RSS - eZanga PR Team - eZanga Blog - and advertising articles by the eZanga Public Relations staff.en-us© 2003-2021, (eZanga Public Relations) (eZanga Webmaster) Basics of American Politics Explained<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="The Basics of American Politics Explained" /><p>The first is that everything we see is always so biased! No matter who it is they are saying the other side is lying or putting out ‘fake news’, and so unless you already know a lot about the subject (which I normally don’t), it is impossible to work out who is telling the truth. The second problem is that everyone always talks about who is going up against who in the Presidential Debate, or who is going to for which senate seat, but no one actually explains what it all means. What powers does the senate actually have? What does it mean when the President signs an executive order? Unless you are already in the know it is like watching a TV show starting on season 5, all of the pieces are in place, but you have no clue how they got there or what impact it has for us. </p><p>That is what we are going to address here. We will explain the basics of American Politics clearly and unbiasedly, and help you avoid these problems in the future.</p><h2>The Constitution</h2><p>The ultimate law in the United States, the <a href=" "target="_blank">Constitution</a>, and its 27 Amendments (changes) layout the fundamental rights that every US citizen has and that every subsequent law must abide by. Although it is possible to add more amendments, as shown by the 27 that have happened, in reality, it is extremely difficult with most of these coming in the first few years of our democracy. For one of these to occur, it must be approved by two-thirds of Congress and three-quarters of the states, so in reality, the Constitution as it stands is the framework around which all of our laws are built.</p><h2>Separation of Powers </h2><p>One of the most important things to understand about American Politics, and what makes it so complicated, is that no one person or organization has complete control. Having just fought a long and bloody war against a tyrannical English king, the founding fathers were very keen to make sure no ‘king’ could emerge in the US, and so they created the three branches of government. This separation of powers, inspired by French philosophers, was one of the defining features of the new US democracy and would set the stage for the next 200 years in our country. These three branches are the executive, legislative, and judicial, and we will now take a look at each in turn and how they impact and limit the powers of the other two.</p><h2>The Executive Branch</h2><p>Probably the easiest to understand, <a href=""target="_blank">the executive branch</a> is essentially the President, the Vice President, and the heads of departments and are in charge of the enforcement and implementation of laws in the United States.</p><p><img src="" alt="president of the united states seal" class="float-center size50pc" width="410" height="401"></p><p></p><h2>The President </h2><p><b>Chief Citizen, Chief Diplomat, Commander in Chief, </b>the titles and roles of <a href=""target="_blank"> The President of the United States</a> are many and it would be impossible to go into detail about every aspect of the job, so we will just talk about the big ones. Elected in Presidential elections every four years and serving a maximum of two terms, the President while they are in office, is arguably the most powerful person on the planet. </p><p>The most obvious role of the President is having ultimate control over the armed forces. They can order operations within any of the services anywhere in the world, giving them a huge amount of power and responsibility. Since the War Powers Resolution of 1973, this power has been limited somewhat so that any invasion in a foreign territory over 60 days must be approved by Congress, who also have the ‘power of the purse’ and so must agree if a President wants to increase military spending, but the President still maintains almost total control of our military. The President is also responsible for negotiating and signing treaties with other countries in their role as chief diplomat, making them even more dominant when it comes to foreign affairs.</p><p>Closer to home though the President is also responsible for signing any bills passed by congress or vetoing them (refusing to sign them so congress has to go back and change them) if he doesn’t agree. Although technically Congress can override a President with a ‘supermajority’ of with two-thirds of the votes, due to its divided nature, this rarely happens and so the President has a huge influence in the passing of laws. If they do not want to wait for congress which can often take weeks or months, the President is also allowed to pass executive orders, which although cannot raise money or mess with the budget, can have a huge effect on how laws are enforced or departments are run. </p><p>The President also has a huge amount of ‘soft-power’, meaning that although they may not have official powers to do something, they are incredibly influential within their party and as leader of the country. This means that often if a President wants to guide their party or a department in a certain direction, they will get their own way even if they have no direct power to do so.</p><h2>Vice-President </h2><p>Often described as being a heartbeat away from the presidency, the <a href=""target="_blank"> Vice-President’s</a> most important role is being ready to take over should the President die in office. While they do have some express roles such as voting in a tie in the senate, this is by far their most important job. </p><p>Generally, Presidents will select a Vice-President that while not too dissimilar in their views, will serve to appeal to a group of voters that perhaps the President is having difficulty reaching out to, such as a very old President selecting a much younger vice. The two appear on the ticket together in Presidential elections and you vote for both at the same time.</p><h2>Electoral College</h2><p>It is impossible to talk about the Presidential elections without talking about the Electoral College. Technically speaking when voting on November 3rd, we won’t actually be voting for the next Presidential ticket, but instead for 538 Electors who will elect the President. If you hear the expression ‘270 to win’, this is where that comes from and is the minimum amount of Electoral College votes needed to become President.</p><p><img src="" alt="map of electoral college" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="461"></p><h3>So how does it work? </h3><p>Each of the 50 states is automatically given 2 Electoral College votes and an additional chunk of 435 of the remaining electors based on their population, with each state getting at least one, and the final 3 going to the district of Columbia. Using this system tiny Wyoming gets 3 electoral college votes while massive California has 55. While this may seem unfair to Wyoming it actually means each person’s vote there counts for over three times as much as someone’s vote in California!</p><h3>Why so complicated?</h3><p>When the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, they weren’t sure how to elect the President, with some arguing for a wealthy elite to decide and others wanting it to be directly in the hands of the people. The Electoral College was therefore seen as a compromise of the two systems. Also, by guaranteeing each state at least 3 votes the founding fathers thought that it would prevent the smaller states from being overlooked.</p><h3>Does it work?</h3><p>Well, sort of…… In 56 Presidential elections, the least popular candidate has been made President only 4 times, it just happens to be that 2 of them have been in the 21st century (including 2016). However, with almost all the states giving all of their Electoral College votes to the winner in that state it has meant that rather than the smaller places getting forgotten about, it is the ‘safe’ ones. As such, each election tends to be focused on a handful of ‘battleground’ swing states with the others getting overlooked.</p><p>Because of this, over 60% of Americans want to change to a direct popular vote and abandon it altogether, but the American system is very hard to change, so don’t expect the Electoral College to go anywhere soon.</p><h2>Department Heads</h2><p><p>The heads of departments are relatively simple to explain and so we won’t go into too much detail here. They are mostly appointed by a President (and approved by the senate but more on that later) and are in charge of implementing laws passed in congress and running their departments on a day to day basis.</p><h2>Legislative Branch</h2><p>Much easier to explain (thankfully!), <a href=""target="_blank"> the legislative branch </a>of the US government is essentially the US Congress and is the group with the power to make laws. Made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate any law must pass through both of these to come into effect. They also have the extremely important ‘power of the purse’, meaning they are allocating the budget, providing a huge block to the power of the President.</p><h2>House of Representatives</h2><p>Made up of 435 <a href=""target="_blank"> ‘House Members’ </a>these are voted in every two years in national elections. Each state is assigned a number of members that represent them based on how big their population is but making sure that every state gets at least one! Because they only serve two-year terms, and members-only have to be a minimum of 25 years of age, the House of Representatives is often seen as the lesser of the two chambers. However, they also have the extremely valuable power of raising revenue through taxes. This means that any sort of tax reform needs the House onside and so they should not be overlooked.</p><p>They are also entrusted with the power to begin the impeachment process on a sitting President, which means to forcibly remove the President from office, although it is the Senate that eventually decides on the President’s guilt.</p><p><img src="" alt="senate building" class="float-center size100pc" width="820" height="547"></p><h2>The Senate</h2><p>With its much more exclusive membership of only 100 <a href=""target="_blank">Senators</a>, the requirement to be at least 30 to stand, and its much longer 6-year terms, the Senate is generally seen as the more prestigious of the two chambers. Although Senate elections are every two years, only a third of Senators are up for election each time, to form staggered terms. With each state having two Senators, this chamber was seen as a way to ensure the state’s rights, and prevent the larger states from dominating the less populated ones. </p><p>As mentioned, the senate has the ultimate say on whether a President is impeached, as well as being responsible for ratifying (confirming) the President’s treaties with other nations and approving their cabinet and supreme court appointments. This provides clear limits to the President’s power.