2018

4 Under Construction Premium & Free WordPress Themes 2018

In the modern era, WordPress has proved to be the most powerful platform to develop a website. There are always new updates coming in the procedure, themes and what not. Here we are going to talk about some of the best WordPress themes coming soon. Themes that you can use as ‘coming soon pages’ or as ‘landing under construction’.

These themes are highly advanced and packed with new features like custom subscription forms, progress bar, countdown timer, contact forms, and social media icons. Read ahead to know about some of the best free WordPress themes under construction with one plugin for you to choose. A theme is a simpler option, the thing about the plugin is, it allows you how to display, what to and when to display.

1. Kallyas

– With constant updates and movements, Kallyas is a top quality multipurpose WordPress theme. A product by Power Elite Author and a Hogash design, it offers over 30 homepages with brand new material every month. You can play with its live customizer and its modifications in real time as it has WooCommerce as a store manager and Visual Composer as page builder.

– The best part is, it consists of 100+ components featured for customization along with more than 6 sliders and numerous color mixing choices. You can get to have free updates and can enjoy its vast documentation as well as tutorials. With bbPress and BuddyPress you can create a community that can be identified with the page goals.

2. Eos

– If you are planning to launch an app soon, EOS provides you a well-organized theme with a decent pre-launch landing page. The landing page has a finishing touch of Lead-Gen Form in order to build your email list. This theme comes with several accent color schemes. The theme would offer you an option of making a selection between light and dark versions of it that perfectly matches your brand design.

– EOS offers 4 styles of layout that are font awesome icons, newsletter, Ajax based contact form, and testimonials. Moreover, it also has a pre-launch page through which you can stream while your product or app is still under construction.

3. Jevelin

– Jevelin is created for webmasters with a unique and creative flair. It is made for the professionals who aim to accomplish professional levels of elaborated customization; and that too without having to know about coding. When it comes to website building in Jevelin, it is all about convenient use and a wide range of options.

– Jevelin does not just install your preferable demo websites or page templates with a single click; it also consists of high-resolution images shown in the demos. The visual page builder, as well as advanced admin tools, allow you to own your website only in a few easy clicks. Jevelin is the right choice for web professionals who like to have absolute freedom for their creativity. Try Jevelin and let loose the flow of your creative juices!

4. Magnium

– Magnium is an enormously beautiful, visually fascinating, and incredibly flexible WordPress multi-concept theme. It is designed with the very diverse needs of utility such as commercial, business, and personal websites. With a bent for a certain specialty, Magnium pulls off like no other theme of the market can.

– One such plus point of Magnium is, it excels in Coming Soon websites by offering countless appealing layouts designed professionally. Magnium incorporates powerful plugins like Visual Composer and WooCommerce. It offers you the freedom of building your own pages effortlessly and sell your wares through your website easily and securely.

– Everything you would want to be customized, it can be done in Magnium. Furthermore, it provides you extensive shortcode functionality which means you can do so without writing so much but, a single line of code. With the help of Maintenance pages and Customized Coming Soon you are eligible to disable your website’s frontend temporarily.

– You can handle stunning countdown timers and custom countdown widgets as you wish. With three assorted styles of blog layouts, you can keep your customers updated. Whereas beautiful Revolution Slider can keep them occupied and involved. Magnium keeps your visitors coming for more.

Themes play a major role to keep your website active up to the mark as well as to attract more and more visitors. If you are looking for latest, high-quality WordPress themes, go to couponobox.com. Use coupons and promotional codes to buy themes at the most affordable rates but, do not miss on trying any of the above-mentioned themes.

The post 4 Under Construction Premium & Free WordPress Themes 2018 appeared first on SpyreStudios.


SpyreStudios

The Top 10 Social Media Trends of 2018

Social media is constantly evolving.

It’s no longer just a place for your family and friends to share old and embarrassing photos of you every Thursday.

As a marketer, you need to learn how to properly leverage these platforms to your advantage. Being active on social media is huge, and it’s absolutely necessary for your survival.

But that alone won’t automatically make you successful. You also need to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and apply them to your business.

Today, marketing and social media go hand in hand. As we near the midway point of 2018, I’ve taken the time to identify the top social trends of the year to date.

I analyzed data from previous years and determined what trends saw a steady incline. Plus, even though the year isn’t over yet, I was able to see which new developments were the most prominent in these early months.

I predict that these trends will continue in the coming year. It’s important for you and your brand to stay on top of things right now.

1. Live video continues to thrive

Live video content made big waves in 2017. In one of my previous blog posts, I explained that you should jump on the live video bandwagon.

It should come as no surprise that this continues to be a popular trend in 2018.

In fact, live video content has become so popular that roughly 95% of brand executives say it will be a crucial part of their 2018 marketing strategy, according to a recent study.

Why?

Consumers love it. Research shows that 80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog. And 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts.

As a result, the most popular social media channels have implemented live streaming options. Brand marketers are taking advantage of this.

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When it comes to live streaming, Facebook leads the way, according to the 2018 state of social media report from Buffer.

