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How to Create an Annual Marketing Plan [Free Tool]


Do you take a good, hard look at your team’s marketing strategy every year?

You should. An annual marketing plan helps you set your marketing on the right course to make your company’s business goals a reality. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth.

Without one, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you’ll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan.

Of course, this type of planning takes a lot of time and effort. So if you’re strapped for time before the holidays, give our new Marketing Plan Generator a try. This tool simplifies yearly planning and lays your strategies, initiatives, and goals out in a template so you can identify what’s most important for the coming year.

Once you’ve filled in your information, you’ll come away with a plan that helps you:

  • Outline your annual marketing strategy
  • Identify your most important annual initiatives
  • Nix the projects that won’t help you hit your 2017 goals
  • Track the right metrics throughout the year
  • Align your team through a common mission

Pro Tip: The best way to set up your 2017 marketing plan is to start with quick wins first, that way you can ramp up fast and set yourself (and your team) up to hit more challenging goals and take on more sophisticated projects by Q4. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give it a spin?

You can find our Free Marketing Plan Generator right here.

Marketing Plan Generator




The Future of Marketing: WordStream’s Founder & ClassPass’ CMO on Where Things Are Headed


Inbound marketing is about matching the way you market and sell with the way people actually want to shop and buy. And after reading the 2016 State of Inbound report, it became clear that inbound was beginning to change at a pace more rapid than anything we’ve seen before.

New technologies were being introduced. Consumers’ habits were evolving. Things were different.

What does that mean for the future of this movement? Quite honestly, we believe that in five years time marketing and sales as you know it will no longer exist. To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free  2016 State of Inbound report here.

To help dissect some of these future trends, we invited WordStream Founder Larry Kim and ClassPass CMO Joanna Lord to have a discussion with HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Kieran Flanagan, via YouTube Live. This talk dives into what the future of inbound marketing might look like, as it relates to content, search, and ads.

Watch the video below to hear the full discussion:

The Future of Marketing: WordStream’s Founder & ClassPass’ CMO on Where Things Are Headed

If you didn’t have a chance to watch the full YouTube discussion, don’t worry. We’ve summarized both Kim and Lord’s thoughts and input below to make it easy for you to distill some of the top takeaways.

How do you see technology changing the way people shop and buy?

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

According to Kim, the future of shopping online is going to be less about stumbling upon something in Google and more about customers actually expressing their preferences for brands. Marketers need to do more marketing. And that boils down to getting people familiar with your brand so that they favor you when it comes time for a purchasing decision.

If your first appearance is when a consumer finally decides to search for your products and services on their own, you’re too late. People overwhelmingly click on the things they are familiar with, so you have to get them even before that.

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

Lord mentioned that when ClassPass first started, they spent a lot of time on the consideration phase and differentiating value props. Because consumers are far more informed, they’re far more in control, and marketers really need to create that bias early. Of course it’s about being where they want you to be, but it’s also about connecting with them sooner.

What stood out to you most in the 2016 State of Inbound report?

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

One of the things that stuck out most to Kim was that inbound marketing and advertising don’t seem to be getting along that well. Advertising is seen as being overrated and annoying — and that’s really unfortunate because, like all channels, it’s less about the medium and more about how you use it.

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

The big thing that stood out to Lord? Video as an emerging vehicle.

She went on to explain that video helps you tell a great story, but today, marketers might over-index on that being videos’ purpose: a dynamic, compelling way to tell a story. However, what came through in the different statistics in the State of Inbound report is that there’s a stickiness to video.

According to Lord, marketers need to be thinking about multiple touch points along the video journey, and different ways to build infrastructure to support and track that effectively. Marketers can’t just be ‘dabbling’ in video at this point — it has to be an all-in play.

Do you think people are frustrated with advertising because a lot of marketers are doing it poorly and not providing a great experience?

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

Lord admitted that a lot of advertising is, in fact, poor. A lot of people try to take historical advertising approaches and apply it on new platforms.

The best marketers that understand advertising will see these new and emerging platforms as a way to amplify their best content. Right now, there’s a bit of a disconnect: Marketers are trying to apply a historical approach on new platforms and they need to take a new approach on new platforms.

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

When it comes to this debate, Kim explained that he thinks we need to be pickier in terms of what it is we’re advertising.

He went on to explain this example: If you have $1K to spend on social media advertising, and your blog puts out 10 posts a month, the worst thing could do is split the money up and use $100 to promote each post.

Why? Because some of them are going to be garbage, and one or two of them might be great.

Kim argued that what marketers need is a change in mentality. Instead of dividing the money equally, you should take the $1K and go all-in on the top performing post. Doing this will not only get you a much higher ROI, but ultimately it will help you appear less annoying in the eyes of those coming across it, as you’re promoting stuff that people actually find interesting.

Do you think that video has a place across the whole funnel, or does it work better in one part of the funnel?

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

Lord explained that while it’s probably very specific to the brand and the service or product they offer, video can be used in every part of the funnel. She followed that by stating that video is often more compelling in different phases for different brands.

For example, ClassPass is a lifestyle brand with a demographic of young urban women, which provides an opportunity to use video more often — and in more phases — than some B2B companies.

She went on to explain that one of the best places that video comes into play for ClassPass is actually in post-conversion nurturing for lifetime value, because it’s all about motivation and milestones, and that’s the voice of a customer story.

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

According to Kim, the purpose of content marketing and advertising is to bias people. You want people to have happy thoughts about your brand and what it is you do, so later when they need to buy whatever it is you’re selling, they favor you.

When it comes to the effectiveness of video, he thinks that the message you convey through video is more memorable, inspiring, visual, and dynamic than any other medium. And from that perspective, video content is orthogonal to the funnel, meaning you should be creating video assets for every stage.

While Kim doesn’t think of bottom of the funnel or top of the funnel as being more important than the other, he does have a hard time with the costs tied to video production.

