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Love love love number 4. We always want positive feedback as businesses but how often do we offer it in return to our clients? We expect praise, by way of testimonials and "happy customers". What better way to cement a good relationship than by truly recognizing the human needs and value of the people on the other end of the equation.
1 day, 20 hours ago on 5 Ways to Sabotage your Customer Experience
I love this. "Hire a Ninja". I want to write a whole book about that one. To your point about being a machine, I would like to add "direct someone who asks for help to the nearest useless knowledge base article that they probably already read." I had a meltdown with Mailchimp over the past 2 weeks because after they were done sending me the scripts, they kept redirecting me to some pre-canned article that was not remotely helping. It literally took 2 weeks to get an answer. So frustrating!
6 months, 2 weeks ago on 5 Most Awful Customer Experience Solutions of All Time
@lindaflower Thanks, I appreciate that! I totally agree with you. The big shots get the recognition because they're usually the bright shiny object in the room but the success of any business relies on all the supporting players. And now I know how to say cannonball in 2 languages :) Thanks for the insight!
2 years, 1 month ago on How’s Your Cannonball? Lessons From The Edge Of The Pool.
@pricesuej You can "do you" any way you want - big, loud, quiet, corny... it's all you :) Your point about thinking you were quiet but others not seeing it that way - that's exactly what I was getting at toward the end, which is that sometimes we're our own worst enemies. We don't think we're capable or strong enough but our reality is skewed by the fact that we're not "perfect" or not like someone else we **think** we should be like. Totally agree - be happy with integrity! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!
2 years, 3 months ago on How’s Your Cannonball? Lessons From The Edge Of The Pool.
@lisabuben290 In that case, thanks to Sonia for getting you here and thanks to you for reading :) Hopefully I can inspire someone with my tales of woe, haha....
@Sonia (Sunnnee) You don't swim, the queen of fishing??
Yep, I know what you mean about comparing yourself to others. Story of my life! But you're right, you have to accept who YOU are and the awesome things you can do. Sounds like we have that in common... sit, watch, wait then move. Sounds pretty smart to me :)
Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your comments and thanks for cracking me up.
@SylvianeNuccio I think the photo says it all about the cannonball :) You're right about the "older you get" part, which of course makes me feel older, lol... but in a good way. You definitely get a better grasp on your priorities and start to learn to value what YOU can do instead of wishing you could be like some hero/other person you admire. Everyone has a contribution to make. Just because we're more "sideline" kind of people doesn't mean we're sitting there just staring into space! At the end of they day, you have to value yourself, just like you said. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!
@AdrienneSmith Thanks Adrienne, you are someone who knows how to make ripples, that's for sure :) You probably don't want to be in my brain for too long, though, because mostly I think about when I can eat another Oreo and why some %@& thing isn't working, lol.
Being the oldest sibling in my family you'd think I would've been bossier and more "the center of attention" but I really hated the spotlight. It's one of those weird love/hate things... you want people to notice but when they do it's mortifying.
As for you, you deserve all the love you get! Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by.
Nice picture! That kid is going to grow up to be a fat loudmouth ;) Thanks for having me, Jenny!
@Andi Roo @CarolLynnRivera You can ride in my spaceship any time. And I will promise never to stick your head in a freezer.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on I don’t understand the interwebz.
Give me all the dollars! I haz spaceship! At the end of the day it's not your job to know how the interwebz works which is why you hope to work with people who do. Also, those people should not try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the interwebz by holding hostage your blah blahblah. It sucks. But see, karma in the end and all things are glittery again.
I wrote you the most brilliant comment ever last week on this post but since your stinkin dumb comment system wasn't working it didn't go through. Since I can only be brilliant once, let's just say that I blog because I have things to say and if other people want to read them, that's nice and good. And if other people like them, that's nice and good. But it's only for me. On my personal blog, anyway. On my business blog I want people to give me their money.
9 months, 1 week ago on Is blogging good for the heart?
@dinodogan @CarolLynnRivera Falcon! I like it :)
Yeah, there is a difference between what we SAY we want (diversity) and what we really want (clones of ourselves, only prettier).
There is plenty that cold data can't tell you. And there is plenty that can be overlooked or ignored if we're stuck in one bubble of thinking.