In 2017, only 31% of businesses broadcasted live videos to promote their brands. I expect to see a much higher percentage by the end of this year.

Marketers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of live streams. Regular people share live videos to interact with their friends and family on social media.

The increasing popularity of live video means your company needs to get on board with this trend right now. Businesses need to recognize how this trend can help increase engagement with social media followers.

Start going live on all your distribution channels. Respond to user comments in real time.

This will help you maximize your reach and generate new leads for your company.

2. Chatbots are taking over

Internet chatbots have been around for a long time. They go all the way back to the days of AOL instant messenger.

But like everything else, they are evolving. Now chatbots are being integrated with social media platforms.

Businesses are using chatbots to communicate with their customers on social media. This trend is growing at a rapid rate.

In the first year of the new Facebook Messenger platform, we saw the number of chatbots jump from 33,000 to more than 100,000.

The possibilities here are seemingly endless. Take a look at how Pizza Hut uses chatbots to make it easy for customers to order food through social media:

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These bots recognize word phrases sent by users. Their automatic responses are based on how they are programmed.

As you can see from this Pizza Hut example, these bots can be used directly to drive more sales and increase revenue streams.

I believe we are going to see more businesses take advantage of these tools by the end of 2018. In fact, a recent survey suggests that roughly 80% of marketing executives have used or plan to use chatbots by 2020.

It’s a winning solution that’s a cost-effective alternative to paying real customer support representatives.

It’s estimated that chatbots are going to save businesses in the healthcare and banking industries a whopping $ 8 billion per year by the year 2022. That’s compared to $ 20 million in 2017.

Sure, nothing can replace the personal touch of a human response. Well, at least not yet. But these chatbots out there right now are certainly on the right track.

3. Influencer marketing is evolving

Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept either. But the way that it’s being used on social media channels is definitely changing in 2018.

More specifically, companies are starting to partner with micro influencers to increase their credibility.

What exactly is a micro influencer? They are people on social media channels who have a strong following but don’t have a celebrity status.

While there is no exact threshold, micro influencers typically have anywhere between 1,000 and 90,000 followers. Once we start to reach the hundreds of thousands of followers line, we are entering macro influencer territory. And anything higher than a macro influencer is considered to be a celebrity.

These are some of the top reasons why brands are partnering with these types of influencers:

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Research shows that micro influencers have 60% higher engagement rates than traditional celebrity influencers. You can also expect to see 22.2% increase in average weekly conversions from this marketing tactic.

Another reason why brands are so drawn to micro influencers is because they are cost-effective compared to other advertising expenses.

This is still a relatively new trend, so brands and influencers alike are unsure of how to come up with a standardized pay scale. As of now, it’s anything goes.

I’ve seen some businesses that don’t even pay their influencers. They just send them free stuff for social media posts.

But as we continue moving forward in 2018, I’m expecting micro influencers to be more business savvy and demand pay for their efforts.

They know their followers trust their opinions. So don’t be hesitant to spend money on influencer marketing as the year continues.

4. Brands are taking advantage of paid advertisements

It’s 2018, so businesses know they need to have an active presence on social media. They have profiles on multiple platforms and update them on a daily basis.

While this is definitely necessary for survival, it’s not quite enough.

Companies that want to take their social media strategies to the next level also pay for advertisements.

Facebook alone has more than six million advertisers on its platform. In September 2017, Instagram hit two million monthly paid advertisers.

That’s because it’s become very easy to set up ads to target a specific demographic. It’s hard for businesses to turn down this type of precision in targeting.

Just look at how simple these options are for marketers who want to advertise on Facebook:

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In addition to being able to reach such a precise audience, Facebook also makes it easy for you to set your budget. You can set it up on a daily or weekly basis. It’s also possible for brands to manage their budgets based on the lifetime of each ad.

There are also many different options for the type of ad you want to run.

It’s easy to experiment to find out what works best for your company based on the demographic you’re targeting.

Research shows that by the year 2020, social media advertisements will surpass newspaper ad spending.

I anticipate that more companies will allocate a larger portion of their marketing budgets to paid social media ads in 2018.

5. Social listening

Social platforms are listening to your conversations. Whether you want to believe this or not, it’s the truth.

I know you’ve seen it before. You’re talking about something with your friends and then you see an advertisement for it on social media.

Creepy? Yes. But that’s the reality of the world we live in right now.

Marketing solutions like Sprout Social offer social listening tools to help brands analyze various audiences.

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There are many ways in which businesses can take advantage of social listening.

It gives you the opportunity to see what consumers say about your company. But you can also use this tool to monitor relevant keywords or hashtags used on social media.

You can use this data to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and make sure you’re targeting the right audience.

6. Brands are leveraging user-generated content

User-generated content is basically like free advertising. It’s one of the best ways to grow your business by doing less work.

Get customers to talk about your company.

Encourage them to use hashtags and post about your brand on social platforms. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by posting user content to your company’s profile.

If people see you are willing to feature user photos, more people will post about you in an effort to be selected.