To avoid wasting budget, he suggests auditioning a lot your content to see what performs best — especially in regards of engagement. Then, transforming only the top-performing stuff into video content.

What big bets are you making at WordStream and ClassPass around marketing tactics that you think will be important over the next couple of years?

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

Lord explained that their top investment priorities are photography, video, and humanizing the brand.

People love the service when they when they sign up and when they try a class, but there’s also a lot of noise in fitness, and there are a lot of great brands to compete with. Everyone is getting into health and fitness and wellness, which is why ClassPass’ biggest investments are around differentiating the brand’s point of view. And they way they see it, photography and video are their strongest bets in terms of bringing what’s important to them and their audience — living fully and spending time of experiences that nurture you — to life.

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

According to Kim, one of the challenges WordStream has is that they’ve kind of tapped out the market of low-funnel people — people who are actively searching for these types of pay-per-click advertising solutions.

So when he thinks of growth in 2017 and beyond, it’s all about creating demand and awareness among people who aren’t actively searching for the products and services that WordStream sells. He explains that if you’re just waiting for people to search, you’re not really growing your market — you’re just harvesting the demand of people who are already looking to buy that thing in the first place.

His goal is to create biases in people’s minds earlier on, so that when the need arises for advertising solutions, they’ll automatically think of WordStream.

What formats would you encourage marketers to invest in over the next 12-24 months?

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

According to Lord, the vehicle is important. And when it comes to vehicles and formats, video is going to be very important — especially episodic content and snippet video.

She went on to explain that episodic content is the idea that there’s a volume or a series to it. In other words, you’re telling a story over a long period of time. It’s a multi-touch approach, and that allows you to meet people earlier in the funnel, nurture them, and hopefully bias them along the way.

How important is it to publish content on external sites like Medium or LinkedIn?

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

According to Kim, if you’re in the tech space, Medium is a fantastic outlet for content publishing and content syndication.

In the last six months, he was able to become the top 20th ranked author on Medium. (That’s about a million views of his content every month.) The best part? He said it wasn’t all that hard — all he did was syndicate existing content. And Medium makes that easy with the help of its republishing tool.

In terms of time distribution, Kim went on to explain that he spends about 20% of his time creating content for external sites. However, he also urged that the worst thing you could ever do is abandon your blog, and that 70-80% of the content you create should still be going there. 

What evolving consumer trends will disrupt marketing the most over the next year?

Joanna-Lord-Headshot.png  Joanna Lord, ClassPass

One thing Lord mentioned that she is currently focusing on is this concept of being the backdrop to a consumer’s life. As she explained it, a lot of companies are thinking about the currency of time: How can you have enough value around your core product so that it’s actually consuming more of someone’s time?

ClassPass is primarily an app-based experience, but everything they’re starting to test in the product will be peripheral and adjacent to that, so they can earn the right to have more of someone’s time. Part of that is thinking through the many times a person might need your brand or product in a day — in other words, what are they hiring you for in their day? If you uncover that, you can build it into your product road map.

Lord also stressed the importance of personification. She asked the questions, “Who does your customer want to be?” and “What will they need to hire you for in 3-5 years if you do your core job right today?”

Larry-Kim-Headshot.png Larry Kim, WordStream

The biggest thing that’s going to grow revenues for WordStream over the foreseeable future, and for their customers, is advertising. Not just advertising the same old way, but online advertising using ridiculously powerful new technologies that have been released in the last 12-18 months.

For example, they are currently focusing on the ability to target specific ads to specific phone numbers or email addresses. According to Kim, it’s kind of like email marketing, where you can target people who are on your lists and build custom audiences. What’s different is that you’re not limited to segmenting by just everyone on your lists — you can segment by behaviors and interests and demographics. According to him, it has never been easier, in the history of marketing, to go after your target market.

If you enjoyed this discussion between Larry Kim and Joanna Lord, head over to to learn more about the future of content, search and ads and how it’s evolving in 2017.

get the free 2016 state of inbound report




How Mobile, Voice & Social Are Changing SEO [Infographic]


“Getting found” isn’t a new phenomenon for inbound marketers. In fact, being searchable is one of the founding principles of inbound marketing — a principle that continues to evolve as consumers begin to change their habits and innovative new technologies start to emerge. 

According to the 2016 State of Inbound report, 66% of marketers agree that growing SEO is their top priority for 2017. And while Google’s algorithm updates as we known them have notoriously favored text-based updates for desktop and mobile, gaining SEO momentum in the future requires marketers to shift their focus a bit. To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free  2016 State of Inbound report here.

What about voice search? Or how about SEO for other platforms such as Facebook and Medium? Users have reached a point where they’re looking beyond Google in favor of more unconventional search engines such as social networks, bots, personal assistants, and messaging apps.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, people change. Habits change. Technology changes. Which means inbound has to change, too. To help you keep pace on the SEO side of things, check out the infographic below — and then head to for even more information on where SEO is headed in the future.  


What do you think about the future of search? Leave your comments below or engage with us on Twitter using the hashtag #FutureofInbound.

get the free 2016 state of inbound report




How Mobile, Voice & Social Are Changing SEO [Infographic]


“Getting found” isn’t a new phenomenon for inbound marketers. In fact, being searchable is one of the founding principles of inbound marketing — a principle that continues to evolve as consumers begin to change their habits and innovative new technologies start to emerge. 

According to the 2016 State of Inbound report, 66% of marketers agree that growing SEO is their top priority for 2017. And while Google’s algorithm updates as we known them have notoriously favored text-based updates for desktop and mobile, gaining SEO momentum in the future requires marketers to shift their focus a bit. To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free  2016 State of Inbound report here.

