The Wall That Didn’t Stop the Coronavirus – The New York Times

Three weeks ago, with much of the United States already gearing up to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Trump administration’s chief immigration judge sent out a stern order to immigration courts nationwide to take down all public health posters, printed in English and Spanish, on how to deal with the pandemic. “Per our leadership,” the order said, immigration judges did not have the authority to post fliers. “If you see one (attached), please remove it.”

Soon after the order was revealed by The Miami Herald, the Department of Justice, which oversees the immigration courts, reversed course and told the paper that “the signs shouldn’t have been removed.”

A bureaucratic blunder? More like a case in point of how the administration’s obsession with immigrants, undocumented, legal or aspiring, has infected its efforts to control the spread of a pandemic, exacerbating the crisis.

Tough times call for tough measures, to be sure, and the administration’s anticipated order to turn back all asylum seekers and other foreigners trying to cross the southwestern border illegally makes sense in the context of measures already taken to severely restrict movement across other American borders, land and sea.

The immigration system along the southern border is overtaxed, and detention centers across the United States are already bursting with nearly 40,000 people, at enormous risk of contagion. The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate between carriers who are held behind bars and those whose job it is to guard them. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has continued to make arrests and has shown no intention of releasing nonviolent detainees, though judges in some states have ordered some released out of health concerns.

Rounding up undocumented immigrants and shutting down the border is something President Trump has yearned to do since long before the coronavirus began its fateful spread. And his animosity toward undocumented immigrants is affecting the efforts to contain the coronavirus far beyond the border.

As Miriam Jordan of The Times reported, the virus has spread more fear among immigrants, legal and undocumented — the fear that seeking medical or financial help will put them in the cross-hairs of the administration’s repressive immigration policies.

At the beginning of March, more than 700 public health and legal experts addressed a petition to Vice President Mike Pence and other federal, state and local leaders asking, among other things, that medical facilities be declared enforcement-free zones (ICE currently classifies them as “sensitive locations,” where enforcement is avoided but not precluded). The Citizenship and Immigration Service subsequently appeared to signal that it was suspending enforcement of a new “public charge” rule, which makes it harder for immigrants to obtain the green card of a permanent resident if they tap federal benefits, but the suspension has not been publicized.

Those who are not documented are afraid that going to a public health facility will expose them to ICE agents. Immigrants in the country legally and hoping to obtain a green card fear that seeking help will ruin their chances under the public charge rule, which went into effect in February after injunctions blocking it were lifted by the Supreme Court.

These immigrants are particularly at the mercy of the pandemic. They often live in crowded conditions, have little money and no paid sick leave, and so lack the ability to self-quarantine. And according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 23 percent of noncitizens lawfully in the country and 45 percent of those who are undocumented lack health insurance.

Most immigration courts, meanwhile, were still working at full steam long after state and federal courts across the country sharply scaled back their activities. On Monday, several groups representing lawyers who work with immigrant clients sued the administration to stop in-person immigration hearings during the pandemic. It was only last week that the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency that oversees immigration courts, closed down some courts and suspended hearings for immigrants not in custody.

The coronavirus does not care which passport its human hosts may carry or tongue they speak. Nor does it serve global public health for only American citizens to wash their hands and practice social distancing. Those are best practices that should transcend borders and walls and help us acknowledge our common plight, and humanity.

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The New Way to Chat With Your Visitors

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Marketing has evolved into an omnichannel approach. This means you can no longer just go after one channel to succeed.

Back in the day, companies like Facebook grew into billion-dollar businesses through one channel.

Facebook used email to grow and they did it by having you invite all your contacts to join Facebook.

Yelp was also similar. They grew into a multi-million dollar business through one channel… SEO.

Dropbox grew through social media. If you tweeted about Dropbox, they would give you more space.

These marketing approaches worked well for all of these well-known companies, but what’s wrong with them?