10 months, 1 week ago on Data Worship Stops Now
Best phrase ever: "big data nerd out".
I like that you're provoking some actual thought here. Whether I or anyone agrees or disagrees is sort of beside the point. I think that it's important for us to question our assumptions and methods and one of the ways to do that is to question whether our assumptions and methods are worth it! There's a light and dark side to pretty much everything so we have to be careful not to get so sucked into one way of thinking. If we challenge everything then we might learn things we never expected. Or we might just end up with the courage of our own convictions. Either way I say, rebel!
@Andi Roo @CarolLynnRivera Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing a song! In fact, sing THAT song :)
10 months, 3 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 2 – #MyThreeWords
omg I cannot WAIT to hear you sing :) That will make my whole year. And when you do post that song online I will do my own word and STOP everything else and just sit and listen :)
Also I'm totally on board with not liking most people, especially the non-sci-fi reading kind, although I would never say that out loud or on the internet where people might read it and get offended.
Sounds about right... its funny how Google somehow seems to stay above the fray in the war on loving-to-hate big companies. We all get bent out of shape when Facebook does something or Twitter does something we don't like or "violates" our privacy yet Google basically invented a "social" network and then told everyone that if they want to play in search engines or have any credibility at all, they'd better get on board and start giving Google their data. Lots of it. All the time.
So the trend will continue. We'll all use Google and Google Plus and Google Places because... well, what else?
10 months, 3 weeks ago on 14 Digital Marketing Trends for Hotels in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]
@Andi Roo @CarolLynnRivera If the shoe fits :) No, I didn't write that about you! I was talking about me, which according to you makes me kind of pathetic....
So maybe we need stop AND go, although there are a lot more things to stop in my case. Like stop thinking about how many words I need to write a post about stopping. Hm.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 1 – #MyThreeWords
I have heard of this and I even tried it once and then subsequently forgot all about it. It's the same thing as making new year resolutions except you do it in a lot fewer words and then pretend it's going to make a difference. Not to be depressing :)
So I have one word for myself and the whole world, and everyone can make of it what they will. STOP.
That is all.
For me it means stop talking about shit and just do shit.
It means stop thinking so much and getting hung up on ideas instead of actions.
It means stop negating and complaining and whining.
It means stop and think before saying stupid things.
It means stop making shit up so that I feel better about my life, like lists and resolutions and words, instead of doing things to improve it.
It means stop making excuses.
It means stop rushing and missing all the cool stuff because I'm in a constant state of "busy".
It means stop and sit and just be for a while.
It means stop thinking about how much I hate winter (because much like you it's all about being depressing). Hating winter has never made it better or shorter. And it still comes every damn year.
It means stop and breathe.
I could keep going but I'm thinking I'm going to write my own one-word (plus many many follow up words) blog post. See how much you inspire????
10 months, 4 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 1 – #MyThreeWords
I'm on board with this! While I think it's important to know who you're selling to, I hate the idea of getting stuck in that mindset. You're right, things are not always simple or straightforward. I love your advice to imagine your customer on their WORST day. You don't get a lot of personas like that, do you? But then, we re in the business of improving out customer's lives, so what better way to imagine them?
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Customer Personas Need To Get Real in 2014
So I guess I better not send you a gift this year... ahem.
I had (have??) a completely different type of fuckedupedness in my family. We don't do extended gifts of any sort and none of my siblings has any kids (though that will change by next year...) but my "nuclear family" meaning parents and 5 brothers always had MEGAGIFTGIVINGEXTRAVAGANZA. That should totally be a hashtag.
Anyway, so when we were kids this was fun insofar as we all went to the school holiday gift shop with ten bucks from our parents and bought each other a new comb or a pen. When we got old enough to have jobs we went shopping in real stores and bought each other shirts and wallets. But as time went on and everyone like, grew up, and then our toys turned into things like ipods and cell phones and golf clubs, it got a little harder to shop. So we bought each other gift certificates and cookies. Which was hilarious, because you'd get on the phone and say, "how much are you spending? Oh, $25? Ok." Then I would get a $25 gift certificate for Pier 1 and I would give my brother a $25 gift certificate for Chili's. Which, how retarted, right?