What about voice search? Or how about SEO for other platforms such as Facebook and Medium? Users have reached a point where they’re looking beyond Google in favor of more unconventional search engines such as social networks, bots, personal assistants, and messaging apps.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, people change. Habits change. Technology changes. Which means inbound has to change, too. To help you keep pace on the SEO side of things, check out the infographic below — and then head to for even more information on where SEO is headed in the future.  


What do you think about the future of search? Leave your comments below or engage with us on Twitter using the hashtag #FutureofInbound.

get the free 2016 state of inbound report




Typography Tutorial for Beginners: Everything You Need to Learn Typography Basics


Like many of you, I’m a trained marketer and more of a “do-it-yourself” designer.

Sure, I read through The Marketer’s Crash Course in Visual Content Creation and learned some sweet PowerPoint and Photoshop tricks that have helped me a lot with my content marketing job. But I really wanted to take my design skills to the next level.

So I asked all my designer friends what my next step should be — and every single one said to take a course on typography. Download our free do-it-yourself design guide here for more tips about using  typography in your content/designs. 

Why typography? Turns out that while the importance of typography is often overlooked, it plays a critical role in strengthening your brand, creating interest in your product, and highlighting your central message. Knowing that, I decided to sign up for a typography course at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Couldn’t hurt to learn how to identify a good font from a bad one, right?

I learned a lot more than that. I realized that paying attention to even the littlest details of type can make all the difference in the world when you’re laying out an email, ebook, or image for social media.

This is why I wanted to write this post: to share the most important learnings and resources with my fellow marketers. 

So, what do you say? Are you ready to take your DIY design skills to the next level? Let’s get started.

Click on a section header below to jump to that section:

What Is Typography?

Before taking this course, typography — to me, at least — was more the art of scrolling through a dropdown menu until I found a font that looked like it could work. But it turns out there’s a lot more to it than that.

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type, type meaning letters and characters.

Notice that it’s about more than just the design of letters and characters; the arrangement of those letters and characters is just as big a part of it all. That refers to the selection of point size, line length, and spacing, both on a single line and throughout an entire page or piece of work.


Image Credit: Designspiration

To understand where the importance of arrangement comes in, I like to think back to Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. At one point in time, people practiced typography using printed materials — meaning they were literally taking letters and characters and arranging them in physical space.

Today, thanks to computers, open source fonts, and scalable computer typography, it’s a lot easier to arrange letters and characters. But that physical piece remains important, even in the digital sphere.

Why Is Typography Important? 

Typography is absolutely everywhere. Just look at your phone, a billboard, your coffee cup, or even the different styles used in this blog post. Every font, letter, and character arrangement plays a part in determining how a message is conveyed. 

Sure, it might seem trivial at times, but even the smallest of type adjustments can impact the look and feel of your work. For example, back in June, Facebook tested a new font on its users called Geneva. While the new font was only slightly thinner and lighter than the original, Helvetica, it made a noticeable difference to some. 

“The overall effect is a lighter, more modern looking block of text,” explained Chris Mills for BGR.


Image Credit: Mashable

Same goes for when Apple changed its default font from the dramatically thin Helvetica Neue to one they developed in-house called San Francisco.

“The differences between Helvetica and San Francisco are subtle, even to the trained eye, but they’re there,” wrote Liz Stinson for WIRED. “While still an austere sans serif, San Francisco is bolder and friendlier than Helvetica Neue. Based on the German typeface DIN, San Francisco gives characters more breathing room, which will make it easier to read on relatively tiny mobile screens. Tall and skinny, San Francisco is space-efficient, like Google’s custom typeface Roboto, which you could consider a close cousin to Apple’s font.”

The takeaway here? The little details do matter. 

In fact, one of the only college courses Steve Jobs took was on calligraphy and typography, which he believed played a critical role in the success of Apple. As he once said in a Stanford University commencement speech, “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.” Can you imagine a world where Apple products didn’t have a focus on beautiful design? I certainly can’t.

Once you realize how much thought goes into carefully selecting a typeface, it becomes much easier to recognize the differences between typefaces and understand why they might’ve been chosen in the first place. Take a look at some of the examples below to get a better sense of what I mean … 


Image Credit: Awwwards


Image Credit: Awwwards


Image Credit: Awwwards


Image Credit: Awwwards

Ready to move on to some typography terminology? Let’s go.

Typography Definitions & Terms

Typefaces vs. Fonts

If you thought these two words were interchangeable, you’re not alone. But they actually mean two different things.

Typographer, Nick Sherman, once used a great analogy to explain the differences between the terms “typeface” and “font.” He suggested comparing these typography terms to the musical terms “song” and “mp3.” When you’re explaining how much you enjoy a particular tune, you say, “I love this song!” You wouldn’t say, “I love this mp3!” The song is the work of art, whereas an mp3 file is just the delivery mechanism.

The same rules apply in typography. You should use the word “typeface” when describing the creative work (i.e., what you see). This is a more abstract design term used when referring to the way a specific collection looks or feels. For example, Helvetica is a typeface.

If you’re describing the physical embodiment of the collection of letters and characters, you should use the term “font.” It refers to what you use — whether that’s a file on your computer or a case full of metal letters. This is the tangible representation of that collection of letters and characters. For example, Helvetica Bold and Helvetica Light Oblique are fonts.

Here’s how you could use these two terms in a sentence:

  • “Wow. The typeface you chose really pulls this design together.”

  • “I’ll change the font size to 12pt so it fits in the box.”

The Anatomy of a Typeface

It’s way easier to communicate with designers when you actually speak their language, which is why it’s important to understand the anatomy of a typeface. 

Each part of a letter has its own special term, similar to bones in a human body. Below, you’ll see three diagrams that explain the makeup of individual letters, how these elements interact with each other, and how they sit on a line.

For example, let’s take with the word “Faulty” as it’s shown in the picture below.