</p><h2>The Judiciary</h2><p><a href=" "target="_blank"> The Judicial branch of government</a> is the 9 members of the Supreme Court, 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, and 94 federal judicial district courts. Although they are not in charge of writing or passing laws, going to war, or spending money and so are easily overlooked, the Judiciary is hugely important in limiting the powers of the two more prominent branches of government. Ultimately it is the Judiciary's role to interpret the Constitution of the United States and ensure that any laws passed, or actions are taken, by the others do not break our most ironclad rules. </p><p><img src="" class="float-center size100pc" width="820" height="615"></p><p></p><p></p><p></p></p><h3>Related Post: <a href="” target="_blank"> The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its confirmation hearing this week for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.</a></p><h3>There We Have It</h3><p>Okay, there was a lot to take in there I know, so feel free to come back to check this out as many times as you need (I have already forgotten half of it!), but there are the basics of our crazy, beautiful political system, in all its complicated glory.</p><p><img src="" alt="kid pointing to vote sign" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="327"></p><center><p><h2>Finally, Don't forget to <a href=""target="_blank"> VOTE</a></center></p></h2> (eZanga PR Team), 12 Oct 2020 08:53:00 -0400Best Candy to offer at Work<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="Best Candy to offer at Work" /><p>Office coffee is a nice afternoon break for a pick-me-up, but what about office candy? Having a bowl of office candy at work can offer all the same benefits: an energy boost and a gathering place for coworkers. According to the National Confectioners Association, approximately one-third of Americans report having a communal candy bowl at work. So, if your office isn't part of that one-third, it might just be time to join in.</p><p>But, what candy to choose from? In this blog post, we break down all the factors you should consider before purchasing candy for your workplace.</p><p><h2>Think About the Germs</h2></p><p>A big bowl of M&Ms or Skittles is bound to please the masses. Delicious and colorful, right? Well, you should probably stop and consider the germs. What if Jake decides to stick his hands into the bowl right after being on the bus? Your innocent little bowl of candy might just be the thing to cause the office flu this year.</p><p>To avoid this issue, consider opting for individually wrapped candies like Jolly Ranchers or Hershey's Kisses.</p><p></p><p><img src="" alt="assorted wrapped candy bars" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="547"></p><br><p></br></.P<p><h2>Hoarders</p></h2><p>For whatever reason, free food doesn't seem to bring out the best in people. You can expect that you'll have at least one person who takes handfuls of the candy and stores it at their desk for later. Why do they do this? Who knows. Maybe they don't want to be judged for the daily candy consumption. Or, perhaps they hate the small talk that happens around the candy bowl. Whatever the reason, we say look the other way.</p><p>If it gets really bad and the hoarder starts taking obscene amounts, you can put up a little sign with a poem or sonnet. It can essentially encourage people only to take a fair amount.</p><p></p><p><h2>Neutral Candy</p></h2><p>We suggest staying neutral in your candy choices. Don't make bold choices like black licorice or Mounds. Your suggestion box will soon be full of complaints from half the office about the candy bowl. Stick to safe bets instead like single-serving packets of M&Ms or snicker bars, Werther's Originals, or Hershey's Kisses.</p><p></p><p><h2>Peppermint Candies: The Office Hero</p></h2><p>The candy you probably see offered the most in retail spaces, spas, and offices are peppermint candies. Have you ever wondered why that's the case? Firstly, most people don't particularly love peppermint candies. This solves the issues of hoarding and overconsumption.</p><p>And secondly, peppermint candies refreshen breathe. So, if you have some smokers in the office, the peppermint candy will be doing everyone a favor.</p><p>Lastly, peppermint candies don't get stale quickly and taste fine even when they do go stale. Really, peppermint candies might be the office hero of the candy bowl.</p><p></p><p><h2>Your Candy Bowl Might Offer Insight to Your Coworkers' Behaviors</p></h2><p>If you have the time, you can go down a rabbit hole of Internet theories about how people behave around the candy bowl. For example, Ronald Reagan apparently once claimed that you could tell a lot about a person's character if they pick out one color of a Jelly Belly or grabbed a mismatched handful.</p><p>A Washington Post article discussed one woman's experience of watching people refuse to take the last piece of chocolate in a bowl. The reasons ranged from not wanting to be rude to cultural superstitions about it resulting in you being single forever!</p><p>Whatever happens, there's no doubt that the candy bowl will bring amusement and entertainment into the office. If you're smart, you might consider putting the bowl on your desk or in your eyesight. You'll love watching people battle themselves over if they should take some, how much they should take, and which ones they choose. You might be surprised to find that the office's shyest workers take the most or the most confident seem stumped over their candy choices.</p><p>So buy a bowl, fill out the bowl with a neutral choice, and watch the entertainment play out!</p> (eZanga PR Team), 14 Sep 2020 09:57:00 -0400It's Time for Americans to Go Back to Work<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="It&#039;s Time for Americans to Go Back to Work" /><h1>It's Time for Americans to Go Back to Work</h1><p>Since the early months of 2020, coronavirus has swept through the states, impacting every American one way or another. While COVID-19 cases are still popping up worldwide, it's time for Americans to go back to work. Adults can start to re-enter the workforce safely. As people begin to work again, the American economy will be stimulated. Additionally, fewer people will be relying on the government for income, reducing the burden on the entire country.</p><h2>Why It's Time to Go Back to Work</h2><p>The coronavirus pandemic has impacted all economies, including the United States economy, in an incredibly negative way. Official reports state that the U.S. economy has shrunk <a href="">at the fastest rate</a> since the 2008 recession. If things don't change soon, there's no telling what kind of future is in store for the average American household.</p><p>Here are some vital statistics that outline how dire the situation is:</p><ul><li><p>According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States hit an <a href="">unemployment rate of 13%</a> in May 2020. This is a massive increase from the 2019 rate of 3.7%. This rate also beats the peak unemployment of 10.6% for the 2007-2009 Great Recession.</p></li><li><p>Experts suspect that the real unemployment rate was much higher in May, possibly <a href="">as high as 16%.</a> However, measurement challenges, including low participation, make it much harder to understand the exact number.</p></li><li><p>Before COVID occurred, the United States was enjoying one of the<a href=""> lowest records of unemployment</a> since World War II.</p></li><li><p>More than 20 million Americans have lost their job due to COVID.</p></li><li><p>Before coronavirus hit, the American economy was predicted to<a href=""> grow by 2%</a> in 2020.</p></li><li><p>Over <a href="">100,000 small businesses </a>have permanently closed in the U.S. due to COVID.</p></li><li><p>The U.S. government provided stimulus checks for qualifying individuals, up to $1,200 per adult. It's now being predicted by many that <a href="">another round of stimulus checks</a> will be sent out.</p></li><li><p><a href="">Several major corporations</a> are failing or have filed for bankruptcy amid the COVID pandemic, including 24 Hour Fitness, the ALDO Group, Brooks Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, Cirque du Soleil, DavidsTea, and J.C. Penney.</p></li></ul><p>Americans need to band together for the future of the country's economy. Any adult in good health that can work should return to a job. As more positions are filled, unemployment rates will go down, and adults won't be dependent on the government for unemployment wages.</p><p>Adults that have jobs are more likely to have disposable income. They can then use this disposable income to put their income back into stimulating the economy. Disposable income allows people to order from restaurants, go shopping, and pay outstanding debt. This will serve to help companies, both big and small, stay in business, and continue operations.</p><p><img src="" alt="covid work safely rules" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="634"></p><p><h2>How to Go Back to Work Safely</h2></p><p>Of course, no one is asking Americans to go back to work in an unsafe manner. Precautions can be taken by both the employer and the employees to reduce the risk of COVID infection. Additionally, employees should not be scared of making requests to their employers to improve their safety</p><p>Some ways Americans can go back to work safely and continue to reduce their risk of getting COVID-19 include:</p><ul><li><p>Wear a mask at all times. If applicable to your work, wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves.</p></li><li><p>Practice social distancing, even at work.</p></li><li><p>Ask your employer to ensure that a limited number of employees and customers are in an enclosed space. This can be done by having alternating shifts for employees and asking customers to line up outside of stores.</p></li><li><p>Ask your employer to purchase a thermometer screener for all employees and customers.</p></li><li><p>Supply hand sanitizer throughout the workspace.</p></li><li><p>Ask employers to have flexible work from home or sick policies. This ensures that employees don't feel pressured to come into work if they begin to feel sick.</p></li><li><p>Ask employers to provide their staff with educational materials on how to reduce the spread of COVID.