Look at how Thule employs this strategy on its Instagram page:

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As you can see from the comments section, the user who shared this photo even thanked Thule for posting their content.

Now more followers will be encouraged to do this as well. It will broaden the reach of their products to a wider audience.

When a customer posts about your company on their personal profile, it exposes your brand to all of their followers. Some of these people might not even know your brand exists.

Plus, people trust recommendations from their friends and family.

That’s why leveraging user-generated content is a top lead generation strategy. Social media platforms are the perfect distribution channel for this type of content.

7. Augmented reality

Augmented reality takes something that’s real and alters it using technology.

One of the best examples of augmented reality successfully applied to the consumer market was with the Pokemon Go gaming app.

The app accessed the user’s camera and added fictional elements to the screen.

But now, social media channels are implementing augmented reality on their platforms as well. I’m sure you’re familiar with Snapchat’s face filters.

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Facebook jumped on this bandwagon as well with their camera effects platform.

They are taking augmented reality to a whole new level with these features. They even built an augmented reality studio for developers to design unique animations.

These filters respond to motion and interactions in real-time, even during live streams.

Here’s an example of what this looks like during a Facebook Live broadcast:

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Since Facebook also runs Instagram, it’s safe to say these types of options will be available on that platform as well during 2018.

I’m expecting to see big changes in social media augmented reality in the near future that will be much more impressive than just a dogface filter.

8. Ephemeral content

If you haven’t heard of ephemeral content before, it doesn’t mean you’re not familiar with it.

The definition of ephemeral content is something that is short-lived, lasting for up to 24 hours before  disappearing forever.

Of course, I’m referring to things like Snapchat and Instagram stories. After Snapchat came up with this concept, Instagram quickly recognized its popularity and implemented it on its platform as well.

The reason why short-lived content is so popular is because people feel as though it is more authentic compared to a traditional sponsored advertisement.

Users love it and add such content to their personal profiles on a daily basis. But brands need to take advantage of this as well.

It’s a great alternative to live video streaming, but it has similar effects.

It’s an opportunity for you to post several times throughout a day without spamming your followers’ timelines.

For example, you may not want to post five pictures and videos per day on Instagram. Users who follow you may perceive this to be an annoyance.

In fact, posting too frequently on social media can cause people to unfollow your profile.

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But adding new content to your story isn’t as annoying because it doesn’t take up space on everyone’s timeline the same way a picture or video would.

Plus, these types of stories create the fear of missing out.

If your business starts to regularly share ephemeral content, users will make sure to check back frequently to make sure they aren’t missing out on anything.

I’d recommend using this strategy to run flash sales or other promotions to drive sales. We’re going to see more businesses as well as regular  people  add more short-lived content to their social media profiles.

9. Referral traffic and organic reach are declining

Social platforms are changing their algorithms. This is impacting what users see on their timelines.

As a result, homepages and timelines aren’t flooded with as many posts and ads from brands. Instead, posts from family and friends are being prioritized.

In previous years, these algorithm changes have caused organic reach on Facebook to drop more than 50%.

So you can’t rely on all your social media posts to drive traffic and clicks to your website.

That’s why brands need to come up with alternative social media marketing methods such as paid ads and micro influencers to increase referral traffic.

10. Small businesses are increasing their social presence

Nobody can afford to ignore social media anymore. It’s become a regular part of our everyday lives.

Ten years ago, small business owners may have thought it was unnecessary to build a presence on social media, but now they are all realizing how important it is for staying competitive.

In fact, 52% of small business owners post to social media on a daily basis.

While Facebook is still the most popular option, other social channels are seeing an increase in the number of small business users.

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With so many platforms to manage, business owners are being forced to change the way they operate.

They are hiring social media marketing managers and using time-saving tools to help manage and schedule their posts with automation.

Businesses without active social media profiles will struggle to survive in 2018.

Conclusion

Developments in social media are constantly changing.

As a marketer, you’ve got to stay up to date with the latest trends to keep your finger on the pulse and effectively reach your target audience.

Based on the research I found, I was able to narrow down the top ten social media trends to keep your eye on in 2018.

Use this list as a reference and guide for positioning your marketing strategy.

I’ll even throw in a bonus one for you. Although this isn’t necessarily a trend, it’s more of a prediction.

I think Twitter is going to make some big changes in 2018. Unlike the rest of my list, it’s more of a gut feeling as opposed to a fact-driven statement, which is why I left it out.

Use this information to your advantage moving forward in the second half of this year.

What social media trends will your company focus on to generate leads and drive conversions in 2018?


Quick Sprout

Announcing Call to Action Conference 2018: A Revolution for Today’s Marketing Evolution

Webster’s Dictionary defines a ‘conference’ as, “An event at which industry professionals talk at other industry professionals who’ve stockpiled seven complimentary croissants in their bag to eat later. See also: Room temperature orange juice.”   

Whether it’s to learn some new tricks, make some new connections or drum up some new business, conferences are a necessary (and sometimes cool) part of being a marketer—but not all of them are worth your time. While your typical marketing conference has morphed from weak coffee and dry PowerPoints to free t-shirts and celebrity thought leaders, it can be tough to leave feeling like you’ve really gotten something out of the event.