Here’s how each of the terms here are defined:

  • Baseline: The line where the letters sit.
  • Cap height: The distance from the baseline to the top of the capital letter.
  • X-height: Located in between the baseline and the cap height, it’s the height of the body of the lowercase letter. (In this case, it’s the letters ‘a,’ ‘u,’ and ‘y.’)
  • Bowl: The curved part of the character that encloses the circular or curved parts of some letters, like ‘d,’ ‘b,’ ‘o,’ ‘D,’ and ‘B.’ (In this case, it’s that round shape sticking off the letter ‘a.’)
  • Serif: The slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter in certain typefaces. (In this case, it’s that little foot sticking off the letter ‘l.’)
  • Descender: The longest point on a letter that falls beyond the baseline.

Now, let’s look at the word “flash”: 


Here’s how these terms are defined:

  • Ligature: The stroke that joins adjacent letters. (In this case, you’ll notice the ‘f’ and the ‘l’ smush together to form one character.)
  • Stem: The base of a letter, similar to the stem of a flower.
  • Spine: The curvy body of the letter ‘s’ — and only the letter ‘s.’ It gets its own term because the spine can be almost vertical or mostly horizontal, depending on the typeface.
  • Ascender: The portion of a letter that extends above the mean line of a font — i.e., is taller than the font’s x-height. (In this case, you’ll also notice the letter ‘h’ is actually taller than the x-height.)

Still with me? Just a few more here. Let’s take a look at the word “Beef”:  


Here’s how these terms are defined:

  • Cross bar: The bar that goes across the inside of the letter and connects one side to another. (In this case, it’s the bar inside the capital letter ‘B.’)
  • Counter: The empty space in the middle of letters such as ‘B’, ‘O’, or ‘A.’
  • Finial: The tapered end of letters such as ‘e’ or ‘c.’
  • Terminal: A type of curve that you see at the top of the letter ‘f’ or the end of the letter ‘j.’

Good work. Now that you know the anatomy of letterforms, let’s get into the terms related to spacing: kerning, tracking, leading, and hierarchy.


Kerning is the modification of the space between two letters. For example, check out the image below: 


Here, I used Franklin Gothic Medium to showcase the natural space you see between two letter T’s. It looks a little too snug, right? By customizing the spacing between just these two letters, you’ll be able to increase readability.


Similar to kerning, tracking deals with a modification to letter spacing. However, instead of adjusting the spacing between just two letters, tracking is an adjustment to the spacing between all letters an entire word. See the difference below:


For this example, I chose to make an extreme adjustment to the tracking. Typically, you’d want to apply tracking in small increments to avoid causing readability issues.


Remember in high school when you had to double-space your essays? Well, the terms “single-space” and “double-space” can also be called “leading,” which is the distance between the baselines. See leading in action:


You can choose to increase your leading, creating more space between the baselines, or decrease your leading, which pushes your lines of text closer together. The reason high school teachers asked for essays to be double-spaced was because it’s much easier to read, and they could make corrections to the text more easily.


As you read through this blog post, you’ll notice certain words stand out more than others. That’s what designers would call creating a hierarchy. You can use different weights (bold, regular, light), styles (italic), and sizes to create a sense of order within your text. Not only does this help create a legible flow, but it helps the reader see what the most important points are.

Here’s an example of what hierarchy looks like:


In most cases, you want people to read the title first. That’s why you’ll see most titles are much bigger and bolder than the body text. Call-out quotes and descriptive sentences can also stand out above the rest of the text using techniques such as bolding and italicizing.

With effective hierarchy, the reader should be able to jump from one section to the next to identify the most important points.

Got all these typography terms down? Cool. Let’s move on to how typography is organized with type classifications and type families. (Takes you back to biology class a little, doesn’t it?)

Type Classifications

The two main type classifications you see are called serif and sans serif. Other classifications include slab serif, blackletter, script, modern, and decorative. Let’s start with the most common two, and then touch on just a few others to give you an idea of what they’re all about. 


Remember when I pointed out the little foot in the word “Faulty?” Typefaces with feet like that are called serif. You can see where I highlighted these little feet below:


Common serif typefaces include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond. If you’re reading a novel, you might notice the body text is a serif. That’s because a serif is much easier to read in long, printed works due to the distinctiveness between letters.

Sans Serif

In French, the word “sans” means “without.” So the term “sans serif” literally means “without serif.” In the image below, you’ll notice the words lack serifs, as I pointed out with the red arrows.


Common sans serif typefaces include Arial, Verdana, and Futura. You’ll see a lot of sans serifs being used in blog posts and documents on the web because it feels more modern and looks great even at lower screen resolutions.


Blackletter typefaces, also referred to as Gothic, Fraktur or Old English, are known for its dramatic thick and thin strokes and its elaborate swirls on the serifs. These typefaces are based on early manuscript writing — in fact, blackletters were used in Gutenberg’s Bible, one of the first books ever printed in Europe. They were much more popular before 1500 than they are today.


Image Credit: SitePoint

As you can tell, blackletters are pretty hard to read, which is why they’re not typically used for body type. You’ll usually see them in headers, logos, posters, and signs — like on newspaper nameplates (New York Times’ logo, anyone?), or on the headers of certificates, diplomas, or degrees. Common blackletter fonts include Cloister Black, Deutsche Zierschrift, and Germanica.


Image Credit: SitePoint


Script typefaces are based upon the varied and often fluid strokes created by handwriting. As scalable computer typefaces, characters in these scripts can now string together with one another automatically so they convincingly mimic handwriting, rather than users having to manually pick and choose which letters go after which — which you can imagine was a painstaking process.

Under the umbrella of a script typeface, there are two basic classifications: formal and casual. Formal scripts are often reminiscent of the handwritten letterforms common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and they’re used for elegant designs like invitations and diplomas, not for body copy.


Image Credit: Deciduous Press

Casual scripts, or informal scripts, are just that: less formal script typefaces that look more like everyday handwriting


Image Credit: Font Haus

Those are just a few examples of type classifications to give you an idea of how they work. But, since this is a blog post, not a typography course, let’s move on to type families.