</p></li><li><p>Ask employees that are immunocompromised to stay home until the risk of COVID decreases.</p></li><li><p><a href="">Test employees regularly. </a></p></li><li><p>Avoid sharing of utensils at work.</p></li><li><p>Avoid shaking hands.</p></li></ul><h2>Looking to the Months Ahead</h2><p>A lot of people are uncertain of what the future holds at this point. A 1981 study found that <a href="">a one percent dip </a>in unemployment results in 37,000 deaths (a combination of heart attacks, suicides, homicides, and other), 4,000 state mental hospital admissions, and 3,300 state prison admissions. This statistic has gained some traction in recent years after it was famously quoted by Brad Pitt's character in The Big Short. Of course, the findings of a several decades-old study doesn't apply to today's world. Still, if this statistic is even fractionally true in today's world, it could mean a bleak future.</p><p>People need to work to survive. They need to work to feed themselves and their families, maintain a roof over their heads, and stay fulfilled. When people stop working, it will inevitably result in negative scenarios for many individuals.</p><p>Additionally, if we don't go back to work, the economy may collapse. Small businesses used to be the backbone of the United States economy, and they've already taken a significant hit. Even major corporations haven't been COVID-proof. As more businesses close, more people will lose their jobs, and the economy will continue to spiral out of control.</p><p>Americans can pull together to do their part and go back to work for the benefit of the entire country. It benefits both the individual and the country as a whole.</p></body></html> (eZanga PR Team), 04 Aug 2020 14:42:00 -0400Why is it SO HARD to put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher?<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="Why is it SO HARD to put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher?" /><h2>Oikophobia — When the Fear Is Real</h2><p>There are people who have an immense fear of appliances. This disorder, called oikophobia, often comes from childhood memories associated with appliances. So, if you have a coworker who turns pale when you bring up garbage disposals, maybe they are also clinically unable to load the dishwasher. You can still broach the conversation or ask HR too. I imagine the conversation going something like this:</p><p><b>You:</b> So, Brad, I was, um, wondering, have you ever heard of oikophobia?</p><p><b>Brad: </b>What?</p><p><b>You: </b>You know, it’s the irrational fear of dishwashers. I mean, maybe something happened when you were a kid. Did your brother lock you in the dishwasher?</p><p><b>Brad: </b>I don't have a brother.</p></p><p><b>You:</b> OK, maybe an older sister?</p></p><p><b>Brad:</b> Only child.</p></p><p><b>You:</b> So, Brad, the point is, maybe it's time to talk to someone about it. The dishwasher is not a scary place. You'll feel better.</p></p><p><b>Brad:</b> What are you talking about?</p><p><b>You:</b> Brad, please don't leave your dirty dishes in the sink, in the conference room or under your desk. It's gross. There are lots of takeout places, maybe try that.</p><p><b>Brad: </b>You've changed my whole life.</p><p><h2>How to Handle the Dishwasher Dilemma for Non-Oikophobic Coworkers</h2></p><p><h3>Here are some effective strategies that may help dishwasher-challenged coworkers.</h3></p><p><b>Ant Farm Approach</b></p><p>Consider setting up a roster of voluntary kitchen duty. Make it known that those who do not sign up should plan on keeping their mess to themselves. Depending on the number of employees, everyone may have to take a turn every couple of weeks or longer.</p><p>Whoever has kitchen duty can wipe down the counters and tables and load and unload the dishwasher at the end of the day. Once employees know their coworkers have to clean up after them, they may be less inclined to leave their coffee mugs with rings and plates with globs of food sitting around.</p><p><b>Reward Good Behavior</b></p><p>At work, employees have a lot of pressure. So, make kitchen duty fun. Allow employees to self-police by creating a star board. Every time someone loads the dishwasher, turns it on or unloads it, they can add a star!</p><p>Sound silly? It is. But maybe everyone could use a little more silliness these days. Additionally, you may just walk into the breakroom one day to find the most unexpected people cleaning the coffee maker or wiping down the tables.</p><p> Make sure they get their stars recorded. Depending on how far you want to take it, you can add rewards tied to the stars — like not being the most hated person in the office.</p><p><b>Speak Up</b></p><p> If you witness Gross Greg or Dirty Diane lick a spoon and leave it on the counter, it's time to get proactive. There Mama isn't around to help them out, so it's all up to you. What do you say? Well, you may not want to say what you're thinking. (This is why we call you Gross Greg!)</p><p>A gentle reminder should get the point across. You can even make a joke about it.</p><p>"Are you saving that for later?"</p><p>"Hey, that dishwasher works great!"</p><p>Then, there is the direct approach.</p><p>"Are you going to leave that there?"</p><p>Launching a cleanliness campaign benefits everyone in the office. All joking aside, it's more important now than ever. So, post signs, put out emails, and do whatever is necessary to let employees know that lumpy oatmeal and crusty coffee cups left in the sink are not acceptable.</p><p><img src="" alt="sink full of dirty dishes" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="545"></p><p><h2>Why Do People Leave Dirty Dishes in the Sink?</h2></p><p>This perhaps can best be answered by psychologists or overworked mothers. However, here are a few reasons that office coworkers may leave their dishes lying around:</p><p>They are genuinely too busy to clean out their dish. Suggest disposable containers to make everyone's life easier.</p><p>They are just too lazy to be bothered and nobody has complained, so... It's time to start complaining.</p><p>Their hands are broken. OK, maybe this guy deserves a break.</p><p>They have <b>oikophobia</b>. Have Brad give them the number of his therapist and a couple of take-out menus.</p><p>Most people didn't grow up with a personal maid and weren't raised by wolves, so it's hard to be patient with coworkers who bring their bad habits to work with them. If necessary, call a meeting to explain to EVERYONE that there are no magic dishwasher elves coming to clean up overnight. Also, cleaning up after employees' meals is not the job of the janitorial staff.<p><p> We would love to hear from you on this. Why do you think people leave their used plates, bowls and utensils just lying around?</p><p><h2>How To Load the Office Dishwasher</h2></p><p>If Kitchen Duty and public humiliation don't guilt the lazy bees in the office to clean up their mess, it's time to get serious. Consider adding a training module on proper kitchen etiquette and how to use the dishwasher. Maybe people genuinely don't know how (yeah, right!)</p><p><center><b>Explain That the Dishwasher Is Their Friend</b></center></p><p><i><b>The dishwasher is not scary.</b></i> Technology is awesome. There are no gremlins waiting to bite off the fingers of good corporate citizens. In fact, the dishwasher has tiny elves that scour and rinse every dish. Here are some tips to post in the break room or kitchen to initiate the uninformed.</p><p>Place spoons and forks handle down. They may get dizzy but will emerge clean and fully ready to feed you lunch. Glasses, mugs, and cups go face down on the outside edge of the top rack. You can place a pink cup in the corner before you close up. This is very important for dishwasher elf morale. (Elves like pink.)</p><p>Plates go on the bottom, facing away from one another. Plates are territorial, so if you put them in facing one another, you could end up with chips and cracks — dishes fight dirty!</p><p>Pots and serving bowls from the potluck lay face down on the bottom rack. The elves like to bang on them from the inside while cleaning them, which is more musical and less destructive than it sounds.</p><p>Separate spoons, which are highly social animals that nest when left to their own devices. (This is why you run out of forks and knives before you run out of spoons.)</p><p><h2>Pro Tips on Dishwasher Wrangling</h2></p><p>Avoid crowding dishes together. There's no bonus for cramming every dirty dish into the same load. In fact, it makes the elves angry and they may not bother to scrub the dishes.</p><p>Bowls tuck neatly into the top rack facing outward. No one knows why it's so, but the elves are quite offended by backward-facing bowls. Mix up the order for optimal results, alternating smaller and larger bowls. This makes it easier for the elf teams, which always consist of one short and one tall elf. </p><p><b>Pro bonus Tip:</b> Rinse agent not only prevents streaky glasses — it's great for the elves' complexion.</p><p>Place plastics face down on the top rack, so the heating element doesn't turn them into blobs that melt all over your dishwasher.</p><p>After the dishwasher runs, open the door to allow the plates to cool off and to ensure the wet elves get a chance to dry out.</p><p><img src="" alt="man showing thumbs up for loading dishwasher correctly" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="546"></p><p><h2>Last Resort Options</h2></p><p>So, most of the Messy Marvins in the office are now rinsing out their dishes and taking their turn at kitchen duty, Brad is ordering takeout and seeing a therapist and all is harmonious, except for...<b>THAT. ONE. PERSON.</b></p><p>You know the one. They don't <b>DO</b> dishes and you are violating their rights by forcing them to clean up after others. Let the elves do it!</p><p>This is the same person who always comes to meetings late, hands in assignments haphazardly, and is perpetually on the verge of quitting (please, just do it!). They take two donuts when you haven't had even one, and you suspect they are also the Lunch Thief.</p><p>So, what do you do? If you're the boss, consider placing cameras in the lunchroom. That way, you can catch the Lunch Thief and let That Person know that you are watching. What are the odds that they will change their ways? Eh, about 50-50...but there's only so much you can do without firing them. Hmm...</p><p>If you have tips and tricks that you would like to share, we would love to hear all about it. Join the cause and let's cure dirty dish-itis and dishwasher phobia one Brad at a time.