meals are provided to those in need. The company’s mission also focuses on sustainability, ensuring that all of their aprons are eco-friendly, and are ethically handmade. 360 Magazine is pleased to cover an important organization for the people of the world.
The aprons for kids are available in three designs and are mini versions of their top three adult aprons. They are 100% 9oz cotton canvas, available in one size that fits ages 3-7 and one for ages 8-12. The aprons feature an adjustable neck strap, reinforced stress points, one double pocket below the waist, and a chest pocket. To see the aprons for children, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/products/the-mini-chef-christine-cushing-apron.
Cooks Who Feed has teamed up with five celebrity chefs so far, offering handcrafted aprons, with sales of them helping to feed the world. The company offers individual sales online, a retail line, and wholesale/corporate gifting options. The aprons are produced ethically in Dehli, India, where 40 women are employed to make them by hand. To get more information or help support the mission, visit the site at: https://cookswhofeed.com.
According to a recent study by the Atlas VPN team, the United States, United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia lead in commitment to cybersecurity.
As technologies continue to evolve, governments around the world must face the reality of cyber threats and adapt their security practices. A study reports on countries’ scores on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), varying cybersecurity training and practices, and additional statistics which help to create a fuller picture of the global relationship to cybersecurity.
A GCI score is given by evaluating each country’s commitment to legal, technical, organizational, capacity development, and cooperation indicators. The United States earned a perfect score of 100, getting all 20 points in each GCI indicator. However, while the US has the most cybersecurity resources, the latest cyberattacks on Americans have shown room for improvement.
The United Kingdom follows behind, scoring 99.54 points in GCI. The score indicates that the UK has to employ more computer incident response teams, enabling a country to respond to incidents at the national level using a centralized contact point and promote quick and systematic action.
Saudi Arabia shares second place, getting the same score of 99.54 as the UK. While being one of the fastest developing countries, Saudi Arabia has placed great importance on cybersecurity.
Estonia takes the fourth slot as they scored 99.48, losing just half a point in the capacity development indicator. Estonia has become one of the heavyweights in cybersecurity with a high-functioning central system for monitoring, reporting, and resolving incidents.
The Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Spain all share fifth place, scoring 98.52 points.
Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN William Sword shares his thoughts on the current cybersecurity landscape, “Beyond co-operating within countries, Global Cybersecurity Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. For example, creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats.”
Lack of cybersecurity training
One of the reasons why cyber attacks continue to increase is a lack of cybersecurity education and training.
Just 46% of countries provided specific cybersecurity training for the public sector and government officials. Employees in these fields usually work with a lot of sensitive or confidential information, which is why education on cybersecurity is essential.
Meanwhile, 41% of countries provided cybersecurity training to small and medium enterprises or private companies. Businesses often become targets for hackers as the latter can easily profit off of stolen data or ransomware attacks. While more prominent private companies can afford cybersecurity experts, smaller businesses do not have such luxury.
Law enforcement agents received educational cybersecurity programs in only 37% of countries, while only 31% of countries provide training to judicial and legal actors. This training may help officers and executors of the law understand how hackers think, identify the tools that hackers use to commit attacks, and ultimately prevent and protect from future cybercrime.
Beyond co-operating within countries, Global Cybersecurity Index leaders could help less developed countries address cybersecurity challenges. Creating a strategy or sharing good cyber practices can help reach more balanced and robust security against cyber threats.
Offering high-quality products or services is great, but it’s not always enough to make a sale. You also need to ensure you have strong calls-to-actions (CTAs) on your website.
These are words or phrases, often presented on a button, that tell your customers what to do next. Sometimes, people just need a little bit of a push!
In this article, we’re going to show you how to optimize your website’s CTAs so you can make more sales.
Make sure your calls-to-action are bright and bold
The design of your CTAs is just as important as the wording! You don’t want them to blend in, or readers might not spot them. So, you need to put some thought into how you can make them stand out.