This totally needs to be a blog post. I'm starting my own blog right now.
So anyway to your point, I have tried for years to convince everyone to stop with the gift buying madness. Much like you and Jesse, we have not bought a gift for anyone in years. My parents don't care but my brothers, you'd think I killed baby Jesus single-handedly. For a while nobody talked to me, so I got no presents. This year they are talking to me again so I get the phone calls. Are we doing gifts? What do you want to do about gifts? NONE! I WANT NONE GIFTS!
To be fair a few have come to the dark side and agreed with me. The rest can spend money. I shall not.
One year... and I'll leave you with this final thought before I usurp your whole page... I almost knocked the entire planet off its axis because I suggested to everyone that we buy NO gifts, even parents, and instead choose an underprivileged kid and each buy THEM a gift. Everyone had a meltdown. I mean holy crap, I not only killed baby Jesus but a few of the sheep and donkeys, too.
These days I just accept what I get gracefully and still buy no gifts :)
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Gift Exchanges are evil.
I can definitely see the sense of these numbers! I know at least for me, not being able to contact a company by phone is one of the most frustrating things. I also will think twice about doing business with a smaller or lesser-known company (especially) is they don't have contact info. It just doesn't make them feel trustworthy. I can especially see how in the travel industry, people would want reassurance and information from a human being. It can be expensive and even sometimes dangerous to travel! Not something you just order online and hope it gets shipped to you in goo condition, right?
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Mind The Gap… Between Online and Offline Marketing
Interesting stuff, Frederic! I heard about the new map pins but I wasn't entirely sure what you could practically do with them or why anyone would care. But these ideas are pretty clever! I really like the pack-and-go board idea. Goes to show that if you know your market you can think of ways to use the tools you have!
1 year ago on Pinterest and Travel: A Match Made in Social Media Heaven
Hey you boneheaded nutjobs, let me know if you need help. I do this sort of thing, you know, and would be glad to kick your ass in the right direction :)
Also, BACKUPS!!! What are you doing about that right now? If you're still in backup limbo, get backup buddy (plugin). It's pretty frigging awesome. I've used it to move/backup/restore a whole bunch of sites and it's worked like a charm every time.
1 year ago on Setting up a Blog – A never ending process
I find the niche travel the most interesting because it's so much easier to market when you know what your audience really wants and it's so much more fun as a traveler than the traditional "see tourist spot" kind of itinerary. I think so many people have gotten used to traveling that it really takes something niche now to be interesting. Once you've "been there done that", what's next? Specializing!
I love the idea of automating and simplifying. I do think, however, that we have to be careful not to over-automate and end up in that frustrating place where you can never seem to contact a human being about something that doesn't fit the automation script.
Pretty fascinating to see where things are going and watch the changes.
1 year ago on 5 Travel Marketing Trends For 2014
Wow, I learned new stuff here today! First of all, I had never heard of a difference between "holidaymakers" and "travelers". Not sure if that's because I'm not from the UK or just don't travel much :) But it's an interesting distinction.
What's not surprising is that people didn't like Yelp and such. I'm not sure how those sites have become "popular" (and by whose survey??) but I personally avoid them.
I also find it hard to believe that people don't find value in travel blogs. I think you can probably conclude anything you want after some vague survey, but a good travel blog is like a good recommendation. You can get to know your destination, the pros and cons, the little things you wouldn't have known to do or look for. It might not be the top go-to resource when planning but I bet it influences people in more ways than might be obvious from a quick survey.
1 year ago on On The Effectiveness Of Travel Blogs…
It's always fascinating to see where we've been and where we're going! I want to come back as a fly in about 100 years and see what's happening then.
I think Google has been making a huge push to promote its social network and of course to collect our data and box it up and sell it. And since Google pretty much controls search and we all do what it wants so we can get found, Google Plus will take off whether we care or like it or not.
I never really considered Snapchat for marketing but I'm sure some creative thinking people will figure out how to make it work! Obviously Vine has become a hit, so I'm sure we'll see more of those. I think video is going to have to become more and more entertaining because there's so much of it that we can easily move along quickly if something doesn't catch our interest. Personally, I find a lot of video boring, especially when it's something that someone could have written in a blog post. It's a lot more efficient to scan a post than to listen to every droning word. So marketers would be smart to remember the VISUAL component. If you can translate your visual into a blog post, it's probably not a good video. But if it's visual and captivates our attention... go for it!