</p><p> Apologies if your name is Brad, but names were changed to protect the innocent. Lazy know who you are....please put your dirty dishes in the (not scary) dishwasher. </p> (eZanga PR Team), 29 Jul 2020 16:34:00 -0400PPC Advertising Fraud - Is the Risk Real?<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="PPC Advertising Fraud - Is the Risk Real?" /></p><br><p>PPC campaign managers use a number of metrics to work out whether or not their campaigns have been successful. Those metrics include the cost per lead and the return on ad spend. In an ideal world, calculating those metrics would be easy. Sadly, ad fraud can make your metrics meaningless.</p><p><h2>What is Ad Fraud</h2></p><p>Ad fraud, in the PPC world is the practice of artificially generating a large number of clicks on advertisements. There are a couple of reasons that someone might do this. A webmaster may choose to generate clicks on the ads on their own website because they get paid for each of those clicks. An advertiser, on the other hand, might visit other people's websites and click on ads on them in order to use <a data-mce-href="" href="">up a rival's budget</a> more quickly and drive up their advertising costs.</p><p>When a fraudster clicks on a set of advertisements frequently, not only does that cost the advertiser money because they pay for each click, it makes the keywords associated with the ad seem more popular. This causes the cost of those keywords to increase thanks to the automated algorithm that the advertising platforms use to work out what to charge per keyword. </p><p><h2>Why Does Ad Fraud Matter?</h2></p><p>Ad fraud can destroy what might otherwise be a successful advertising campaign.  It doesn't matter whether you're running a campaign with a high cost per click and a high average sale, or one where you're banking on generating a lot of volume, but each sale is worth a much smaller amount, ad fraud will throw your <a href="" target="_blank">calculations</a> out of balance.</p><p>Let's take the example of a tour bus operator that runs a campaign to generate bookings from people in a specific area. The campaign is intended to promote a trip that costs $500.</p><ul><li>Bids for the keywords that the company wants are $0.50 to $1</li><li>The company can get approximately 100,000 impressions per month</li><li>Their ad copy is good, so they aim to get a CTR of 5%</li></ul><p>So, they can expect to be spending $2,500 to $5,000 per month on that one highly focused ad campaign, and that's just to get people to arrive on their landing page.</p><p>Getting people to book a holiday is a fairly high-friction thing compared to some industries. Selling an object as an impulse buy is fairly easy, and digital downloads are things that can be bought without thinking too. Holidays require planning, booking time off work, and talking to friends and family members too. This holiday company manages to turn 10% of their clicks into sales:</p><ul><li>5% of 100,000 is 5,000</li><li>10% of those 5000 visitors spend money, for a total of 500 people</li><li>500 x $500 is $250,000</li></ul><p>This means a $5,000 ad campaign could turn into $250,000 in sales. At first glance, that sounds amazing, but remember that each sale is not pure profit. Proft margins in the <a data-mce-href="" href="">tour operator industry</a> are around 4% - 5%. So, the profit from that ad campaign could be as low as $10,000. That's assuming that every click is real.</p><p>Even a small percentage of chargebacks can eat into the profitability of an ad campaign. If the campaign was an affiliate marketing one instead of a simple PPC campaign, and the fraud included chargebacks instead of just fake clicks, the costs to the advertiser could be even higher. At the moment, most chargebacks are '<a data-mce-href="" href="">friendly fraud</a>' from consumers who do not realize that using chargebacks to circumvent a retailer's returns process is fraudulent. There are some instances of chargebacks from people who are performing other forms of fraudulent activity, though, and in an industry with thin margins every click and every claim matters.</p><p><h2>Fighting the Fraudsters</h2></p><p>Google and the other ad platform operators are working to reduce and prevent click fraud. Google has a fairly robust algorithm that aims to <a data-mce-href="" href="">detect fraudulent clicks</a> early so that advertisers don't get charged for them. The platform runs a second set of checks before billing advertisers, too, in an effort to ensure that every cent spent on advertising on the platform is a cent that went towards getting legitimate views.</p><p>Their algorithm does a fairly good job, but it is far from perfect. It's thought that as many as 25% of all ad clicks are fraudulent. Can you afford to waste as much as one-quarter of your advertising budget?</p><p>Fortunately, there are ways to identify and reduce click fraud. One option is to run your own checks on your ad-related traffic. Another is to use third-party tools to detect suspicious or potentially fraudulent traffic.</p><p><h3>Click Fraud Fighting Option 1: Look at Your Log Files</h3><p>If you have access to your server's log files then it is worth looking at them to identify fraudulent traffic. Log in to your server's control panel and download the "Raw access logs". Open them up in Excel and use the sorting tools to identify users that have visited your website on multiple occasions in a short space of time. </p><p>The easiest way to do that is to sort by IP address. If you see the same IP address appearing every day or even every few hours, that user either really likes your website, or they're visiting for more nefarious reasons. </p><p>You can get an idea as to whether a user is legitimate or not if you put their IP into <a data-mce-href="" href=""></a> and look at the information it brings up. If you're marketing to people from Canada and are getting clicks from someone in Dubai, that could be suspicious.</p><p>Trawling through log files is a good starting point, but it isn't always practical. There are several challenges with this method:</p><ul><li>Popular websites can see millions of log entries per month, or even per day. Opening huge files in Excel can strain your computer.</li><li>A hit from a foreign country isn't always fraudulent. The visitor could be using a VPN.</li><li>Sometimes 'duplicate' hits are from a proxy server that many legitimate visitors are using, such as one from a university, library, or train station.</li><li>Searching 'suspicious' IP addresses is time-consuming, and it takes some expertise to work out whether traffic is likely to be faked or not.</li></ul><p>For websites with modest traffic and niche audiences, manual fraud detection can work. More popular websites require other solutions.</p><p><br><img src="" alt="man using magnifying glass to look at ipad" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="326"></br></p><h3>Click Fraud Fighting Option 2: Fraud Detection Tools</h3><p>Automated fraud detection tools aim to flag up potential click fraud, reduce the risk of chargebacks, and save webmasters time. Fraud detection can be performed using JavaScript on your website, picking up on <a data-mce-href="" href="">suspect traffic as it happens</a>. This form of detection method can inform future traffic targeting, ad budgets, and even which platforms to continue spending money with.</p><p>Marketers who operate in volatile industries or those that require high bids for keywords may feel that even 'as it happens' detection is not good enough. For those situations, continuous <a data-mce-href="" href="">pre-bid analysis</a> might be more effective. Imagine being able to get constant feedback on how much you are spending on your ad campaign, what kind of user is converting, how many bots are making it through, and how effective your ad campaigns are. If the system detects a surge in fraud attempts, that knowledge can be used to pause the campaigns that are seeing 'bad' traffic until the bots move on.</p><p>There are numerous companies offering traffic quality analysis tools. However, since these tools send data back to their own servers for processing, it's important to make sure that the solution you choose doesn't slow down your website too much. Your visitors want to enjoy a smooth, fast-loading experience. If your site loads slowly, the page re-draws itself repeatedly as it is loading, or something on your page blocks the user from being able to click on things that interest them until after all the JavaScript has loaded, then you will find that even legitimate users click the back button and leave your site without spending money.</p><p>A good automated fraud detection tool will run in the background without the user even knowing that it is there. Data can be provided to the marketing manager in real-time, and that information can be used to adjust advertising bids and make sure that the traffic coming to your site is high quality. There is no need to make users fill out dozens of "CAPTCHA" tests before they can spend money with you. Users deserve a smooth experience.</p><p>Advertising fraud is a serious threat to any business that is trying to make a name for itself online. Don't rely on the ad platforms to have your best interests at heart. Be proactive and use your own tools and precautions to protect your site, reputation, and advertising budget.</p></div></body></html><p><h3>Related Post: <a href="" target="_blank">How Ad Fraud May Be Lowering Your ROI and Increasing Your Cost per Lead</a></p> (eZanga PR Team), 17 Jul 2020 08:14:00 -0400Ad FraudPPC AdvertisingHow to Fight Ad Fraud in a Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="How to Fight Ad Fraud in a Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign" /></p><br><p>Thinking of using pay per click advertising but you're worried about ad fraud?</p><p>PPC can convert up to <a href="">50% more traffic</a> than organic search results. Businesses can see a return of $2 income for every $1 they spend. However, for every $3 spent, fraud can <a href="">take $1 away</a>.</p><p>PPC campaigns are a proven way to drive targeted visitors to your website or app. Yet the threat of PPC fraud from bots and scammers holds back businesses from fully investing.</p><p>This article examines how to fight ad fraud in a pay per click campaign.</p><p>See who is abusing the system and why. Learn how pay per click marketing fraud works. And most importantly, identify ways to stop fraudulent clicks.</p><p>Read on to see how your business can earn more traffic from PPC without being scammed.</p><h2>What Is a Pay Per Click Campaign?</h2><p><em>Pay per click</em> or PPC ads charge advertisers only when their advert gets clicked.