We saw a need to change the conference experience. Because the experience of being a marketer has changed. 

Marketing now is harder than ever— it’s hyper-competitive, oversaturated and comprised of tired tactics that used to work. We need new solutions to old problems and actionable solutions to new problems. Especially when we’re forking out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a conference ticket (money we could’ve sacrificed to the AdWords gods).

Enter Call to Action Conference.

Now in its fifth year (only 55 more ’til we get that diamond!), CTAConf 2018 is going to be more exciting, more targeted and more committed to your future success than ever.

Already sold on joining us? Get 10% off Early Bird tickets by using the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout.

Why this conference is different (we promise)

CTAConf merges carefully curated, usable content with…well, having a great time. It’s single track, allergic to fluff and ensures you’ll walk away with leading-edge tactics, all wrapped up in an amazing experience you’ll truly enjoy.

“CTAConf has set the bar for what a marketing event should be: fun, engaging and insightful. No matter the experience level or skill set, every attendee left with a new set of philosophies and tactics to apply in their marketing practice”

Ray Silva, Strategy Lead at Apply Digital and CTAConf 2017 attendee.

We’re talking hands-on workshops, a concert atmosphere, all-you-can-eat snacks and gourmet food trucks, organic networking, a genuinely friendly team and fun parties in the beautiful setting of Vancouver, B.C. (Credit to Mother Nature for that one.)

Even the sessions themselves, held in the historic and fully immersive Queen Elizabeth Theatre, will make you feel less like you’re at a “work event” and more like you’re at a Broadway show about email marketing called Don’t Spamalot. 



Most importantly, it’s designed to deliver practical know-how and future-proofing strategies from true experts covering every facet of digital marketing.

A glimpse at who’s talking and what you’ll learn

April Dunford, Wind at Your Back: Making your Market Category Work for You

April has spent her career launching innovative tech products and is a seasoned expert at getting traction in increasingly noisy markets. Prior to founding Rocket Launch Marketing, where she works with companies on market strategy and positioning, she was VP of Marketing at a series of successful high-growth startups and an executive at global companies including IBM, Nortel and Siebel Systems. She was also the top-rated speaker at last year’s CTAConf (she happens to be equal parts genius and hilarious).

In her talk, you’ll learn :

  • How to shift to a favourable market category to give your marketing programs added velocity
  • How to completely change the way customers think about your offering to remove friction in your funnel
  • The three steps for shifting market categories, from isolating your differentiators to finding your downstream customers and picking the best market current to ride
Rob Bucci, What Google Serves Up For Local Searches

Rob is the founder and CEO of STAT Search Analytics, a rank tracking and SERP analytics service for SEO experts. A developer and entrepreneur in the SEO space since 2005, Rob especially loves tackling big-data challenges in data mining and analytics.

He’ll be bringing his SEO expertise to the stage to teach us:

  • How Google interprets different levels of local intent and what searchers are seeing most often
  • How to refine your SEO keyword lists by comparing SERPs
  • How to better tailor your content to build more targeted ad campaigns that achieve better results
Hana Abaza, Product Marketing: Inside and Out

Hana is the Head of Marketing for Shopify Plus, a division of Shopify that powers some of the world’s fastest growing and most iconic brands (Rebecca Minkoff, Nestle, The New York Times and FAO Schwartz, to name a few). Prior to joining Shopify, Hana led marketing and growth in a variety of industries and has a proven track record for scaling teams, revenue and customers.

You’ll leave her talk knowing:

  • The guidelines for how and when to invest in product marketing
  • How to develop a go-to-market framework for your company
  • How to set up product marketing as a cross-functional powerhouse
Ross Simmonds, Beyond Google: How To Attract Relevant Traffic Through Diverse Channels

Ross is the founder of Foundation Marketing and creator and co-founder of content curation tool, Crate, and Hustle & Grind, an online store for entrepreneurs.

Over the last several years, he’s worked to help some of the fastest-growing startups and a variety of Fortune 500 brands succeed in their digital marketing efforts. His talk focuses on typically under-used and ignored channels as missed opportunities for quality traffic.

During his talk, you’ll learn:

  • What brands can do to spread their story beyond SEO & SEM
  • How brands can leverage communities and other networks to drive consistent traffic
  • Research and data on the importance of diverse channels
  • Examples of what happens when you embrace a more diverse content approach
Krista Seiden, Measurement for Growth

Currently a Product Manager and Analytics Evangelist for the Google Analytics team, Krista is a leader in the digital analytics industry and co-chair for the San Francisco chapter of the Digital Analytics Association. She has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing, analytics, and product management, having led analytics and optimization at Adobe and The Apollo Group prior to joining Google.