Type Families

The term “type family” or “typeface family” is used to describe a range of designs that are all variations of one basic typeface.

For example, you’ll see that Proxima Nova has variations such as bold, extra bold, black, regular, light, light italic, and regular italic:


Sticking to a single type family will help add variation to your designs, while keeping it consistent and uniform.

Designers might use various fonts within one family to create a sense of hierarchy — designing so that the most important elements, such as headlines and quotes, stand out above the rest of the text.

Typography Fonts

Before we wrap up here, I figured I’d leave you with a few great resources for where to find free fonts to download from the web, along with eight free ones I handpicked from these resources to get you started.

Great Resources for Free Fonts

  • 35 of the Best Free Fonts You Should Download“: A HubSpot blog post curating 35 of the best free fonts on the internet.
  • Google Fonts: Hundreds of free, open-source fonts from Google that are already optimized for the web.
  • Behance: A great resource for finding beautiful design work, including unique fonts that are free to download.
  • HypeForType: Over 25,000 typography designs from top designers, many of which are available to download for free.

8 Cool Fonts That Are Free to Download

1) Crimson Text 

Here’s one that’s great for body copy. It was meant for book production, according to Google Fonts, so it’s easy to read. But at the same time, there’s a lot to it that makes it special: old-style figures, small caps, fleurons, and math characters and the like. It comes in three styles — Regular, Light, and Bold — along with the italic styles of those weights.


2) Harmattan 

Harmattan is a typeface on Google Fonts that was actually originally intended to suit Arabic scripts, but it also looks great on Latin characters — and would love attractive in either headline or body copy.


3) Torcao 

Torcao is a unique combination of letters that are “half square, half circle,” robust and technical while at the same time, light-hearted and inviting. It a great headline typeface, but it still quite legible in longer text. The family comes in nine weights (slender to black) and has both condensed and extender selections for a complete set of forty-eight fonts.


4) King Basil 

This free brush font posted on Behance is great for commercial materials like social media images and flyers. It’s a Lite version of the designer’s “Full King Basil,” and it contains many swashes and connecting letters that make for a beautiful, script-like font.


5) Merriweather 

Merriweather was designed to be a typeface that’s pleasant and easy to read on screens, making it perfect for a web asset like your homepage or blog. It’s an evolving project on Google Fonts and will be updated, but right now, you’ll find four styles — Regular, Light, Bold, and Black — along with the italic styles of those weights


6) Poiret One 

Poiret One is a long-time favorite of mine. It’s described on Google Fonts as “a fresh, decorative, geometric grotesque with a hint of Art Deco and constructivism.” It’s sleek, simple, decorative, and great for short texts. Try it on large signs, labels, posters, T-shirts, titles, or headlines.


7) True North

A vintage-inspired headline typeface from HypeForType with sixteen different styles and a monoline script. It also includes free labels and extras like wild animals, numbers, symbols, tools, and other icons. True North comes with labels, extras and free banners. Extras include wild animals, catchwords, numbers, symbols, tools, maple leaves and trees. True North is a headline font with alternate capitals.


8) Bravery

Here’s a cool free font posted on Behance created by a professional font creator who was kind enough to accompany the free download with the mockups below. These mockups show folks how they can play around with the font in their own designs. It comes in capital letters and numbers only, and is great for headlines or social media images like the ones below.


Of course, there’s always more you could learn when it comes to typography. When graphic designers get a degree, they usually have to go through several rounds of typography courses to become a professional.

But now you know some key terms to get you started and — at the very least — you’ll be able to sound super smart when talking to your designer friends.

What other design lessons would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

free do-it-yourself-design guide and resources




An Introduction to Marketing Psychology: How to Use Human Behavior to Make More Informed Decisions [Free Ebook]

Marketing Psychology

How often do you take a step back from your day-to-day job to ask “why?” 

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy routine and forget why humans actually do what they do. On the consumer side, you might ask yourself, “Why am I drawn to cars that emphasize safety features?” or “Why do I buy shampoo that claims it’ll make my hair feel soft?” As a marketer, you might ask yourself, “Why do I think this marketing campaign will appeal to our personas?” or “Why would someone click on this call-to-action?”

The answers to many of these questions can be traced back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which identifies basic human needs as physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization:


Now, after looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, let’s try to answer a few of the questions I posed above. When marketers want to market a safe car, they likely try to target consumers’ safety needs. If a marketer wants to sell shampoo to make a person’s hair feel softer, they could position that product as a solution to belonging or esteem.

For more on this concept and various other principles of human behavior, download our latest ebook: An Introduction to Marketing Psychology.

This guide will help you:

  • Get a grasp on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs
  • Learn the most important principles of human behavior
  • Understand how marketing can influence how people think, feel, and behave
  • Look at your marketing activities through a psychological lens

Download the introductory guide to marketing psychology here.

How are you using psychology to make smarter marketing decisions? Let us know in the comments below.

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How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Advertising [Free Ebook]

Inbound marketing campaigns are made up of a lot of different elements, making it easy to forget a piece of the puzzle if you’re not careful.

Did you send a well-segmented email? Do you have engaging tweets and Facebook posts going out at optimal times? Did you optimize your blog posts and landing pages for search? What about ads? Are you running those?

*Record scratch* … hold the phone. Ads aren’t inbound … are they?

It turns out that if you approach ad creation with an inbound mindset, they can be an extremely effective way to increase leads and customers and enhance your overall inbound marketing campaign.

In fact, when done correctly, businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords, according to Google

“It’s the content that matters, not the format or path to it. When ads equal good content or help people find it, they contribute to a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy,” explains HubSpot Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shah.