</p><p>Google Ads lets <a href="">advertisers build campaigns</a> or online adverts to market their websites. Ads appear within Google's network including search results and partner platforms.</p><h3>Targeted Advertising</h3><p>Every PPC campaign targets certain <em>keywords</em> or search phrases.</p><p>For example, retailers selling Nike trainers would target a specific product range. Their ads would appear for keywords like <em>Nike Downshifter</em> or <em>Nike running shoes.</em></p><p>This targeted method forms the core of PPC strategy. Businesses can filter their advertisements to only appear for matching search terms. They can also specify locales, like region or city, and device types like mobile phones.</p><h3>Daily Budget</h3><p>Every advert has a daily budget. Once it's reached, the advert is deactivated until the next day's billing period.</p><p>This means you can actively plan how much to spend in any given month.</p><p>If certain keywords return a better <em>click-through rate</em> or CTR then you can increase that campaign's budget. And for those that underperform, either decrease your spending or remove them.</p><p>But how much does it cost to advertise on Google Ads?</p><h3>Cost Per Click</h3><p>Google will tell you how much a keyword/phrase will cost.</p><p>You're able to see how many times that keyword's been used and the approximate CPC. Divide your daily budget by that figure and that's how many clicks you can expect to receive per day.</p><p>Certain keywords are in high demand.</p><p>Lots of advertisers want their ads to appear at the top of the list. And they're prepared to pay for it.</p><p>Google Ads uses a bidding system to manage this. The automated process works on how much you're willing to spend. This <em>maximum bid</em> keeps a cap on things but still makes your ads competitive.</p><p><h3>Related Post: <a href="" target="_blank">The Ultimate Guide to Internet Bots</a></p><h2>What Is Pay Per Click Ad Fraud?</h2><p>PPC charges when someone (or something) clicks on an advert. Therefore, pay per click ad fraud involves abusing this system to generate fraudulent charges.</p><p>An advertiser's budget can quickly vanish when hundreds of fake clicks occur. Their bounce rates soar as supposed visitors arrive at their site then leave. And if they rely on PPC as the main means to advertise, then sales will plummet.</p><p>Why would anyone want to create false leads and waste advertisers' money?</p><p>To answer that, we need to look at <em>who</em> are the fraudsters and examine their motives.</p><h2>Who Is Responsible for Ad Fraud?</h2><p>Anyone can click on a PPC link including random searchers. They waste advertiser's money but don't go out of their way to do so.</p><p>That isn't fraud.</p><p>Fraud is a purposeful attack targeted against one or more adverts or advertisers. The four most common fraudsters include:</p><h3>Business Competitors</h3><p>Remember that there's a constant bidding war going on. Competing businesses want the top spot for their keywords and bid to rank #1.</p><p>Sadly, some businesses abuse the system by killing their competitors' budgets using PPC fraud. With a decimated budget, the bidding reduces and they can place their advert in a better position for less money.</p><p>Competitors are the most common type of fraudsters.</p><p>And for businesses who choose not to stick to a daily budget, click fraud can cost them thousands of dollars.</p><h3>Fraud Farms</h3><p>Fraud farms or rings are organized criminal gangs working together to scam money through ad fraud.</p><p>They use <em>bot networks</em> to deceive ad providers into thinking real people are clicking on their links. They often host the partner websites so money floods in from false clicks. They also work on behalf of competitors to do their dirty work for them.</p><p>Scammers can come from anywhere but major rings seem to center in Russia and Asia. Reports of Russian criminals <a href="">scamming $5 million a day</a> for fake video ad-clicks continue to surface.</p><h3>Website Owners</h3><p>Websites within the Google AdSense network get paid when someone clicks on ads hosted on their site.</p><p>Revenue can reach <a href="">68% of each ad</a> clicked and as we've seen, some ads cost over $50. Add those clicks up and it's easy to see why many webmasters are tempted to click on their own links.</p><h3>Angry Customers</h3><p>Disgruntled customers or employees use fake clicks to hit back at a business.</p><p>It's simple revenge over a perceived grievance. The impact is minor compared to fraud farms but if taken to an extreme level, can severely impact a daily budget.</p><h2>How Does PPC Ad Fraud Work?</h2><p>Scammers use two ways to falsify clicks: manually or by using bots.</p><p>Clicking or tapping an advert is the easiest way to activate the PPC link. It's simple to do but over-abusing manual clicks trigger warning signals.</p><p>Because each Internet device has a unique IP address, Google is able to recognize fraudulent actions.</p><p>If someone continually clicks the same ads within a short space of time, their IP address will be flagged. Those ads won't appear to that user and users might even get blacklisted.</p><h3>Bots and Malware</h3><p>On the other hand, virtual bot networks pretend to be human visitors but still make false clicks.</p><p>They work independently so a person doesn't have to be present. Unlike the manual method, they can make thousands of fraudulent clicks every second!</p><p>But won't Google recognize these bots as fake?</p><p>Bot programmers use sophisticated techniques to fool fraud analyzing tools. Scams like domain masking and spoofing hide their footprints. They can falsify their location data and swap IP addresses easily.</p><p>Fraudsters also create <em>malware</em> software that infects a computer. Once installed, the scammer controls that computer's actions, including clicks on PPC adverts.</p><p>Botnets hold thousands of unsuspecting PCs hostage. They can be used for ad fraud or denial of service attacks (DDOS) to bring down a web service.</p><h2>PPC Fraud Prevention</h2><p>What is Google doing to prevent ad scams? And how can businesses be sure they're only paying for real leads?</p><h3>Google Ad Quality Center</h3><p>Google's internal fraud prevention center tracks every ad clicked in their network.</p><p>This constant monitoring detects fraud and if your business suffers as a result, they'll refund you. That's great news for advertisers, knowing that their links stem from high-quality traffic.</p><p>Except that Google doesn't detect every fake click.</p><p>And if you become aware of fraud and Google doesn't then you need to provide clear evidence to get your money back. That process can take time while an investigation takes place.</p><h3>Ad Fraud Protection Services</h3><p>Many advertisers take matters into their own hands to reduce fraud. They hire ad fraud protection companies to monitor and block fake clicks.</p><p>Services like offer a full website <a href="">ad fraud detection facility</a>. They stop fake forms submissions and validate eCommerce transactions to avoid chargebacks.</p><p>A good protection service works with other agencies to combine fraudulent data. Current statistics identify fraud farms, especially for high-cost keywords.</p><p>The services use <em>IP address blacklists</em> to identify users with a bad <em>quality score</em>.</p><p>These scores help determine traffic sources who abuse the system. The protection services calculate those figures by analyzing web traffic. Points are deducted for users hiding behind a virtual private network, for example.</p><p><em>Proxy detection</em> and <em>device fingerprinting</em> also helps identify fraudsters.</p><p>A proxy acts as a wall online, shielding the user's real IP address. But these proxies act like red flags to ad fraud services so their quality score gets reduced.</p><p>Known fraudulent devices are stored in a database. When they try to abuse the ad system, fingerprinting identifies them and prevents the scam.</p><h3>Real-Time Click Fraud Blocking</h3><p>eZanga has built-in fraud blocking in our <a href="">Traffic Advisors platform</a>.</p><p>This tool works in real-time to cleanse your ad traffic. It weeds out fake sources before it affects your daily budget. And you've access to current statistics to analyze the traffic clicking on your adverts.</p><p>Our TAScore rating system ranks conversion rates to show what works and what doesn't. A higher score means high-quality traffic with the highest click-through rate.</p><h2>Less Fraud and More Ad</h2><p>Now that you know what PPC ad fraud is and how to fight it, it's time to make your ads work smarter.</p><p>Our AdPad app helps <a href="">manage your ad campaigns</a> in one place.</p><p>Place your adverts across the highest-yielding niche sites, blogs, and search engines. We target the right traffic where your competition can't reach.</p><p>Campaigns are optimized and we're here to support you.</p><p>And as AdPad works with our Traffic Advisors system, you can say goodbye to illegitimate traffic. Our filtering software analyzes your visitors and blocks fraudulent clicks automatically.</p><p><a href="">Contact us</a> to discuss your online marketing requirements. Bring quality traffic to your site without worrying about fake clicks.</p><p>There's less fraud and more ad with eZanga.</p></div></body></html><p><h3>Related Post: <a href="" target="_blank">4 Ways Click Fraud Sabotages Conversion Campaigns</a></p> (eZanga PR Team), 13 Jul 2020 16:00:00 -0400Ad FraudPPC AdvertisingEverything You Need to Know to Stop Advertising Fraud<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="Everything You Need to Know to Stop Advertising Fraud" /><p>You might work hard to optimize your ad campaigns, but if you’re not careful about preventing advertising fraud then you’ll find that you could be losing more money than you’re making. In fact, reports show that <a href="" target="_blank">losses from digital ad fraud</a>are exceeding 42 billion a year.</p><p>In order to protect your precious investment into digital marketing strategies, you’ll need to ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions against online advertising fraud. Here’s what to know about it and how to stop it from happening to you.</p><p><img src="" alt="person wearing hoodie and face is hidden programming on laptop" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="326"></p><h2>What is Advertising Fraud?</h2><p>When it comes down to it, ad fraud attacks and disrupts the advertising cycle. Usually, when implementing an online ad campaign, you’ll pay for exposure or clicks. While that’s the idea behind a PPC strategy, for example, you obviously only want to pay for real clicks.