Her talk will cover:

  • What growth marketing really is, beyond the buzzwords
  • How effective growth marketing is rooted in analytics, experimentation, and product development
  • How to strategically measure and use data for targeted growth
Cyrus Shepard, SEO Success: The One Engagement Metric to Rule Them All

Former Head of SEO and Content Development at Moz, Cyrus now runs Zyppy, a fast-growing SEO company. When he’s not consulting with companies big and small on how to improve their rankings, traffic and profits, he travels the world as a speaker, making complex SEO equations easy to understand.

This August Cyrus will take the stage to teach us:

  • How much speed and rankings matter and steps to improve the right areas
  • What “fuzzy” engagement metrics like bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit really mean and what you need to focus on
  • How to use SEO data to improve conversions
Oli Gardner, Content Marketing is Broken and Only Your M.O.M. Can Save You

Oli is not only an Unbounce co-founder, he’s an expert and international speaker on conversion optimization, data-driven design and landing pages (he claims to have seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet).

He’s often the highest-rated speaker at events around the world, including previous Call to Action Conferences. This year, he’ll be talking:

  • Data and lessons learned from his biggest ever content marketing experiment, and how those lessons have changed his approach to content
  • A context-to-content-to-conversion strategy for big content that converts, based on designing for your customer’s “aha!” moments
  • Advanced methods for creating “choose your own adventure” navigational experiences to build event-based behavioural profiles of your visitors 
  • Innovative ways to productize and market the technology you already have, with use cases your customers had never considered

What’s happening off stage

Learn by doing with Unbounce workshops

Get your hands proverbially dirty with interactive workshops on A/B testing, landing page optimization, PPC, analytics and mastering Unbounce for more conversions across every type of digital campaign. A full-day event prior to the conference, the workshops are a chance to work directly with seasoned pros on solutions to real marketing problems. Workshops have been so popular in previous years they were standing room only.

Make your first (or hundredth!) landing page, popup or sticky bar with us at the workshops, and learn all the insider tips you can take home to your team.  

Eat to your stomach’s content, on us

Call to Action Conference food trucks
When we say free food, we don’t mean “Enjoy these sweaty muffins! If you want lunch, there’s a Chipotle two blocks away.” We mean constantly replenished drinks, foodie-approved snacks and a lunchtime convoy of the city’s finest food trucks delivering everything from truly tasty salads to life-changing mac ‘n’ cheese. All included.

Meet, connect and party with great people


Call to Action Conference hovers around 1,200 attendees for a refreshingly intimate experience with the buzzing energy of a big-time event. Meet fellow passionate marketers from cities all over the world, mingle with industry leaders and see just how stereotypically Canadian the friendly Unbounce crew is.

“CTAConf was amazing! My favourite part? The caliber of attendees and the energy they brought. Met so many remarkable marketers!”

—Jes Kirkwood, Head of Content Marketing at ProsperWorks and 2017 attendee.

Soak up Vancouver at the best time of year


Business and pleasure do mix! Especially in summer. CTAConf 2018 is happening August 27-29, smack dab in the middle of Vancouver’s sunshine season. Take a seawall stroll between sessions, taste-test your way through a diverse food scene, hone your craft beer palate at one of many world-renowned breweries or tack on an extra day and get outside the city to those calling mountains. We turn into human prunes waiting out months of rain for a Vancouver summer and it’s totally worth it. Come see for yourself.

Enjoy champagne hotels at boxed-wine prices


We’ve secured 40-50% discounts on rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Delta Hotels Vancouver Downtown Suites, exclusive to CTAConf 2018 attendees and just steps away from the conference venue. Rooms are at first come, first serve and book up fast so grab yours ASAP and prepare your senses for the fluffiest of robes.

Join the revolution

Call to Action Conference 2018 is coming up fast and early bird prices are ending soon. Get your single, group or customer ticket before May 31, 2018 and come hold us to our promise. You’ll leave feeling inspired, energized and ready for marketing victory with tactics and strategies you can put into action the very next day. In other words, you’ll really get something out of this.

Don’t forget to sweeten that Early Bird deal. Use the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout to get 10% off all ticket rates. See you in August!

P.S. If you’re joining us from the United States, you’re in luck. Ticket prices are in Canadian dollars. Your boss basically can’t say no (and if you happen to be the boss, you can take your whole team). You’re welcome, eh.


Unbounce

Oracle Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Email Marketing Service Providers, Q2 2018

“Email Marketing: Old salt of your toolkit, and still the most cost-effective promotional channel.” So begins the preamble to this year’s Forrester Wave for Email Marketing Solutions, Q218. Other channels and buzzy topics tend to grab the headlines. The industry press seems to annually predict the death of email. Yet, email persists as the work horse of most digital marketing organizations. Why? Well, it’s the highest ROI channel for most organizations. It’s the preferred commercial channel for most consumers. And, email has been able to adapt to changing consumer tastes—becoming more mobile, more interactive, and more intelligent.

While Oracle has done a lot (more than any other vendor in our opinion) to provide marketing organizations with a true cross-channel marketing platform—we’ve never lost sight of where we came from, or how important email is to our customers. That’s why we are the only vendor who has earned the Leader designation in every Forrester Email Wave for the last thirteen years!

What does it take to lead a category for over 13 years?