So to enable you with the tools you need to create successful PPC ads using Google AdWords, we’ve created a comprehensive free guide, How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC AdvertisingIn this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads as a part of a well-rounded inbound marketing campaign
  • Use the right keywords to create relevant (and highly searchable) ads and landing pages
  • Recognize keyword match types and when to use them
  • Create your Google AdWords account and set budgets
  • Optimize your ad copy to maximize clicks
  • Determine the right goals and metrics for your ads
  • … and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Download How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Advertising and start earning $2 for every $1 you put in.

Have you seen success with Google AdWords? Let us know how your ads performed in the comments below.

free guide to using Google AdWords




Are You Qualified Enough? Analyzing Today’s Most In-Demand Marketing Skills [Free Handbook]


Technology never stops changing — and that means marketers shouldn’t either. Working in marketing now requires an evolved skillset, generally rooted in technology, to take advantage of the latest and greatest trends.

But what if today’s marketers aren’t keeping pace with the skills they need to do their jobs well? Or what if the skills that marketing departments are hiring for aren’t actually the skills listed in marketers’ LinkedIn profiles? Could there be a potential disconnect between marketing departments and the marketers who are applying for jobs?

To help answer these question, HubSpot and LinkedIn created The Marketing Skills Handbook: A Deep Dive Into Today’s Most In-Demand Marketing Jobs. This handbook examines recruiting data and marketer profiles from 2013-2015 on LinkedIn’s own platform. We were curious about factors such as skills that were currently listed on marketers’ profiles, skills recruiters were actually searching for, today’s most popular job titles, seniority, education level, and more.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you might find inside the handbook:


Additionally, you’ll find these key takeaways:

  • Marketers have an opportunity to better promote and/or build the marketing skills companies are currently looking for.
  • SEO/SEM is the top marketing skill desired by marketing departments.
  • Marketers are overemphasizing social media skills in their profiles.
  • The CMO, digital marketing manager, and brand ambassador titles are increasingly common, and the rise of these titles indicates an increase in the marketing department’s importance.
  • As marketing grows more complex, skill certifications from companies (such as Google and HubSpot) will grow more important. 

So just how aligned are companies and the marketers who want to work for them? And what does it say about the future of marketing? Download The Marketing Skills Handbook: A Deep Dive Into Today’s Most In-Demand Marketing Jobs find out.

today's most in-demand marketing jobs




How to Create a Social Media Crisis Management Plan [Free Template]

Social Media Crisis Management Plan - HubSpot

Social media community managers and public relations professionals have to deal with little problems every single day. These could include nasty comments, unhappy customers, delivery issues, or a marketing faux pas — all problems that arise frequently and deserve reasonable and empathetic responses. 

There are times when they also have to deal with real crises, such as gun terror, natural disasters, and white collar crime. The reason these fall under the “crisis” category is because, if you act or respond incorrectly on your social media channels, they could damage a brand’s long-term reputation.

While some of these issues can be categorized as a “problem” or a “crisis” pretty easily, others aren’t so black-and-white. How do you categorize these types of situations? How do you determine the point of escalation with each crisis scenario? When should you get help from a manager or another team member … and who should you even reach out to?

You’ll find answers to all these questions and more in our brand new Social Media Crisis Management Plan.

Download your social media crisis management plan here.

In this free PDF guide and Excel template, you’ll learn:

  • How to become an expert problem solvert
  • The differences between a problem and a crisis
  • What to do when a problem becomes a crisis
  • How to create your very own crisis management plan

From negative comments to natural disasters, it’s important to have a proper response plan for your social media channels. This guide will help you solve tough problems quickly while avoiding damages to your company’s reputation.

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Periscope or Meerkat? The Marketer’s Guide to Live Video Streaming [Free Ebook]


The live video streaming app Meerkat was the talk of the town after its appearance at SXSW in March 2015 — but its popularity was shortlived. Just a few weeks later, Twitter released Periscope, a similar live video streaming app. Although Meerkat kicked mobile video streaming off with a bang, you’ll see in this Google Trends graph of each app’s interest over time that Periscope might be winning the race:

You might be thinking, “Okay, but should marketers care about these live video streaming apps?”

Because consumers care. A lot. According to OOYALA’s Global Video Index, time spent watching video on mobile devices increased 160% year over year in Q4 2013. Additionally, mobile video viewers will watch an average of 21 hours per month on their devices by 2019, up from 12.7 hours in 2013. That’s huge!

It’s obvious that live video streaming is here to stay, and marketers will need to get on board if they want to stay relevant. That’s where our brand new ebook The Marketer’s Guide to Live Video Streaming comes in.

Download Meerkat vs. Periscope: The Marketer’s Guide to Live Video Streaming here.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What live video streaming is and why it’s important
  • The difference between Meerkat, Periscope, and other live video apps
  • How to setup and use your Meerkat and Periscope accounts
  • Examples of brands that are crushing it with live video streaming
  • How you can use live video in your marketing

Meerkat and Periscope hold a lot of potential for marketers who are looking to showcase company culture, live stream an event, host a Q&A session or mini webinar, and much more. Read the full ebook here for more details and use cases.

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free guide to livestreaming for marketing




How to Ace Your New Job in the First 100 Days [Free Ebook]

The First 100 Days: How to Succeed in Your New Marketing Job

The first 100 days at a new company or in a new role are critical for your future success. To demonstrate your effectiveness and make your boss happy that they hired you, you should aim to achieve wins early and often. These wins could be as simple as showing your team that you are a curious, lifelong learner or as complicated as leading a team to hit aggressive goals.

To help you figure out make a splash at your new job, you should check out our new ebook: The First 100 Days: How to Succeed in Your New Marketing Job. This guide includes a step-by-step 100-day plan, templates to help you hit your goals, and career tips from professional marketers. The quotes below are just a few sound bites from inside the ebook: 

Ask your manager, reports, and colleagues exactly what they expect of you, and how you’re delivering on those expectations.