 

The law of shitty click-throughs

What worked for Facebook, Yelp, and Dropbox were all great strategies, but over time, all good marketing channels got saturated and stopped working like they used to.

As Andrew Chen puts it, first it works and then it doesn’t.

It really is that simple. Sure, those channels can still drive traffic and always will, but as people get used to them, they won’t work as well.

Just check out this image below.

Can you guess what that is?

That was the first banner ad. AT&T created that banner ad and placed it on HotWired.com in 1994. And here’s what’s really crazy… out of all the people who saw it, a whopping 44% clicked on it.

Just think about that… that banner ad had a 44% click-through rate.

We can all agree it’s not an amazing banner ad or design, it just so happens that it was new and novel at the time, so it generated massive amounts of clicks.

Just like how SEO was more effective earlier on, or paid ads were more affordable and produced a higher ROI, or referral marketing was much more effective. There are a lot of single-channel case studies that worked in the past.

Again, it doesn’t mean any of these channels don’t work, it just means that they don’t work as well as they used to work.

So how do you survive in a competitive market?

You take an omnichannel approach. You don’t have a choice other than to use all of the marketing channels out there.

Yes, they will be competitive and saturated, but they still work.

It’s a game of papercuts… papercuts are small and don’t do much damage, but if you have tons of these small papercuts, they will add up and can do some damage.

The same goes with your marketing. If you add up all of these channels that produce a small amount of ROI, it will add up to a big number at the end. But when you look at each channel individually, the results aren’t that sexy. But when you combine them, it looks great.

Start with chat

What do you check more, your text messages or your email inbox?

I bet you are going to say text messages because you look at your phone more often than logging into your email inbox.

But here is an interesting stat for you… did you know that over 6 billion SMS messages are sent daily?

Now can you guess how many emails are sent daily?

269 billion!

That’s a big difference.

And do you know how many people visit Facebook each day?

1.62 billion.

Now the point of me sharing those stats isn’t to try and tell you that email is better than text. Or that Facebook isn’t as valuable as text messaging.

It’s more so to show you that they are all massive channels that people are using each and every day.

So why wouldn’t you try and leverage all of them?

And you can easily do so through free chat marketing tools like Manychat that allow you to communicate to your visitors using text messaging, email marketing, and Facebook Messenger.

Once you have created your Manychat account, go here to watch how to set it up. They have tons of very helpful videos that teach you how to do things like setting up Facebook Messenger bots and connecting your Facebook page so you can start sending out messages.

Now that you are all set up, I want you to use the following templates for your business as I know they convert…

Templates that convert

My team and I have tested out tons of different messaging for all channels, such as email, messenger and text messaging.

Here are the ones that have worked the best for us…

Text messaging templates

My favorite text message to send someone is:

[first name]?

When someone sends you a text with just your first name and a “?” what do you do? Chances are you respond with… “who is this?”.

Once someone responds with who is this, our sales reps typically respond with…

This is John from Neil Patel’s team. I just wanted to follow up to see if you have any questions or if we can help you with anything.

It’s simple and it works well and it has boosted our sales by 4.69%.

Another one that works well is a “flash sales” text message…

Flash Sale: All product on [yoursite] are [x]% off for the next 24 hours. [insert URL]

This one works really well during holidays or anytime you want to run a promotion. Depending on the size of the business you run and how big your list is, you will usually see an additional 2 to 3% in revenue for that month.

And my favorite text campaign is…

Check out this new blog post, [subject of the blog post] [URL]

An example would be… “Check out this new blog post on doubling your SEO traffic [URL]”

When I send out text message alerts for new posts, it usually increases the traffic to that blog post by another 4%.

Email templates

You’re probably familiar with this email template as you get it from me every week. 😉

Subject: How to Generate Leads When You Have Little to No Traffic

If you have a ton of traffic, it’s easy to generate leads.

But what if you have a new website or one with little to no traffic?