Typically, CTAs are presented on a clickable button. When choosing the color of yours, try to pick a hue that fits in with your branding, but that will still stand out against the background it’s on. Make sure the button is big enough, too — it should be one of the first page elements people are drawn to when they land on your website.
Let’s take a look at a few examples for inspiration.
Paramount Plus, a new TV and movie streaming service, has a bright and bold CTA right on their homepage.
There are two things in particular that stand out: first, the copy says TRY IT FREE. Because Paramount Plus is so new, it’s important that they reel in customers this way — after all, there are a lot of streaming services out there, so people will want to try before they buy. Additionally, the color of the button is a bright and clear blue. Not only does this color work with the company’s branding, but the blue also contrasts well against Spongebob’s yellow, making it even more eye-catching.
KiwiCo, a kid’s craft subscription service, has a stand-out CTA right on their homepage as well.
They’ve used a bright and bold green color to ensure their CTA button stands out against the grey background, and they’ve also added a fun light bulb icon that draws the eye. Not only does this help the call-to-action to stand out, but it could also spark a website visitor’s imagination and convince them to click through to “get a crate”.
Think about how you could ensure your CTAs stand out on your website. What colors would work well, and are there any fun icons you could add for some extra interest?
Stir up a sense of urgency
If you create a sense of urgency with your CTAs, you can make your consumers feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t act now. This can lead to more people taking the action you’re looking for right away.
You can help create a sense of urgency with timers that outline when a particular promotion will end, or how much stock you have left, for instance. Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses this tactic well.
For instance, Amazon likes to let people know when stock of a particular product is running low. They’ll then tell you to “order soon” to avoid missing out on the items you need.
This is a powerful technique that could provide a sense of uncertainty that will be just enough to push people into making a purchase. They even have two different buttons customers can press — one of which says “buy now”, which increases the feeling of urgency. Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, so this is clearly a tactic that has served them well.
Play on your website visitors’ FOMO
Similarly, fear of missing out, or FOMO, can be a very effective motivator. So, it’s worth playing on this with your calls-to-action. Make your readers feel like people just like them have taken your desired action and are better off because of it!
To provide you with some inspiration for your own CTAs, let’s take a look at a company that does a great job of stirring up a sense of FOMO with theirs.
Venngage, a company that specializes in helping people to create infographics, makes sure to instil the fear of missing out in their audience in their guide to what infographics are.
Within their article, they promote a webinar they’ll be hosting on the topic, and urge people to “SAVE MY SPOT”. This creates a sense of scarcity, and encourages people to act fast to avoid missing out. Plus, the CTA is presented on a bright green button, which really helps it to stand out.
If you’re hosting an event or promoting a limited edition product, make sure you make it clear to people that they could miss out if they don’t buy their ticket or item right now. It could just be enough to boost your conversions.
Provide different calls-to-action for different people
Different people who visit your site might be at different stages of the buying journey. This means it can often be helpful to have different CTAs that correspond to these different stages. For example, you might want to encourage one person to make a purchase, but direct someone else towards giving you a call to get more information about what you do.
Let’s take a look at some businesses that use this tactic well.
For instance, you’ll find several different CTAs on Loganix’s link building services page. At the very top of the page, you’ll see a button that urges people to “get started” — this is great for people who have already decided that they would like some help with their link building and that Loganix is their company of choice.
However, people who scroll down the page to find more information will also find a range of other CTAs, such as “learn more” and “read more testimonials”. These target people who aren’t quite sure about this service or want to know more about the company in general.
This approach is particularly effective for a service-based organization like Loganix. They’re providing something slightly more abstract than a physical product, so people looking to spend money with the business might need more convincing. These different CTAs are sure to point them in the right direction.
Similarly, Best Value Schools have multiple CTAs on their homepage. The website helps prospective students to choose the next step in their education and career, which is always going to be a huge decision. So, they have different calls-to-action to attract people at different stages in their journey.