– Brian Lavery, Head of EMEA SMB Marketing at Twitter

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Question everything. You’re new, so you get a free card to do this. You could be amazed at what seems an obvious quick win to you, but hasn’t been noticed by those who’ve been working in the company for a lot longer; and challenging or at least understanding pre-existing assumptions will give a greater feel for where you can have the biggest impact in the short-term.

– Mark Walker, Content Marketing & Social Media Manager at Eventbrite UK

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Be respectful of people’s time — if you ask for coffee to get to know someone, put it on their calendar, send them an invite, show up on time, and arrive prepared with specific questions for them based on their role and experience.

– Katie Burke, Director of Talent and Culture at HubSpot 

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Get a mentor who’s not your boss. You might get advice on how to better work with your boss from another leader who you don’t report to.

– Rebecca Corliss, Inbound Marketing Manager at HubSpot 

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Want more tips? Download The First 100 Days: How to Succeed in Your New Marketing Job right here.

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 “The First 100 Days: How to Succeed in Your New Marketing Job: Free ebook via @HubSpot! 

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A Data-Driven Guide to Writing Better Headlines [Free Ebook]

Data-Driven Strategies for Writing Effective Titles and Headlines

A captivating title is your first (and maybe only) chance to grab your target audience’s attention and draw them toward your content. But titles shouldn’t be created based on what feels right or what sounds cool — it’s much more effective to let data guide your title creation decisions.

That’s why HubSpot and Outbrain teamed up to bring you a data-driven guide to writing effective titles and headlines. In this guide we look at how headlines affect reader behavior in the context of traffic, engagement, and conversion. Here’s a taste of some quick tips and stats you’ll take away from the guide:

  • Headlines generate the highest level of engagement at moderate lengths (81-100 characters). [twitter-logoTweet This]
  • Bracketed clarifications, which are clarifications of the type of content represented by the headline — e.g. [Infographic] — increase CTR when included in headlines. [twitter-logoTweet This]
  • Headlines featuring the word “photo(s)” performed 59% better than headlines without this word, showing that visuals are a winner whether they’re getting the initial click or keeping readers engaged after the click. [twitter-logoTweet This]

Want more tips, charts, stats, and graphs about what types of titles work best? Download Data-Driven Strategies for Writing Effective Titles & Headlines right here.

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The Life of a Marketer: 15 Charts & Graphs on What We Really Do All Day


Hey there, marketer. I’m curious … what’s really going in that day-to-day work life of yours?

When you say you’re working from home, are you actually being productive? When you have a deadline, do you wait until the last minute? What are you actually doing on LinkedIn? It’s time to speak the truth. 

Below are 15 graphs and charts showing how we really spend our days. If you can relate to one, click the “Pin It” button to share it with your friends and colleagues. And don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss. 😉

1) You’re not fooling anyone.

Work From Home

2) Let’s be honest, Fridays aren’t real work days. 

Work Productivity by Day

3) Have a food coma? Subtract two more hours. 

Work Productivity by Hour

4) The answer is always yes. 

Should You Get Coffee?

5) The secret is to under promise and over deliver. 

When You Have a Lot to Do

6) Did you pull another all-nighter again?

How You Manage Your Time When You're On Deadline

7) Everything works out in the end.

5 Stages of Losing Your Work

8) Should you really schedule a meeting for this?

Spending Time on Meetings

9) You’d get a lot more done if you stopped instant messaging your work BFF during meetings.

What You're Actually Doing in Meetings

10) How amped are you right now?!

How Motivated You Feel After a Productive Meeting

11) It’s okay to say no.

Doing Someone a Favor

12) It’s alright, I won’t tell your boss.

Blogs Your Boss Wants You to Read vs. Blogs You Actually Read

13) Wait. Hold on a second … is that clickbait?

How You Write a Blog Post

14) Stalking is just one of LinkedIn’s many benefits.

What You Do On LinkedIn

15) It’s five o’clock somewhere.

Acceptable Time to Start Drinking at Work

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Should You Use the Word “Bae” in Your Marketing? [Flowchart]


Have you ever Googled, “What does bae mean?” If you have, you’re not alone. 

According to Google Trends, searches for that phrase are at an all-time high.

So what does it actually mean? It’s an acronym for “Before Anyone Else,” usually used as a synonym for babe or baby. Here’s how Urban Dictionary suggests you use this term in a sentence: “She’s my bae, I don’t know what I would do without her.” You also might have even heard Pharrell Williams’ song, “Come Get It Bae” on the radio.

Seems cute, right? Well, would it still be cute if brands started using “bae” in their marketing? Because this Twitter account called @BrandsSayingBae shares examples of brands using it in their marketing … and it’s not cute. 

So if you need help deciding whether you should say “bae” in your marketing or not, refer to the flowchart below.

HubSpot flowchart - Should you use "bae" in your marketing?

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How to Achieve Exponential Growth With Marketing Analytics [Free Ebook]

How to Achieve Exponential Growth With Marketing Analytics

Analytics can be a huge opportunity for both the growth of your business and of your career. According to a recent CMO Survey, CMOs report they spend 8% of their marketing budgets on marketing analytics, and spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by 2015. With bigger budgets for marketing analytics come bigger and more notable opportunities for people that know how to use them.

Want to take advantage of those opportunities, but not sure your marketing analytics skills are up to snuff? Catch up on what you need to know in our ebook, How to Achieve Exponential Growth With Marketing Analytics.

I don’t want to spoil the whole ebook (because you should download it for free right here), but inside, you’ll learn how to measure the full-funnel impact of the following marketing channels:

  • Organic and paid search
  • Blogging and landing pages
  • Direct and referral sources
  • Social media
  • Email mail marketing and lead nurturing

Once you’ve read this ebook from cover to cover, you’ll be sure to impress your boss and your colleagues with the types of reports you can run, what you can learn from them, and the strategic changes you’ll be able to devise from what you discover. Click here to download this ebook for free, and use the click-to-tweet link below to share the ebook with your followers.