What if you don’t have any money to spend on paid ads?

What should you do?

Well, there is a solution. Here’s how you generate leads when you have no traffic.

Cheers,

Neil Patel

I send out an email every Tuesday and Saturday that looks something like that.

It’s a simple text-based email where the subject line is the title of your blog post and the text of the email states a problem and solution, with the solution being a link to the blog post.

To give you a rough idea, that email format has been getting me 29% to 33% open rates and 4% to 7% click-through rates.

And if you are selling info products through webinars, there are 8 types of emails I use to generate sales (check out that post if you want to learn how to make good money selling info products):

  1. Invite sequence – these are a series of emails that invite people to watch your webinar. (here are my invite emails)
  2. Indoctrination – you need to build a connection with people. People are more likely to convert if they know more about you and trust you. (here are my indoctrination emails)
  3. No shows – just because someone signs up to watch your webinar, it doesn’t mean they will attend. For everyone who doesn’t attend, you’ll want to email them and get them to watch the replay. (here are my no show emails)
  4. Encore – not everyone will watch your whole webinar. If they don’t stick to the end they won’t see your offer. You’ll want a few emails that push the replay. (here are my encore emails)
  5. Objection handler – there are a handful of reasons someone may not buy. You’ll want to answer each of those objections through email. (here are my objection handler emails)
  6. Countdown sequence – you’ll want to close off your course. Letting people know that they only have a few days left to buy is a really effective way to generate sales. These emails will roughly make up 1/3 to half of your sales. (here are my countdown emails)
  7. Last chance email – on the last day you’ll want to send a few emails letting people know it is about to close. (here are my last chance emails)
  8. Free trial offer – the majority of people won’t buy from you. Offering the last chance free trial offer is a great way to roughly get 15% more sales. (here are my free trial emails)

If you are selling products, there are 3 main emails that I’ve found to work well. The first 2 are for cart abandonment.

Subject: Did you forget something?

We noticed that you left something behind. Don’t worry though, we saved the items in your cart so you can easily complete your purchase.

[insert picture of products]

CTA button: Return to cart

This simple abandonment email typically increases sales by 1.73%. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s all about the papercuts as I mentioned above. 😉

Subject: Still thinking about it?

If you can’t decide on whether [insert product name] is right for you, here are some of the benefits:

[insert benefit 1]

[insert benefit 2]

[insert benefit 3]

[insert benefit 4]

[insert benefit 5]

[insert benefit 6]

So, what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose with our 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee.

CTA: Complete my purchase

On average this email has provided our customers an increase of 1.44% in sales.

Subject: Who doesn’t love 15% off?

Explore new [type of products you sell] that will help you with [insert benefit].

Sale ends at [insert date and time].

CTA: Claim my discount

Now with the discount/coupon code email, we’ve found the results to vary a lot. The bigger the discount, the more sales you will typically receive. The biggest gains are when companies offer over 30% or greater discount.

Facebook Messenger templates

Unlike email and text, you can’t just easily just message people on Facebook Messenger and do whatever you want. There are rules

  • You can message a subscriber within the last 24 hours of your last interaction.
  • Within that 24-hour time period, you can send promotional material.
  • After the 24 hour period, messages must contain one of these 4 tags: confirmed event update, post-purchase update, account update, or a human agent.
  • For users who opt-in to receive messages after 24 hours, you can, of course, message them.

As for templates that work, because Facebook is continually changing Messenger rules, follow these templates over at Manychat as they constantly change based on real-time data of what is working or what isn’t.

Conclusion

You have no choice but to take an omnichannel approach with your marketing.

Sure, all good channels eventually get crowded and click-throughs will decrease over time, but if you go after all of the main channels the marginal gains will add up.

And the easiest way to start with going omnichannel is with chat. I know you are probably using email, but I bet you aren’t using text messaging or even Facebook Messenger bots. And I bet you aren’t using push notifications either.