They have options to “find your school”, “view all resources”, “view all rankings”, and more. Think about all of the different types of people who could be browsing this website. “Find your school” targets people who already know what kind of path they want to pursue, while the CTAs that urge people to find more information are more suited to people who are earlier in their journey, and who might not even be sure that higher education is for them. There’s a CTA for everyone.
Consider who’s likely to land on your website, and what they might need in their current stage of the buyer journey. Do they want to make a purchase straight off the bat, or will they need more information? You should add CTAs that cater to everyone.
Make it very obvious if you’re offering a freebie
If you’re creating a CTA to promote something that won’t require your website visitors to spend any money, be sure to make that very clear. This can work well for free templates, free trials, free consultations, and the like.
Keep in mind that offering something for free is also a great marketing strategy in general. It shows people what you do, and is likely to lead to them spending money with you in the future.
To provide you with some inspiration, let’s take a look at companies that incorporate freebies into their marketing and CTAs well.
For instance, Bay Property Management Group, a real estate management company with multiple locations across the east coast, promotes their free property management analysis on their Philadelphia location page.
You can clearly see where you need to click to get a free property management analysis, as the bright blue CTA button really stands out! Just above their freebie call-to-action, they also outline the benefits of clicking through — doing so will help prospective to find their ideal tenants without breaking the bank.
The company is offering a very valuable service for free, and they’ve made that very clear with their CTA. This is sure to lead to a lot of click-throughs and could drive a lot of future business for the company.
They provide their own social media platform so, along with outlining the pros and cons of all the different tools out there, they’ve mentioned and promoted their own. Not only that, but they’ve also encouraged people to try it for free.
The bright blue banner really makes this CTA stand out, and they’ve made it very clear that trying out their tool won’t cost the user anything. They’ve mentioned “free” twice and even clarified that they won’t take your credit card details, so you won’t be stung if you forget to cancel at the end of your free trial. This is sure to convince a lot of people to give it a go and could lead to a lot more sales for the company.
Could you offer something valuable to your prospective customers for free? If so, make it very clear that engaging won’t cost them anything, and it could actually boost your bottom line in the long run.
Lead with a strong verb
The whole point of a call-to-action is to convince someone to do something — that means you should always lead with a strong verb. Words and phrases like “sign up” and “submit” might do the job, but they aren’t very powerful, so you’ll want to go with something stronger for the best results.
Here are some examples of CTAs with strong verbs that you could use:
Create your account
Schedule an appointment
All of these CTAs are clear, convincing, and make it very obvious what you prospective customers should do next.
Inject some personality into your calls-to-action
You want your prospective customers to engage with your CTAs, and injecting them with your personality can really help. To start, you should identify your brand voice, if you haven’t already.
Consider how you want to address your customers, first and foremost. Are you professional? Funny? Playful? Inspirational? Think about who your audience is and how you want to relate to and communicate with them.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that do a great job of incorporating their brand voice into their CTAs for the best results.
For example, Express, a clothing retailer, does this well on their homepage.
When you first visit their site, you’re presented with a banner that urges you to “join the TikTok challenge”. They’re trying to get their customers to post about their lives post-pandemic, and want them to share their outfits (which are hopefully from Express). This CTA wouldn’t work for every business, but it’s effective for Express, which is a young and savvy clothing brand with an audience that is immersed in the online world. This shows the company is engaging, boundary-pushing, and adventurous, which increases the chance of their ideal customers clicking through and jumping on board with their challenge.
There’s also plenty of personality in the CTAs that the luxury vodka brand Grey Goose uses on its homepage.
One of their most interesting examples is “uncork the truth”. This phrase suggests a few different things about Grey Goose’s personality. First, using a word like “uncork” is fun and relevant, as they are an alcohol distiller. Second, the phrasing shows that they want to be transparent in how they make their products and what ingredients they use. Consider if you can use a similar play on words in your own CTAs to show off your brand personality.