</p><p>But, imagine that an ad fraud farm or a bot comes in and redirects the click, hijacks the ad, or hides the ad altogether. You’re still paying for the click or the impression but nobody actually interacted with your ad. That’s not fair.</p><p>It goes beyond simply not being fair, however. It’s downright despicable and it causes businesses to lose out on precious marketing money that they could be used to drive real traffic and conversions.</p><p>In short, someone is generating illegal revenue from either display or mobile advertising campaigns, including native advertising, display, and CPC campaigns. Instead of paying money for true interactions, that money is either lost or redirected elsewhere.</p><h2>What Are the Different Types of Online Advertising Fraud?</h2><p>Before you can even understand <a href="" target="_blank">how to stop advertising fraud</a>, you’ll need to know what different kinds of fraud to look out for. Generally, these types of fraud fall into three categories: bots, malware, or human fraud farms. None of them are cool.</p><p>We’ll explore a few of the most common, but as there are numerous different ways to commit ad fraud, it’s best to speak with a specialist who can help you identify potential holes and risks in your current ad campaign.</p><h3>Ad Placement Fraud</h3><p>Instead of placing your ad where they should or where it might be most visible, publishers might do things like place the ads out of the viewport area, make them too small to visibly see, or even display several ads on one slot.</p><p>Another type of ad placement fraud consists of ad injection or impression laundering. In this practice, a publisher might conceal the website where the ad is actually published.</p><p>Usually, they’re using complex redirects to make this happen and your ad might get viewed and even clicked on, but on websites that have nothing to do with your business or your target audience.</p><h3>Hijacking Ads and Clicks</h3><p>Malware and software are huge components of advertising scams. And, they’re often used to hijack ads and clicks. In this process, malware hijacks the ad slot to generate revenue for the attacker.</p><p>While this might not affect you as a business (it’s <a href="" target="_blank">stealing revenue away</a> from the publisher themselves), it’s got a negative effect on your overall ad spend.</p><p>If an advertising scam is hijacking clicks, for example, it’ll redirect the user that clicks on your ad to a different, totally unrelated website. Not only are they stealing your potential customer but they’re wasting precious ad spend and <a href="" target="_blank">hurting your ROI</a> because the click never actually went through to your content.</p><h3>Click Spamming</h3><p>Click spamming is actually one of the easiest advertising frauds to detect, making it one of the biggest ones to look out for when stopping this kind of fraud. However, it’s targeted more towards mobile advertising.</p><p>A fraud or scammer might send large volumes of clicks to a mobile measurement partner and then wait for an organic install to occur. Once it does, they’ll attribute it to the fake click and count it as a real install.</p><h3>Ad Fraud Bots and Fraud Farms</h3><p>Click farms and device farms are pretty similar in that someone is farming downloads or clicks via numerous devices or bots. Oftentimes, someone will program a device to perform numerous, repeated clicks, thereby stealing revenue due to the authenticity of the click.</p><p>Sometimes, however, this could mean that there’s an actual group somewhere employing manual laborers to perform the clicks. This is one of the hardest forms to detect and combat since it is performed by real humans.</p><h3>Pixel Stuffing</h3><p>Concealment is the name of the game when it comes to pixel stuffing, which refers to the idea that publishers are trying to reduce an image’s size so it’s unviewable. It’s similar to ad injection, mentioned above, in that it means they’re technically showing the ad but nobody is seeing it.</p><p>Impression ad fraud is pretty common and can be hard to detect, depending on the anti-fraud strategy you’ve got in place.</p><p>And, it can mean that even though your analytics are showing that the ad was shown on a particular, accurate website and people are “viewing” it, they’ll never get the chance to actually interact with your brand.</p><p><img src="" alt="Robot holding tools" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="820"></p><p><h2>Why Does Online Ad Fraud Work?</h2><p><p>After <a href="" target="_blank">learning about fraudulent ad schemes</a>, we bet you’re wondering, “Why does this work? Shouldn’t companies be able to detect this and combat it?” Sure, it sounds that easy.</p><p>However, innovation ensures that scammers can keep up with companies trying to prevent companies from falling prey to these kinds of attacks in the first place.</p><p>It’s important to understand that phishing kits are pretty cost-effective, with some botnets costing less than $10 an hour. As a scammer, that’s a pretty cheap expense when you know you’ll be redirecting advertising revenue straight back into your pocket.</p><p>As well, it’s important to understand that online ad fraud works because most companies are either in denial about its effects or simply don’t know what they’re looking out for. Lucky for you, now you do, right?</p><p><h2>How to Implement an Ad Fraud Solution</h2></p><p>Ad fraud solutions are the most cost-effective and business-forward way to protect your marketing money from scammers. Working with a firm that’s dedicated to protecting your advertising efforts ensures you’re not unnecessarily losing money.</p><p>They’ll do this by using their expertise and software to detect fraudulent traffic after gathering data points from your existing campaigns. They’ll be able to then determine which clicks are genuine to reduce the chances of costly attacks.</p><p>But, how do you implement an ad fraud solution? The first step lies in identifying potential areas of risk. You’ll want to take a look at your ad spending and see where you might find holes in your ROI or engagement.</p><p>Then, work with the right company to figure out which databases and analytical tools will be needed for your specific needs and campaigns. Ensure that they’re not providing you with vanity metrics that don’t display true statistics regarding risks and attacks.</p><p>Instead, implement a solution that ensures you’re able to make real-time, definitive solutions regarding your campaigns. If an attack occurs, you should be able to easily identify it and make changes.</p><p>Rather, you should have something like an API installed to prevent the attack and validate the user in the first place.</p><p>The ad fraud solution, software, or company should inform you of the different types of attacks that your campaigns are vulnerable to depending on your content and campaigns. Then, they should put all safeguards between your advertising campaigns and those types of fraud.</p><p><img src="" alt="young man wearing a virtual reality headset" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="326"></p><h2>Ready to Stop Advertising Fraud?</h2><p>Let’s be real here. Chances are, you have a problem with advertising fraud. And, that’s okay.</p><p>However, now that you know how to identify it and how to stop it, it’s no longer okay to let it go on any longer. If you’re ready to stop advertising fraud then you’re ready to work with an ad fraud solutions company that can mitigate risks and help save you money.</p><p>Not sure how to choose the right solution? We might be a bit biased, but we suggest <a href="" target="_blank">Anura</a> Ad Fraud Detection.</p><p>Anura’s fraud detection software is the leader in the industry for scanning traffic. Using an advanced algorithm, they quickly and efficiently detect fraudulent activity in areas that relate to lead generation, eCommerce, affiliate management, campaign management, and more.</p><p>Ready to get started? Of course, you are. Who wouldn’t want to improve their campaign performance, reduce ad fraud, and ultimately increase their ROI?</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Request a demo</a> to begin to seamlessly integrate Anura within your campaigns and receive real-time responses about the quality of your visitors.</p> (eZanga PR Team), 17 Jun 2020 09:30:00 -0400Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots" /><p><h2>Introduction</h2></p><p>With much of the business world now pretty much now<a href="" target="_blank"> gone virtual</a>, business across America are trying to find new ways to reach out to both prospects and existing customers.  Apart from the usual Email blasts and other forms of digital marketing, the use of virtual assistants is now becoming a popular norm.  For the most part, we have all seen this, it is that tiny window that is lurking at the lower right part of the merchant’s website.</p><p>With this, you can engage in an instant dialogue with a customer service rep (CSR) on a real-time basis, and get your questions answered, as well as resolve any issues and/or concerns that you might have.  But dedicating an entire staff to this is an expense to the bottom line of any business, so thus there is now a movement to use what is known as <a href="" target="_blank">“chatbots”.</a></p><p><h3>What Is the Difference Between a Chatbot & A Virtual Assistant?</h3></p><p>One of the first questions that you may be asking at this point is what is the difference between the two?  Well, as just mentioned, normally there is a human being on the other end to respond to your needs. </p><p>But with a chatbot, this is more of a server-based technology in which there is really no human involvement; but rather, it makes use of what is known as Artificial Intelligence or AI.  With this, the chatbot becomes much more intelligent and is able to answer your queries in a reasonably customizes way, as if you were interacting with an actual person.</p><img src="" alt="robot line up" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="326"><br><p><h3>How Artificial Intelligence Is Used With a Chatbot</h3></p><p>It is important to keep in mind that with a chatbot, you can interact with it one of two ways, and possibly even both:</p><ul><li>Text chats;</li><li>Voice commands.</li></ul><p>In order to accommodate both of these scenarios, chatbots make use of the concepts of both <a href="" target="_blank">Machine Learning (ML)</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Natural Language Processing (NLP)</a>.  