Well, for one it takes focus. I trust that few readers have actually reviewed all seven Forrester Waves for Email Marketing since 2005. However, the few of us who have can tell you that one trait that is threaded consistently across all seven reports is: volatility.  Email Marketing is a highly competitive space filled with optimistic venture-backed entrants, competitive technology powerhouses, and opportunistic private equity firms. A Leader one year can quickly lose ground to other vendors, if they take their eye off the ball. In fact, every vendor (or their acquired assets) on this year’s report has been a Leader at some point in the past, except Adobe and IBM.

Thankfully, we have been able to avoid these fluctuations by staying focused on unrivaled customer success and market leading technology.

Not Just Technology

From bringing the first Orchestration Canvas to market in 2009, to introducing email marketers to the first productized Multivariate Testing and Send Time Optimization capabilities in more recent years, Oracle takes pride in being an email technology innovator. However, our many collective years in the email space have taught us that excellent technology is simply not enough to guarantee customer success.

True expertise, proactive customer management, and roadmap guided by marketer needs vs. the latest buzzword feature, are just as, if not more, important than the core technology we provide. After all, marketers and their customers sit in the center of our universe, not the IT department. With this in mind, we thought it appropriate to wrap up with a quote from one of our customers that made it into this report, “The Oracle Platform is more robust [than competitors]. But its creative side is the key to its success.”

If you are a digital marketer looking for a consistent, strategic, and creative leader in Email or Cross Channel Marketing – let us know. We’d be happy to talk to you about all we have to offer.

Oh and also, read the report.


Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

15 Pinterest Statistics Every Marketer Should Know in 2018

For its dedicated users, Pinterest acts as a place to research, learn and shop. They’re more likely to spend more after seeing a promotion and they plan twice as early than people using different platforms.

The user base may not be as large as Facebook but the platform acts more like a discovery and save tool than a social interaction network. This niche market makes it a dream for marketers to target at different points of the buying process.

Strong imagery goes a long way for Pins. Its cascading feed heavily favors Pins that are at an image aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5. For businesses, optimizing your website and existing Pins for search are the first steps in Pinterest marketing.

But what else should you know? We’ll share 15 statistics that will help hone your marketing efforts.

1. 40% of Pinners Have a Household Income of $ 100k+

That’s a lot of buying power. While 40% of Pinners have a household income of $ 100k+, 50% make $ 50k+. Pinners are ready to spend and willing to spend more than their non-Pinning counterparts. We’ll go more into that statistic later on.

2. 29% of US Adults Use Pinterest

Of the other social networks, it’s fourth in popularity, behind YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. However, the metric has been slowly climbing.

pew research social demographic

According to Pinterest’s own demographic data, more than half of Pinners are international and more than half of new signups are men. This means that even if US audiences aren’t gaining as quickly, there’s potential for an international audience to take off.

3. 1 of 2 Millennials Use Pinterest Every Month

The tech-savvy generation is all about Pinterest. For adults aged 18–34, or the millennial generation, half of them use Pinterest at least once a month.

This age group is special because it marks a lot of adult milestones. People are graduating from college, working at their first job, having relationships, getting married and having kids. There’s a lot to be planned and Pinterest is how the plans get done. In fact, 86% of millennial Pinners use the network to plan for life’s moments.

Since they also have some disposable income and spending power, it goes without saying that they’re buying for these milestones. Pinterest is so crucial that they spend 17% more than a millennial who doesn’t use Pinterest.

For brands, this means that educational content can perform well. Products that are related to these milestones will also receive a lot of impressions. For example, tips on shopping for a new home or useful kitchen appliances target this age group.

Bank of America uses Pinterest to create an online resource for people to be more financially literate. Their Boards address all the life milestones from wedding planning to having a new money. The Pins are tagged with their branded #BetterMoneyHabits hashtag and lead to educational content.

4. 93% of Active Pinners Said They Use Pinterest to Plan for Purchases

With 200 million monthly users, 93% is a lot of people who want to purchase something. It makes a good business case for advertising on Pinterest.

Create content for various stages of the purchase process. Forty percent of Pinners reached were new to the brand advertising on the network. Create some educational content, share information about your product and then retarget them once they’re familiar with your brand.

5. 50% Have Made a Purchase After Seeing a Promoted Pin

Pinterest’s Promoted Pins are naturally part of a user’s feed. Scattered among pins from Pinners they follow, are Pins that brands have created to promote to a certain demographic. Half of Pinterest’s users have purchased something after seeing a Promoted Pin in their feed.

To take advantage of this, you need to first create Pins that are relevant to the audience you’re targeting. The more specific and useful the Pin is, the better. For example, you don’t want to advertise your chocolate to those who are searching for recipes. Better, you want to target people who are looking for sweet gift ideas or looking up decadent chocolate recipes.

6. Nearly 85% of Pinterest Searches Happen on Mobile

Pinners love their phones. When looking for recipe ideas or tips for styling a home, Pinterest is the first option and 85% of those searches are through the app. When a search result page first comes up, the top bar will list topics that are often searched with the first set of terms. It offers users more in-depth exploration.