Your CTAs are some of the most important aspects of your website! To get people to do what you want them to do, you have to give them an extra push. In this article, we outlined seven different ways to enhance your CTAs, including using your brand personality, improving your design, using strong verbs, and more. There’s work to be done — get to it!
Author bio & headshot
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.
Tomorrow is International Sushi Day, a day in honor of the popular rice dish from Japan. The latest statistics from BoldData show that the number of sushi restaurants in America has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. However, the growth seems to have come to a halt.
Is Sushi Hype Over?
Craving Sushi? There are currently 18,944 sushi restaurants in The United States. An increase of 57% compared to 2011. In 2011, there were 11,939 sushi shops. 2017 was an especially good year for the Japanese snack, as there was an increase of 1,868 sushi shops (12%). 2018 seems to be a tipping point for the popularity of sushi–after this year, the growth of sushi restaurants slows down. In 2021, there has been a decrease of 311 sushi restaurants– a decrease in the US’ sushi restaurant growth for the first time.
First Sushi Shop in L.A.
In 1966, Kawafuku Restaurant, based in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, was the first real sushi restaurant in the Unites States. By the late 1960s, the Japanese dish had become trendy, and new sushi restaurants were opening up all across the city. In the year 1970, the US hit 50 sushi shops. Nowadays, L.A. is still the sushi place to be, with a staggering 833 sushi shops. New York is also a good place to satisfy your sushi cravings with 467 restaurants–a growth of 72% compared to 2011.
Japan 1st, US 2nd
It’s not a surprise that Japan is home to the highest number of sushi restaurants: 42,897. USA comes in second with 18,944 sushi shops. Canada completes the top 3 with 2,529 sushi restaurants. Canada, UK and Germany are the only countries in which the number of sushi restaurants is still growing.
We are data experts with a highly accurate database of 287+ million companies worldwide. With our data have helped 2.000+ companies with analytics, research and CRM. Our data is being used by renowned research companies such as Statista. As well by FMCG companies such as Heineken, P&G, Danone and UberEats.
A new independent study by the L. Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University shows Plexus Worldwide (Plexus®), a leading health and wellness company, had an estimated $128.5 million gross domestic product (GDP) economic impact in Arizona and more than $1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy in 2020. The study analyzed the scope and scale of Plexus’ economic impact and investment across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Mexico.
“The purpose of this study was to measure the economic impact of Plexus’ U.S. operations in the state of Arizona and in each market where the company does business including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand in 2020,” said Dennis Hoffman, Director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Our findings show the tremendous impact that Plexus has had, including a $1.15 billion economic impact on the global GDP and more than $128.5 million economic impact in the local Arizona community.”
Highlights of the 2020 economic impact study include:
$1.15 billion GDP impact on the global economy
$1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy
$128.5 million GDP impact on the state of Arizona
$791.6 million in U.S. labor income
8,593 U.S. jobs supported
$26.8 million in sales tax revenues to state and local governments, responsible for $59.1 million GDP, 619 jobs, and $41.9 million labor income in the U.S. economy.
“Everyday Arizonans deserve opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. As Arizona’s senior senator, I’ll continue supporting economic opportunities helping Arizonans grow and thrive in their own direction. I look forward to working with our business leaders and independent business owners as we continue to expand jobs and fuel economic recovery,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
Plexus is dedicated to changing lives and promoting health, wellness, and success. “Our products, team members, and Ambassadors are the foundation of these goals, which is why we are committed to the highest standards of quality,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO and Founder of Plexus. “Thanks to our hardworking leaders and employees, and in a year like no other, Plexus was able to grow and have a real impact on economies at the local, national, and global communities where we operate.”
This study demonstrates that Plexus is a major economic driver, contributing millions to the U.S. economy, including $95 million in labor income statewide. “In 2020 alone, Plexus supported more than 9,000 jobs worldwide, with a total of $821.6 million in total earnings for our employees and hundreds of thousands of Ambassadors, who serve as independent business owners,” said Kim Drabik, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Plexus.*
Plexus, a privately held company was established 13-years ago in Arizona, has more than 400 employees at its Scottsdale headquarters, which consists of a 73,000 square foot office building and 28,000 square foot warehouse. In 2020, Plexus welcomed more the 462,000 new Ambassadors and customers, growing the number of Ambassadors receiving monthly income by 23%.