The former is actually a subset of AI, and this is what is used to create rather intelligent answers and responses to your queries as you engage in a conversation with it. </p><p>One of the key advantages of using Machine Learning in this aspect is that it can literally learn about you as you keep engaging with it over a period of time. </p><p>For example, it builds a profile of you and keeps track of all of your conversations so that it can pull it up in a matter of a few seconds for subsequent chat sessions.  So later on, down the road, it can even anticipate the questions that you may ask of it so that it can provide the best answer possible to suit your needs. </p><p>By doing it this way, you never have to keep typing in the same information over and over again.</p><p>NLP is also yet another subbranch of AI, and this is the tool that is primarily used if you engage in an actual, vocal conversation with a chatbot.  It can easily replicate various human speech patterns in order to produce a realistic tone of voice when it responds back to you.  Whether you are engaging in either or both of these kinds of communication methods, it is important to note that chatbots are getting very sophisticated on an almost daily basis.</p><p>The primary reason for this is that it uses a combination of a very sophisticated, <a href="" target="_blank">statistical-based algorithms</a>; high-level modeling techniques; as well as the concepts of data mining.  Because of this, the chatbot can now interact with you on a very proactive basis with you, rather than you having to take the lead in the conversations, thus making it flow almost seamlessly.</p><p>As a result of using both AI and NLP, chatbots are now finding their way to be used in a myriad of different types of applications, some of which include the following:</p><ul><li>Merchant websites that make use of an online store;</li><li>Mobile apps that can be used on your Android or iOS device;</li><li>Messaging platforms;</li><li>Market research when it comes to new product and service launches;</li><li><a href="" target="blank">Lead generation</a>;</li><li><a href="" target="_blank">Brand awareness</a>;</li><li>Other types of <a href="" target="_blank">E-Commerce scenarios</a>;</li><li>Customer service (this is probably the biggest use of it yet);</li><li>Healthcare (especially when it comes to booking appointments with your doctor);</li><li>Content delivery.</li></ul><img src="" alt="robot holding a green brain" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="820"><p><p><h3>The Strategic Advantages of Artificial Intelligence In Chatbots</h3></p><p>As one can infer, there are a plethora of advantages of using this kind of approach for your business.  Some of these include the following:</p><p><strong>You have a 24 X 7 X 365 sales rep</strong></p><p>As mentioned earlier, there is no need for human involvement if you have an AI-driven chatbot. Therefore, you have an agent that can work at all times of time day and night, that can help sell your products and services on a real-time basis. In other words, it will never get tired and will always be eager to serve!!!</p><a href="" target="_blank"><p><strong>It cuts down on expenses</strong></p></a><p>By using a chatbot, you may not even have to hire a complete, full-time customer service staff.  Thus, you will be able to save on your bottom line by not having to pay salaries and benefits.  But keep in mind, you should never use a chatbot as a total replacement for your customer service team. At some point in time, you will need some of them around in order to help resolve complex issues or questions if the chatbot cannot do it.</p><p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Higher levels of customer satisfaction</a></strong></p><p>Let us face it, in our society, we want to have everything right now and right here.  We have no patience when we have to even wait for a few minutes to talk to a customer support rep on the other line.  But by using a chatbot, this wait is cut down to just a matter of a fraction of a second, thus, this results in a much happier customer, resulting in more repeat business.</p><p><strong>Better customer retention</strong></p><p>When you are able to deliver much-needed answers or solutions to desperate customers and prospects, there is a much higher chance that you will be able to keep them for the long term.  This is where the chatbot comes into play.  Remember, you may have a strong brand, but that will soon dissipate quickly if you are unable to fill needs in just a matter of minutes.</p><p><strong>You can reach international borders</strong></p><p>In today’s E-Commerce world, there are no international boundaries.  A customer or a prospect is one that can purchase your products and services from any geographic location where they may be at.  If you tried to do this with the traditional customer service rep model, not only with this be an expensive proposition, but they have to be trained in other languages as well.  Also, the annoyance factor can set in quite rapidly if the customer rep cannot speak the desired language in a <a href="" target="_blank">consistent tone and format</a>.  But the AI-driven chatbot alleviates all of these problems because they come with foreign language processing functionalities already built into them.</p><p><strong>It can help triage cases</strong></p><p>If your business is large enough where you need to have a dedicated call center to fully support it, the chances are that your customer service reps are being bombarded with phone calls, and having a hard time keeping up with them.  If you deploy a chatbot here, you can use that to help resolve many of the simpler to more advanced issues and queries.  But if something is much more advanced that a chatbot cannot resolve it, it also has the functionality to route that conversation to the appropriate rep that can handle it.  In other words, the chatbot can also triage conversations with customers and prospects if the need ever arises.</p><img src="" alt="two happy robots " class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="326"><p><p><h3>Conclusions</h3></p><p>The following matrix depicts the advantages of using an AI-driven chatbot versus using the traditional virtual assistant:</p><table><tbody><tr><td width="500" bgcolor="#e3e2e1"><center><p><strong>Functionality</p></strong></center></td><td width="500" bgcolor="#e3e2e1"><center><p><strong>AI driven Chatbot</p></strong></center></td><td width="500" bgcolor="#e3e2e1"><center><p><strong>Virtual Assistant</p></strong></center></td></tr><tr><td width="500"><p>FAQs easily answered</p></td><td width="650"><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td><td width="650"><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td></tr><tr><td width="500"><p>Can understand sophisticated questions</p></td><td width="650"><p> </p><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td><td width="650"><p> </p><p> <center>&#x274C</center> </p></td></tr><tr><td width="500"><p>Can create a customized and personable response</p></td><td width="650"><p> </p><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td><td width="650"><p> </p><p> <center>&#x274C</center> </p></td></tr><tr><td width="500"><p>It can learn more about you from previous conversations</p></td><td width="650"><p> </p><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td><td width="800"><p> </p><p><center> &#x274C </center></p></td></tr><tr><td width="500"><p>It can greatly improve future conversations with you</p></td><td width="650"><p><center>&#9989</center></p></td><td width="650"><p> <center>&#x274C </center></p></td></tr></tbody></table> (eZanga PR Team), 30 Apr 2020 11:33:00 -0400Artificial IntelligenceChatbotInternet Traffic 101: What Marketers Need to Know<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="Internet Traffic 101: What Marketers Need to Know" /><p>Every website wants attention, and yours is no exception. But how do you know who’s seeing your stuff? How do you know where they’re going or where they’ve been? Looking at your internet traffic will give you a clue on how well your <a href="">marketing strategies</a> are working.</p><p>Here’s what you need to know about the ins and outs of online traffic.</p><h2>What Is Internet Traffic?</h2><p><a href="">Traffic</a> is the amount of visitors a website receives. Site administrators analyze traffic data to see what sections and pages are popular among visitors. This includes looking at page views, time spent on a page, and the number of pages visited per user.</p><p>Sometimes too much traffic can be a problem. One type of traffic overload, <a href="">the slashdot effect</a>, happens when a smaller site gets more visitors than its server can handle. Loading times may slow down dramatically, and in some cases, the site might shut down temporarily.</p><p><h3><strong>Related Post: <a href="">5 Ways Bots Can Cripple and Destroy Your Website</a></strong></h3></p><p>Another type of traffic overload, and one that usually makes the news, is a <a href="">denial-of-service (DoS)</a> attack. DoS attacks happen when a ton of coordinated traffic hits a website at once, causing the server to crash. Many times, people use bots to conduct DoS attacks.</p><h2>What Are the Different Types of Traffic?</h2><p>Internet traffic is an umbrella term for a range of different traffic types. It all depends on how the visitor gets to your site.</p><img src="" alt="Types of Internet Traffic" title="internet traffic types" class="float-center size100pc" width="820" height="410"><p><strong>Direct</strong>. When people type in your URL in their browser’s address bar or click on a link in an email, they’re generating direct traffic. Usually, direct traffic shows that people already know about your business and have been to your website before.</p><p><strong>Referral</strong>. Any traffic driven from an <a href="">inbound link</a> is referral traffic. For example, a popular blogger raves about your company and links to your website in a post. Their followers click the link and visit your site. Congrats, you just got referral traffic.</p><p><strong>Organic</strong>. Depending largely on SEO, organic traffic is created through search engine results. The higher your site ranks in search results, the more visits you’ll likely get. Marketers love organic traffic because it’s free, but <a href="">it might take a while</a> for organic traffic to grow.</p><p><h3>Related Post: <a href="">3 Things You Need to Know About Traffic Scoring</a></h3></p><p><strong>Paid</strong>. This is the type of traffic you expect when you dish out money for an online ad campaign. Every time someone clicks a banner ad or a paid search result (think <a href="">Google AdWords</a>), they’re sending paid traffic your way.</p><p><strong>Social</strong>. A relatively new traffic category, social traffic counts as visitors coming to your site via shared social media links, like tweets or Facebook posts.