1 year ago on 5 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2014
Interesting! All I know is yesterday I walked into my local Barnes and Noble and they were stacking Christmas stuff. Thanksgiving barely exists, at least from a retail perspective. Anyway, Alice's Restaurant has always been a traditional fave in my family :)
1 year ago on Where are All the Thanksgiving Songs?
Wow, fascinating stats. I never heard of "bleisure" before today, so thanks for that education :) Also, I think I am going to stop being American for a while...
I admit, I don't take vacations very well. But I do run my own business so I am a bit obsessive about making sure everything is ok. While I don't generally talk to clients unless it's a serious emergency, I do check email and social accounts. It's the plight of the constantly-connected! Then again, I enjoy what I do so it doesn't always feel like "work". Also I would die a horrible, screaming death without my iPhone :)
1 year ago on The Growing Trend of Bleisure Travel
This is a great post, Frederic! Super thorough and best of all realistic. So many times you read all this fluff about Facebook marketing, best times to post and things like that. The truth is, it's a lot more complex than that. There's no "best thing" unless it's best for you. And it's tough to get engagement unless you're popular elsewhere, in which case it follows you around from place to place. Without some type of paid promotion, a small business can be dead in the water. I have to be honest, I think Facebook is way too much work for too little return for a lot of small businesses. That's not to say it can't be done but it's work, it can cost you, and it takes time. It's not some quick fix that most people think it is. You have to be serious abut doing it and not expect to see a ton of followers and responses just because you posted a photo. Good tips here!
1 year, 1 month ago on 4 Key Elements of Your Facebook Marketing
"Information" is a blessing and a curse! Like with so many industries, travel has become very DIY. It's great that you can go onto a website and find everything you need but to your point about visiting 38 websites... it's exhausting! There can also be a lot of conflicting information so sometimes unless you know what you're doing, it can turn into a real headache. I think there is definitely value in having a professional assist. If I were taking more than a quick weekend drive, I would like to have a person help me out with details!
1 year, 1 month ago on 3 Reasons To Still Deal With A Travel Agent in 2013
@gonzogonzo @CarolLynnRivera Oh no!! Although I kind of like the image of bering dandy :) Get better!
1 year, 1 month ago on Can Social Networks Contribute to Responsible Tourism?
Fascinating stuff. I know abstractly that tourism is big but those numbers help put it in perspective! I wonder how many of us give any thought to "responsible" tourism, especially when traveling can feel a bit surreal in the first place, as if you're a bit detached from everything. I love the idea of companies taking initiatives to make tourism be beneficial and maybe more importantly not damaging to the environment and culture. Good luck with the keynote (or should I say 'break a leg'?)
This is an interesting thought-experiment. There are definitely pros and cons and if you're using social media to enhance your travel experience, it's a good thing. Of course, if you're a slave to whatever is happening where you're NOT then it isn't so good. It's funny you mentioned photos because I always felt like a camera ruined my travel experiences. As much as I like taking the photos and certainly looking at them later, I always feel like I want to actually experience the thing - not through a camera lens. So it's a balancing game for sure. I wonder how things will evolve if and when Google glass goes mainstream?
1 year, 2 months ago on Is Social Media Enhancing or Ruining the Travel Experience?
Hm, interesting breakdown there. I'll repeat one point already mentioned here which is that I can take a piece from here and a piece from there and put my own profile together. I think that's just an inherent limitation to marketing and our insistence on putting people into categories so we can segment our email campaigns and such. It doesn't surprise me that women are under-valued when it comes to travel marketing. I think women are pretty much overlooked period, unless it's fashion and kids. But that's another topic :)
1 year, 2 months ago on What Women Want… From Travel Brands!
I like the repurposing of that acronym! In a social world it's much more relevant. I am not a huge fan of asking for the share (I always feel sort of desperate doing it) but I do like the idea of asking questions and filling in blanks. If you can hit on something that gets people thinking (about themselves of course...) that's social gold.