About Plexus Worldwide
Plexus Worldwide, LLC, is a leading health and happiness company featuring health and wellness products that enable people to improve their lives and well-being. With hundreds of thousands of independent business owners (“Ambassadors”) worldwide, Plexus is among the top 30 largest direct sales companies globally according to Direct Selling News. The combination of Plexus products and opportunities help individuals to meet their health-wellness and financial goals.
MEDJET AND WORTH MEDIA RELEASE RESULTS OF LUXURY TRAVEL SAFETY STUDY
Poll Reveals “Massive Misconceptions Among Business and Leisure Travelers of All Ages as to: If, When and How They’re Protected.”
A new study from Medjet, the industry leader in air medical transport and travel security memberships for travelers, and WORTH Media, a leading financial, wealth management and lifestyle media company, finds that a major segment of today’s luxury travel market – both business and leisure – continues to be ill-informed about travel insurance, medical evacuation and personal protection.
The most recent Medjet/WORTH Media poll, which builds on a study originally conducted pre-COVID-19 in fall 2019, was completed in early 2021 to more accurately gauge travelers’ sentiments after such a tumultuous year for the global travel industry. Both times, the results illustrated a significant lack of awareness in regard to travel insurance and medical evacuation coverage, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new poll results show that very few travelers plan on sitting this year out; when asked when they would feel ready to travel again, travelers’ responses were as follows:
17.5% are already traveling
15.83% plan on traveling within the next three months
54.17% plan on traveling between 4-12 months from now
12.5% plan on traveling 1+ year from now/are not sure
“The results of both polls are very much in line with what we’ve found in our own anecdotal research and decades of experience as leaders in the field of air medical transport and crisis response,” says Mike Hallman, President & CEO of Medjet, “that there are massive misconceptions among business and leisure travelers of all ages as to: If, when and how they are protected.”
In 2020, 85% of respondents felt they knew about the “same or less” about medevac coverage due to the pandemic. 64% of travelers felt they should know more.
The fall 2019 poll results, even without the threat of COVID-19, showed overwhelmingly that illness was a top traveler concern, and if hospitalized overseas, people would prefer to get home to their own hospital for treatment and recovery. Therefore, continuing to educate people as to the where travel insurance’s medevac coverage leaves off, and transport memberships like Medjet pick up, remain important.
Both studies targeted professionals across the country whose household’s net worth was valued at $1,000,000 and above. The original Medjet/WORTH poll assessed travelers’ understanding of their health, travel or business insurance coverages, and credit card travel program benefits, finding that nearly two-thirds of respondents who reported being “concerned about their health while traveling” were unaware of the inclusions (and perhaps more importantly exclusions) in their plans or benefits packages. Some of the study’s major findings include:
Only 35% of travelers who reported being concerned about their health and well-being while traveling were aware that their health, travel or business insurance, or credit card travel benefits, could ONLY get them to the “nearest acceptable facility.” 65% mistakenly believed their coverage would automatically get them all the way to a hospital at home, or were not sure.
While illness and injury were top concerns for travelers, only 34% of business travelers concerned about their health had ever looked into the conditions of their company’s travel and medical evacuation policies.
Of those with corporate coverage, one in three respondents (33%) expected that, one way or another, their company would get them home if they became ill or were hospitalized while traveling. “For many companies, that means footing a $30,000 – $180,000 out-of-pocket bill, or potentially falling short on employee ‘duty of care’ expectations,” noted Hallman, “which can present a significant financial and legal risk to an organization.”
Of those who reported being self-employed and traveling for business frequently, 77% reported never purchasing travel insurance.