So, how many marketing channels are you using?

Digital Marketing News: Influencers See Surging Engagement, COVID-19’s Impact on B2B Marketers, & New Opportunities For Building Brand Trust

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Influencers see surge in engagement, want to help SMBs
While other forms of marketing have generally seen decreased effectiveness figures during the coronavirus pandemic, influencer marketing has seen surging social media engagements and impressions, with some 70 percent of influencers seeing audiences seeking guidance from them during the crisis, according to recently-released survey data of interest to digital marketers. Influence Central

Forrester: Brands must build trust as coronavirus saps consumer sentiment
Although brands have been facing decreased consumer confidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are also achieving new levels of trust by helping consumers regain a sense of control, a shift examined in newly-released consumer energy index survey data from Forrester. Marketing Dive

Forrester Chart

Facebook Added a New ‘Experiments’ Element to Ad Manager to Help Optimize Ad Performance
Facebook has released new online video watching features to meet growing usage demands due to the coronavirus pandemic, including audience targeting campaign test results that are easier to track, and other additions that had previously been available only to partners, the social media giant announced recently. Social Media Today

An Age Gap Emerges in the Streaming Video Ad vs. Costs Debate
52 percent of the 25-34 age group demographic are open to seeing more online advertisements in exchange for lower streaming video service fees, while just 28 percent older than 55 take the same view, two of several findings of interest to digital marketers in new survey data. MarketingCharts

The new contextual ad targeting works, study says
With browser cookie-based tracking on the wane, contextual advertising has been getting a second look from marketers seeking alternative tracking, and recently-released test results found that contextually relevant ads generated some 43 percent greater neural engagement along with 2.2 times better ad recall, among other findings of interest to marketers. Search Engine Land

Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic [Edelman]
Brands can meet the challenges surfaced by COVID-19 by offering solutions and setting aside passion, according to newly-released consumer trust report data from Edelman, which revealed that some 57 percent of consumers want brands to stop all humorous or light-hearted marketing and advertising during the pandemic. Edelman

2020 April 3 Statistic Image

Remote working: B2B brands feeling more resilient than B2C
B2B marketers have a greater sense of resiliency than their B2C counterparts, especially when it comes to remote collaboration, with 51 percent of B2B marketers viewing their organizations as very proficient at conducting remote work, while just 34 percent of B2C marketers took the same view — two of several findings of interest to online marketers contained in new Marketing Week and Econsultancy survey data. Marketing Week

UK B2B marketers split on whether they can overcome coronavirus pandemic
While some 45 percent of B2B marketers in the U.K. said that they were either extremely or fairly confident about finding success during the coronavirus pandemic, just 40 percent felt confident in achieving any return on investment (ROI) from current campaigns, according to recently-released survey data from CogniClick. The Drum

Three Points B2B Sellers Should Consider to Improve Buyers’ Experiences
86 percent of B2B technology buyers have an expectation that they will receive personalized sales material — a rate that is likely responsible for 71 percent of B2B buyers saying that their salesperson relationship directly influenced a recent purchase. These purchasing experience results are along several of interest to digital marketers in newly-released report data. MarketingCharts

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Social Media Ad Rates and Engagement
The coronavirus pandemic has brought lower cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), and ad spending figures for brands, including social media ad engagement that was down 17.2 percent during the middle of March, according to newly-released report data from Social Bakers of interest to digital marketers. MarketingProfs

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

2020 April 3 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at decision paralysis by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

MySpace Tells Employee to Stay Home During Pandemic — The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Marketing in Troubled Times — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden — Creando estrategias de contenido B2B – Webinar con Lee Odden (Inglés) [Video – In Spanish] — B2B Marketers
  • Lane R. Ellis — Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips — Small Business Trends
  • Lee Odden — 10 Takeaways from HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2020 Report — Weidert

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us, and we hope that you will return again next Friday for a new array of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

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