1 year, 3 months ago on KISS: Keep It Significant and Shareable
Marketing people love their buzzwords and their cool phrases that make them sound trendy and important. Except me. I am strictly anti-trend and the minute I hear some stupid phrase twice I already think it's a conspiracy :)
Not that long ago I wrote a post in which I yelled at everyone for using the word "engage".
Glad there are people like you around to keep the self-importance in check! Experience is a thing, but it's always been a thing. It's not some new thing the cool people just discovered. And marketing is still marketing. Or maybe "marketing is the new marketing". I'll throw that one around Twitter and see how many people I can get to jump on the bandwagon!
1 year, 4 months ago on Customer Experience Isn’t Marketing
Wow, 40% is a high number for people thinking they're getting irrelevant content! I'd love to hear the "why" of that question.
I love your analogy, too. There is certainly no orderly funnel, no matter how much we want it to be. I often say I wish I knew what makes people tick - I have data and stats coming out my ears yet even when it comes to something as simple as figuring out which blog post people will respond to best, I find my estimations off.
1 year, 5 months ago on Customer Journeys Are More Jungle Gym Than Funnel
LOLOLOL Laura, I snorted my way through this whole thing. first of all, welcome to the bra-hating club - I suppose I shouldn't admit this in public but what the heck, I've been known to garner the nickname amongst my family as "the braless wonder". Oh, and here's a little more TMI - I don't shop for bras. When I need one bad enough, my husband gets a tape measure, goes online and orders some stuff that shows up on my doorstep and then I wear it. Also malls. Ew. And also pantyhose. And also high heels.
Ok, so we were talking about business, right? Yes, it should fit! I'm pretty sure I never had that conversation with myself. It was more like "I need money. Should I get a job? Nah." And thus self-employment was born. But you're right, and certainly if a person is not-so-young and unfettered, thinking about how said business will affect one's life, schedule and family are all necessary and very good things. I love your lesson and the story, too.
1 year, 6 months ago on How a great bra can save your business
You hit on a seriously serious problem for a lot of biz people I know (me included)! My brain spins so fast sometimes that I'm surprised it doesn't short out. It's funny that you said keep an idea book and write it down... I'm a super duper mega write-it-down person but for some reason I don't do it with my ideas. It's probably the Doubt Demon telling me its a stupid idea ;)
You never know when something will inspire you or start to take shape (plus there is a limited amount of space in my brain) so keeping an idea book is an awesome idea and I'm going to do it right. now. Love it!
1 year, 7 months ago on The Battle of Idea-magedon
First of all, hooray for comments! Glad to see yours up and running :) Secondly, FOCUS! That's my fave. Maybe because it also tends to be my downfall?? I like the idea of being everything all the time and it takes some resistance to avoid that and stick to the plan. Staying true to your core is a win every time. Great points!
1 year, 8 months ago on Conversation @ http://flyingpigconsulting.tumblr.com/post/46199966011/four-things-darth-vader-can-teach-us-about-marketing
You had me at "big banana" and I just laughed my way through the rest. Good timing, too, as I've just engaged in (another) "but my last web company swindled me so now what"" conversation with a prospect. It's shocking how many companies think that marketing is some shell game. While we'll never erase the swindlers, what we CAN do is make sure that we reward and do business with the people who are honest.
And don't feel bad... I got swindled out of $40 for some tree-stump bookends while vacationing on a Caribbean island some years ago. (omg honey, they are soooo cute and authentic and like, local!) Still have them, to prove that... well, that sometimes you're just going get swindled out of 40 bucks :)
1 year, 8 months ago on Nobody Likes a Big Banana
I'm attending the event and I thought Joe's opener was the best part of the first week. He really focused on the core of content marketing, not just about using this channel or that channel. His focus on the mission statement was one of the biggest takeaways for me. This was a really good summary of events so far. If I wasn't attending I would want to1
1 year, 9 months ago on Content Marketing Is The New Advertising
You asked "the big question" for sure. The thing about all these new Facebook features is that for many people, Facebook is what it is, and that's a place to share pictures and daily news and see what people ate for dinner. I can't think of a single scenario in which I would use Facebook search. I'd go to Google or if I really wanted to know my friend's opinion, I'd Skype or text or something. I don't need Facebook for that.