Younger respondents proved even less knowledgeable about what their health and travel insurance, or credit card travel benefits would do for them if they needed a medical evacuation; 86% believed it would transport them back to their hospital at home or were unsure.
“The greatest misconception among high-net-worth travelers is that, in the unforeseen event they were to end up hospitalized while out of town – be it in Peoria or Paraguay – they believe their basic travel coverage through a company plan, travel insurance or credit card would get them home,” said Hallman. “More often than not, that is not the case, which is why we see so many stories in the news about travelers stuck abroad, and why so many individuals, families, corporations and organizations (like the NFL) enroll in our membership program.”
“On the bright side,” said Hallman, “we found that 86% of business travelers were interested in purchasing additional medical evacuation coverage that got them all the way home, and 68% of business travelers were interested in purchasing travel security coverage in addition to the coverage offered by their company. So, it looks like there’s plenty of continued growth to look forward to here at Medjet!”
Tutors Are Not Just for Kids: They Help People Get Through College, Too!
Tutoring community, The Oxford Method, offers up tips to help people get through college
Many people tend to think of tutoring as being something for kids. Yet there are millions of college students who struggle and need help, too. In fact, according to EducationData.org, around 40% of undergraduate college students drop out before earning a degree. The website also reports that 30% of freshmen don’t make it to their second year of college. One of the main reasons that people drop out of college is that they struggle to keep up academically, followed by the stress, financial situations, and lack of campus connections. The good news is that there are things that can be done to help address the issues and keep on going.
“Millions of people dream of earning a degree, but when they begin struggling, they tend to leave,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “The help is readily available, but many people are not aware of it. We want to change that, so we can help more people see their goals through.”
The Oxford Method is on a mission to share with the world that education is the great equalizer and an essential gift to the next generation. Its goal is to help more people stick with finishing their academic goals. Here are some tips it offers to college students to help them get through:
Stay organized. One of the most important things you can do is to organize your schedule. This way you won’t fall behind or feel as much stress. Use a good planner, plan ahead, make lists, set goals, and do things that will help keep you on the right path.
Become involved. Rather than feel that you are not connected at college, make a goal to connect. Choose at least one thing to become involved in, whether it’s a fun group, study group, club, or something else. Make the connection so you feel that you are not there struggling alone. This is especially important during this time when so many people are isolated with online education.
De-stress. When the stress of juggling everything becomes too much, that’s when many college students want to walk away. Make a commitment to yourself to reduce stress every week. To do this, you can take up hiking, meditation, yoga, or whatever it is that will help you to de-stress in a healthy way.
Get help. Those who are struggling academically should get the help they need, rather than fall behind, which will make them drop out. A tutor can help give you the one-on-one assistance you need to gain a better understanding of the subject or lesson and will help keep you on pace.
Be gentle on yourself. Many people get upset if they are struggling a little, and they beat themselves up over it. Learn to take things easy, go with the flow, and give yourself a break. Treat yourself how you would treat your best friend if they were in the same position.
“When you are struggling in college, it’s so important to know that there is help available,” added Florence. “No matter what subject you are having difficulties with, there’s a good chance that you can get the assistance you need and keep going. We are happy to be help college students around the nation continue meeting their educational goals.”
There’s good reason to finish college and earn the degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the more you learn, the more you tend to earn. Those with the highest educational attainment tend to make triple of those who just have a high school education. The average weekly earnings for someone with only a high school diploma is $712, compared to the average for someone with a bachelor’s degree being $1,173. Plus, the bureau reports that the unemployment rate is lower for those who have more higher education.
The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, PhD, and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.
Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.
About The Oxford Method
Started in 2020, The Oxford Method has over 100 instructors who provide access to tutoring 24/7. It also has a nonprofit sector of its community, which offers tutoring services and computers to underprivileged students. Its relationship-based education helps everyone, including those who need financial assistance and those with special needs. It donates 10% of its profits to social organizations that help those in urban areas. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.
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