Content from verified websites appear higher in Pinterest’s search results. And relevant hashtags serve as another search modification tool.

For brands, this means that understanding Pinterest’s SEO process is key to showing up in search results. Your descriptions should actually describe the Pin and what the Pinner is looking for. Enabling Rich Pins on your site also means that Pinners can receive even more content when they open a Pin.

Quality images and a high aspect ratio are key to getting your Pins noticed. You want their thumb to pause because the Pin caught their eye. If text is absolutely needed, a brief title or description of the Pin should be more than enough.

IKEA uses its Boards to address different audience demographics. In its “Small Space Living” Board, they have Pins that help apartment dwellers figure out how to maximize their space. The above Pin has keywords like “small outdoor space” and their product name to help with search results.

7. Top Category in the US is Art, Art Supplies & Hobbies

Forty-eight percent of Pinners save Pins in the Art, Art Supplies and Hobbies category. Unsurprisingly, the second most popular category at 47% of Pinners is Flowers, Food, Drinks and Gifts.

Statistic: Most popular Pinterest categories in the United States as of February 2017 | Statista

The top two categories alone span a lot of industries. Brands can use this to their advantage by seeing where they fit in with Pinners’ interests. If your product isn’t directly in the hobbies category, you could create adjacent content.

Wayfair sells a wide variety of items online. While they do use a lot of lifestyle photos for their furniture products, they also sell smaller items. This Pin demonstrates a quick DIY project that makes use of several of their products. Clicking through takes you to a list of all the involved products for an easy shopping experience.

8. 78% Say It’s Useful to See Content from Brands on Pinterest

Unlike other networks where branded content has become exhausting, 78% of Pinners welcome content from brands. Furthermore, 66% buy something after seeing a brand’s Pins. Remember, Pinners use the network to research and plan. It makes sense that Boards are created for shopping purposes.

The beauty of Pinning content is that every Repin means more eyes on your content. And if Pinners are researching, they’re going back and looking through their Pins. Your content gets to live on the network for far beyond the initial Pin. If your Pin is Buyable, it makes the shopping experience more seamless for the customers.

Evergreen content is content that can be useful beyond its publishing date. For Carnival Cruise Line, that means Pins like cruise fashion, best bites in a destination city and tips for planning a cruise wedding are useful year round.

9. Pinterest Delivers $ 2 in Profit per $ 1 Spent on Advertising

Pinterest isn’t just for saving DIY ideas for the bedroom. It’s also for saving product ideas for future purchases. Fifty-five percent of Pinners say they use Pinterest to shop for and find products. This is great news for advertisers who sell products.

Pinterest’s advertising platform includes a few different goals like increase brand awareness, increase in-store sales and boost website traffic. You can also easily promote a Pin that’s already performing well.

Baileys promoted one of their popular Pins about a Baileys sundae recipe. It appeared among drink recipes. The timing of it is also perfect since summer weather calls for an ice cream sundae.

10. Pinners Spend 29% More on Retail Than Those Who Don’t Use Pinterest

Retailers rejoice. These Pinners are also 39% more likely to be active retail shoppers. It’s likely that those who plan ahead of time on Pinterest are also more informed customers. They spend after researching, which could make them more dedicated customers.

In fact, 90% of Pinterest’s users say that the network helps them decide what to purchase. That’s a whopping amount of people who are looking to purchase things. To make it easy for potential customers to research you, install the Save button on your website and optimize your product pages for Product Pins. Having Product Pins allow customers to see the price along with a short description directly in Pinterest.

Don’t assume that it’s all online shopping either. Forty-one percent of Pinners who shop in-store also use Pinterest while shopping. If they’re shopping for products, it makes sense that they would reference Pinterest to make sure they’re finding the correct ones.

11. Pinners Plan Twice as Early Than People on Other Platforms

Pinners like to create Boards for their next trip, the baby shower they’re planning and gift ideas for their spouse. In fact, they like to plan far ahead of time. Pinterest data states this being twice as early than people who don’t use Pinterest.

In the cycle of content production and advertising planning, it means you need to be looking several months ahead for major holidays. Best gifts for moms are Pinned starting in February.

pinterest planner

For businesses who want to target around special days, Pinterest offers a Possibilities Planner that shares a calendar for planning and content ideas for each one.

12. 3 in 4 Travel Pinners Say Travel Pins from Brands Are Useful

Travel is a big category on Pinterest. Boards are created for new trips and for general research purposes. Adding collaborators to the Boards make group trip research easy.

Seventy-five percent of travel Pinners find brand content useful. And 49% of US travelers who spend $ 1000 or more on travel are on Pinterest. That’s a good group of people who are willing to pay for the right experiences.

Your brand may not be a travel brand like a cruise ship but chances are that you overlap into the travel audience. For example, a coffee shop can Pin the best coffee shops in their city for tourists who are traveling to their area. Or a cooking class can advertise to those who are interested in food and travel.