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How to Monitor Social Media in Only 10 Minutes a Day [Free Ebook]

How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day

If you’re a social media manager, salesperson, customer support rep, or executive, you’ve likely experienced social media overload or exhaustion. Each and every one of these roles requires busy people to go above and beyond to respond to fans, deal with people’s problems, or dig deeper to find unique opportunities.

But there’s one big problem here … social media never sleeps! And 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour. Unbelievable, I know. That means a single meeting during your workday could prevent you from saving a relationship with an unhappy prospect or customer.

So where does a person even start with effectively monitoring all of social media? In our ebook, How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day, we share secrets for streamlining your monitoring process, no matter what your role is. Here are a few things you’ll discover:

  • Why social media monitoring matters in every role
  • How other marketers are spending time on social media, and what you can learn from them
  • Which tools and tactics will help you consolidate your social media information
  • What you should be monitoring on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Quora … and how often

We’ll show you what’s most important, how to find it, and how to respond in a timely manner. Now that’s what I call working smarter, not harder! Ready to get started? Click here to download How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day for free.

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 How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day: Tips via @HubSpot 

How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day

What other tips do you have for effectively monitoring social media activity?

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Which Channels Are Best for Content Promotion? [Infographic]

Content_Promo_Megaphone_Blog_Image-1Lately, I’ve been hearing more and more questions about earned, owned, and paid media. What are the differences between the three? How do they work together? How can they work separately? Which one is “better” than the others? 

Thanks to Column Five, there are now some quick, easy-to-consume answers to most of these questions. In Column Five’s infographic below, they give visual definitions of these marketing terms and back them up with data to help you decide how to promote your next piece of content.

In general, each of these channels allows for unique ways to promote your content, and they likely perform differently for everyone based on industries or audiences. This infographic lays out the facts so you can make the best promotion decisions possible for your business.

Ready to get started? Let’s walk through the basics of your content distribution options.


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Your New Go-to Guide to Content Promotion [Free Ebook]

Content_Promo_GIF_2It’s no secret that we create a lot of content here at HubSpot. We’ve got multiple blogs that publish daily and a library of 2,000 downloadable offers. 

To make sure we’re getting the most out of each of those pieces of content, we’ve ramped up our promotions, too. Through years of experimentation with promoting these lead generation offers, we discovered that offers with well-coordinated campaigns help us generate 72% more leads than offers with no coordinated campaigns tied to them.

Would you like to receive 72% more leads per offer you create? Well, you’re in luck! We go through the details of how to successfully coordinate a campaign to generate more leads in our new guide, The Comprehensive Guide to Content Promotion.

In this guide, you’ll discover that there are three phases to promoting your marketing content:

1) Before the launch. It’s important to pick a promotion date, and stick to it. That way you can plan and organize how you’re going to promote your content across multiple marketing channels. In this phase, it’s also important to optimize your content so you continue to see ROI from your efforts for years to come.

2) Launch day. The hardest part about the day you launch your lead generation offer will be coordinating all the moving pieces involved. In this phase, you’ll need to get social media, email, blogging, SEO, your website, and paid promotion all on the same page.

3) After the launch. Once you’ve launched your offer, you’re not done! It’s incredibly important to analyze and report on how well the offer performed after it has launched. That way you can determine what you should keep and what you should cut from future campaigns.

Want more details about each of these phases? Check out our latest ebook, The Comprehensive Guide to Content Promotion. You can download it for free by clicking right here and send an auto-populated tweet about this ebook by clicking the Twitter-sized image below:

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How to Promote Your Content

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How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck [Free Ebook]

How to Create Email Newsletters That Don't SuckEmail newsletters come in all shapes and sizes. Your email newsletter’s goal could be to gain more blog visitors, generate leads and sales, or inform your customers about your company’s latest product updates. Heck — maybe you just want to create a stellar internal newsletter for your company’s employees. 

Regardless of your goal, it’s easy to slip into the promotional mindset when putting together an email newsletter. But being over-promotional is one of the biggest no-no’s of curating an email newsletter.

To help you get a better sense of all the email newsletter do’s and don’ts, take a look at our guide: How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck. In this comprehensive ebook, you’ll discover:

  1. What a great email newsletter actually looks like. Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping your current email newsletter strategy, it’s important to see the anatomy of an effective email newsletter.

  1. How to measure your email newsletter. Once you’ve started tweaking and optimizing your newsletter, it’s important to measure what you’ve changed to see what works and what doesn’t for your particular audience. Don’t be afraid to A/B test even the smallest elements to see what people prefer.

  1. The biggest email newsletter mistakes people make, and how to avoid them. In addition to seeing what a great email newsletter looks like, you’ll want to make note of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when crafting their email newsletters.

  1. Real-life examples of great email newsletters you should copy. How do brands like BuzzFeed, Litmus, General Assembly, and Medium create email newsletters that people actually want to read? They truly understand their audience and solve their subscribers’ needs.

We address these bullets in detail in our latest ebook, How to Create Email Newsletters That Don’t Suck, which you can download for free by clicking here. At the end of the ebook you’ll also find an email newsletter checklist to hang up at your desk.

Please feel free to tweet about this ebook using this Click to Tweet link and the Twitter-sized image featured below:

What other tips do you have for creating awesome email newsletters?

email newsletters




How to Get 100,000 People to Read Your Blog [Free Ebook]

How to Get 100,000 Readers For Your Blog GIFWhat does it take to drive 100,000 visitors to your blog? What about turning each of those visitors into 100,000 loyal subscribers?

For many marketers, just getting 100,000 visitors to a website seems impossible — never mind figuring out how to entice them to become active email subscribers.  (more…)