The other weird thing about Facebook is that it's a mixture of actual friends, acquaintances, business associates and complete strangers. We use the term "friend" loosely but I can't think of more than half a dozen people who I'm connected with on Facebook whose opinion on restaurants or anything else would matter to me. I'd get the same effect walking two doors down and asking my neighbor. It's about the same relationship!
Foursquare has tips and reviews and things that can give you an aggregated and **somewhat objective view. But simply knowing "where my 'friend' likes to eat dinner" is not so helpful.
And to your point, we're also creatures of habit. We're already getting that type of search value elsewhere. We'd need a pretty compelling reason to change our behavior. Facebook needs to give us a pretty strong "why".
Ok, done on the soapbox :)
1 year, 10 months ago on Is Facebook’s Graph Search A Foursquare-Killer?
I wonder where this is going? It doesn't really seem to have a practical application for marketers or businesses yet. Nobody is going to sit there and search for "people who like Bon Jovi" and have a useful bit of marketing info (just as an example). Unless it integrates with ads? Which it may. I also wonder how many people will use it. I see the curiosity value but I also see it wearing off pretty quickly. I don't care who's visiting what restaurant or watching what movie... I wouldn't say I have the same tastes as the vast majority of my Facebook "friends"... which brings up another interesting point, which is given how loosely we've defined the term "friend" (I have friends I have no idea who they are or why I'm even friends with them) how useful is it, really, to know what they like? How useful to us or to marketers? They may as well be strangers. This is a really interesting idea that I'm curious to see how it plays out. Have you noticed anything particularly useful about it outside of curiosity? PS: Good tutorial and rundown here, you explained it well and my comments are about the tool, not your analysis :)
1 year, 10 months ago on Facebook Graph Search – A first Glance
Great point, and something I pay attention to. Yes, it does drive me nuts when a company offers new customers great deals but nothing ever for the long term customers. You hit the nail on the head: it's probably not loyalty as much as it is apathy that makes us stick with a majority of "big brands". I think we might have had a similar conversation before :) Big brands can get away with it, counting on our inertia and lack of options. Small businesses are much better at paying back loyalty! The best we can do is continuously re-evaluate our relationships with companies and even though it can be a pain (think: switching banks, ugh) we should really speak with our pocket books. Oh, and really nice stunt, Cupid.... THAT'S one that people should really pay back with a mass exodus.
1 year, 10 months ago on Customer Loyalty: Is It A Two-Way Street?
@jeanniecw Because they don't have to. What's one more customer, more or less to a big company like that? Sad, but true.
1 year, 10 months ago on The Problem With Problem Customers
Interesting question! I think there's a big distinction to be made between small business and "big brands". As a small biz, it would take a seriously problem problem customer for me to dump them. You know, the whole "need money" thing and all. I've "fired" customers but it's usually only after there is clearly a disconnect in values and business approach. If a customer is being a problem there is usually a reason and some of it probably has to do with me! If I engage someone one-on-one, we can work it out as, like you said, "people."
Now, when you're talking about big business - banks, insurance, telecom, even retail - I think there are a lot more problem customers and not just because there are a lot more customers. I think that dealing with big companies bring out anger and frustration that turn otherwise normal people into problems. I've been one of those problems. Sometimes I MAKE myself a problem. There's very little interaction or connection there, so to get attention we almost have to act like three year olds. Good luck getting those companies to change. There is so much inertia and so little consequence to them for losing a customer. For a company to send "dear john" letters out is unthinkable!
Anyway, enjoyed this post and it's a great conversation.
Great tips. Apparently Facebook is getting snarkier with how much text you can use so I wonder how strict they'll be? I also wonder how many people pay attention to your cover photos. For me personally, when I change my personal cover it does get noticed but not so much with the brand pages I manage. I wonder if that's a function of it being a brand page or less reach. Although if I saw a cover with a chocolate cupcake I'm pretty sure I'd notice that one :)
1 year, 10 months ago on 12 Most Fabulous Ways to Make Your Facebook Cover Photo Pop
Ah the clever subject line! That's one place we can stop trying to be so cool and just be boringly real. "Be useful" isn't sexy but it works. Clever just makes me roll my eyes and hit delete.
1 year, 10 months ago on Crafting Killer Email Subject Lines