</p><h2>What Do You Do With Traffic?</h2><p>For marketers, traffic shows whether or not campaign strategies work. Analyzing your web traffic can tell you how many people are viewing your site and where they’re coming from. Lots of organic traffic may show that you have strong SEO content. A boost in direct traffic might mean that last week’s email campaign did its job.</p><p>Obviously, getting lots of traffic is important for your business. More traffic means more potential leads. However, quantity isn’t everything. Quality matters, too.</p><p>High-quality traffic, or <a href="">targeted traffic</a>, means your site visitors match up with your target customer <a href="">demographic</a>. People on your site are interested in your content, want to know more about your company, and probably are looking to see if your products or services fit their needs. As a whole, targeted traffic is more likely to convert, and in turn, generate more sales for you.</p><img src="" alt = "turning traffic into sales" title="Internet traffic2" class="float-center size100pc" width="820" height="410"><p>On the other hand, low-quality traffic is like someone walking into a store, looking around for a minute, and then leaving and never coming back. If conversions don’t rise as traffic grows, you might want to rethink your marketing strategies.</p><h2>The Bottom Line</h2><p>You must keep notes on traffic data so you know what’s working and what’s not. Seeing where your traffic’s coming from and understanding who makes up your traffic will help you refine your marketing techniques and reach the right people.</p> (eZanga PR Team), 23 Apr 2020 16:12:00 -0400Digital MarketingHow to Write Stronger Email Content Using the AIDA Model<img src="" width="820" height="326" alt="How to Write Stronger Email Content Using the AIDA Model" /><p>According to a <a href="” target="_blank">HubSpot</a> survey, when asked what types of content they’d like to see from brands, 63% of consumers over age 45 said they want more emails, compared to only 31% of Millennials. Why does this matter? Well, people still see emails as valuable sources of information, but they don’t want to be bogged down by a constant deluge of irrelevant messages.</p><p>To match this growing sentiment, modern email marketing is quickly adopting the “quality over quantity” approach. More marketers are choosing to send fewer emails that are better tailored to each recipient, depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. And one tool, in particular, is helping marketers write better email content along the way: the AIDA model.</p><h2>What’s the AIDA Model?</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank">Back in 1898</a>, American advertiser Elias St. Elmo Lewis created the <a href="" target="_blank">original AIDA funnel</a> to demonstrate how salespeople should guide customers through a purchase decision. Since then, marketers have adopted the model to describe the logical four-step process of consumer involvement with a marketing message.</p><p>What the heck does that mean? Let’s break it down. The AIDA acronym stands for <em>attention, interest, desire</em>, and <em>action</em>. In theory, marketers first need to attract <strong>attention</strong> to a particular message and make it enticing enough to hold consumers’ <strong>interest</strong>. Then, based on the benefits of what’s been presented to them, consumers develop a <strong>desire</strong> for the product or service being offered. Finally, consumers take <strong>action</strong>, whether that’s buying a product, subscribing to a service, or any other end goal.</p><img src="" alt="Aida Model" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="500"><p>The AIDA model may be 120 years old, but it’s definitely not outdated. When it comes to creating an effective email copy, the AIDA formula works well as a writing template. Each of the four steps matches a different email element, as we’ll explore below.</p><h2>Attention</h2><p>What’s the first thing people notice when they see an email? The subject line, of course! This little bit of text plays probably the biggest role in gauging your email campaign’s success, especially since <a href="" target="_blank">47% of email recipients</a> open email based on the subject line alone.</p><p>That’s why nailing the subject line is so important, because really, what’s the point in sending emails if people don’t even open them? To grab attention and spark engagement, consider using one of these <a href="" target="_blank">psychological pulls</a> within your subject lines:</p><ul><strong><li>Urgency</strong>. <a href=""target=" _blank">FOMO</a> is real. People hate missing out on <em>anything</em>, whether that’s a sale, event, or product. Words like “urgent,” “breaking,” “important,” and “alert” <a href="" target=" _blank">are great choices</a> if you’re looking to boost open rates.</li><strong><li>Relevance</strong>. Make sure your subject line actually promotes something relevant to the recipient. Cater your copy to your audience’s interests, whether that’s their industry, geographic location, current events, or shopping habits.</li><strong><li>Personalization</strong>. <a href=""target=" _blank">Research from Statista</a> found that the open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization. If possible, drop a personalization token into you subject line and see how it performs.</li><strong><li>Curiosity</strong>. Tease your email recipients with a quirky question or allude to an intriguing story within your subject line. People will naturally want to read more.</li><strong><li>Offers</strong>.<a href=" target="_blank">Contrary to popular belief</a>, subject lines that have flashy keywords like “free” or “promo” won’t automatically trigger spam filters. Don’t be afraid to highlight your offers right off the bat.</li></ul><p>No matter which psychological strategy you use, be sure to keep your subject lines concise. Most email carriers give you only 50 characters to work with, so make them count.</p><h2>Interest</h2><p>Once you’ve captured attention with your subject line, you need to hook readers on your body content by drafting an engaging opening paragraph. If you’re trying to give people a real reason to care about your message, one of these methods may do the trick:</p><ul><strong><li>Tell Stories</strong>. <a href="" _blank">Storytelling</a> works because it plays heavily on people’s emotions. If people find relatable moments within a good story, they’re more likely to pay attention to the whole message.</li><strong><li>Address Pain Points</strong>. People are always looking for answers to their problems, so it’s never a bad idea to tap into that emotional bind. Touch on your recipients’ common woes, tell them that you understand how they feel, and suggest you have a solution.</li><strong><li>Use Humor</strong>. Many studies show that people are more likely to remember messages when comedy’s involved. In addition, content that makes people smile <a href=""target=" _blank">quickly breaks the ice</a> and builds brand trust in one fell swoop.</li><strong><li>Include Facts</strong>. Leading with an impressive statistic or thought-provoking quote is a tried-and-true way to introduce an email and establish your authority.</li></ul><p>Of course, it isn’t enough to simply get people interested in what you have to offer. You need to funnel their emotions through the next piece of the AIDA model: desire.</p><h2>Desire</h2><p>Here’s where things get persuasive. The desire stage is all about empowering your email recipients to act on your offer, not by preaching about what you’ve got. You want to tell your readers what’s in it for them. In other words, <a href="" target="_blank">sell the benefits, not the features.</a></p><p>A quick scenario: you need to promote an upcoming webinar on content marketing best practices. Instead of saying something generic like, “This webinar will show you how to write blog posts,” get a little more specific. A more convincing copy may say, “Are you worried about filling your content calendar? Learn how to save time by recycling your blog content in our upcoming webinar.”</p><p>See how the phrasing focuses less on the webinar itself and more on solving the reader’s pain points? That’s how you’ll create a desire for your offers.</p><h2>Action</h2><p>Not surprisingly, the action stage of AIDA lines up with the most obvious email element: the call-to-action button. These little guys give your email readers clear instructions on where to click next.</p><p>When creating your CTA button, it’s best to keep things simple, so it’ll render correctly in every email client. Good buttons are visually appealing and almost always use a contrasting color scheme to make it pop from the email body.</p><p>Your CTA copy should be brief, no more than five words. Switch out the boring “click here” text for something more action-oriented, like “start your trial,” “learn about our services,” or “join our webinar.” Having more precise language tells people exactly what to expect when they click through your button.</p><p>Like any other marketing element, you should test out different variations of your CTA to see which versions perform the best. Experimenting with colors, copy, and placement can yield some interesting results.</p><h2>Putting It All Together</h2><p>Let’s check out a real-life example of the AIDA model in action. A while ago, Vimeo sent me this email asking me to become a beta tester for a new site feature:</p><img src="" alt="aida model demonstation" class="float-left size100pc" width="820" height="518"><p>As you can see, even though this email is short, it still uses all four parts of the AIDA model in a really effective way.</p><ul><strong><li>Attention</strong>: The subject line hints at an exciting offer— an invitation to a “super-secret beta test”— that definitely caught my eye and got a click.</li><strong><li>Interest</strong>: The first paragraph makes it clear what’s being offered (a first look into a major site update) and why it’s relevant to me as a valued Vimeo user.</li><strong><li>Desire</strong>: Vimeo doubles down on the exclusivity of this offer (“being the first to see this new thing”) and emphasizes that they truly value my opinion.</li><strong><li>Action</strong>: A simple, brightly-colored CTA button shows me exactly where to go if I want to sign up for the test.</li></ul><p>So, there you have it. If you ever hit a writer’s block when drafting your email copy, try using the AIDA model as a guide. With this formula, you too can craft stronger email campaigns that convert.</p> (eZanga PR Team), 22 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400Digital Marketing