Road Affair is a travel blog written by a globe-trotting couple. Their Pins vary from travel guides to travel inspirations. The Antigua guide shows up in search results for anyone who’s searching for the specific term. But the Board that it rests on is a collaborative one that its 116k+ followers can find easily, too.

13. 70% Search, Save or Click on on a Pin

Instead of a passive consumption of media, Pinterest users are active on the site. Data shows 70% of Pinners will search, save or click on a Pin.

For businesses, this means that putting in the effort of properly describing a Pin and Pinning it to the correct Board pays off. If your goods or services match the more popular categories, then a Pinterest strategy should be incorporated into your marketing.

14. More Than 14 Million Articles are Pinned Daily

Rich Pins give more information than regular Pins. Articles contain publisher and author information, Product Pins contain pricing and Recipe Pins have all the ingredients listed for you.

Because these Rich Pins contain more information and are from verified websites, they’re more likely to be shared in the network. In one day, 14 million articles are Pinned. If you have a business blog, take a moment to optimize it for an Article Pin.

15. 7.53% of Referral Traffic Came From Pinterest

Clicking on a link from one social network registers it as social referral traffic on the site you visit. Because of its long history and large network, Facebook is usually at the top of all social referral traffic. But from 2016 to 2017, Facebook’s traffic dropped by 25.80% and was replaced by networks like Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

shareaholic social network

Pinterest had a 27.49% increase in social referral traffic from 2016 to 2017. For a site that exists to collate ideas from other sites, this growth makes sense. Paired with an internationally growing user base and more advertising opportunities being made available, we should expect even more referral traffic growth.

In Conclusion

Pinterest users are dedicated shoppers, savers and planners. With great visual content, brands can put their advertising dollars to work and target customers who are receptive to branded content. Even if you’re not ready to Pin everyday, you can still make steps to optimize your website and welcome Pinners.

We’d love to hear from you – are you on Pinterest? What has your brand’s experience been like?

This post 15 Pinterest Statistics Every Marketer Should Know in 2018 originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Nike “Run It” For The 2018 Winter Olympics

Nike is jumping deeper into the entertainment space with this new music video spot in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympics. It’s called “RUN IT” featuring Jay Park and shows a snowboarder racing between abandoned snow covered cars, designed to be celebrating rule-breakers. It’s all part of a campaign called “Impossible to Ignore,” […]


Digital Buzz Blog

#SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018

Summer is just around the corner and we’re getting ready by brushing up on our strategic chops. This June, #SproutChat is bringing you insight on industry topics ranging from knowing which analytics you should be focusing on, different ways to use social to appeal to millennial audiences, and we’ll cap it all off by celebrating #SocialMediaDay together!

See a topic that interests you? Use the “add to event” button to ensure a calendar reminder.

Wednesday, July 4: NO CHAT! Enjoy your 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 11: Pinterest Marketing With Sprout Product Marketing Specialist, Amber Washington

Join us for a #SproutChat that will dig right into the state of social marketing on Pinterest in 2018! Whether you’ve neglected Pinterest for business or are looking for ways to evolve your strategy, we’ve got you covered. Our Product Marketing Specialist, Amber Washington, will be joining us to talk all things Pinteresting!

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Wednesday, July 18: All Things #AgencyLife With #SproutPartner Nathan Greenberg

This chat will focus on all things #AgencyLife with special guest Nathan Greenberg from Arkside! Arkside is an award-winning, multimedia ad agency. Their specialties include marketing strategy for law, finance, automotive & healthcare. Get ready to get your agency hats on and dig into common issues that agencies face.

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Wednesday, July 25: Redefining ROI With Lucy Hitz

Join us for a #SproutChat chock full of #SproutData. We’ll be joined by Lucy Hitz who is the brains behind the 2018 Sprout Social Index. We’ll take a look at the challenges marketers are facing especially when it comes to ROI, what consumers want vs what marketers are doing, and everything in between. You won’t want to miss this one!

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This post #SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018 originally appeared on Sprout Social.


Sprout Social

Visual Studio and Xamarin at Microsoft Build 2018

Just like last year, I was able to attend the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle. The three day event was action packed with loads of interesting, technical sessions and to give an idea of the vision of Microsoft. There were a couple of great Xamarin-related announcements that I wanted to share, which sadly were a lot less than last year.

Still, great Xamarin minds like Miguel, James, Mikayla and David took a spot on one of the stages at Build and shared their latest and greatest. I wanted to highlight a couple of things that got me most excited and is available for us today to create great Xamarin apps!

Overview:

What’s new with Visual Studio for Mac by Mikayla Hutchinson

Visual Studio for Mac v7.0 went Generally Available during the keynote from Build last year. At this years conference, v7.5 has been launched in Stable after being available in Preview for a while. Sweet!

Mikayla went maximum purple for her talk at Build and shared some pretty cool stuff. I personally like the changes done in Xamarin.Forms development, now using the .NET Standard templates and IntelliSense being added to XAML development. Also, editing the Entitlements.plist for iOS development is now easier than ever. Simply open the file in the IDE and get to work! WiFi debugging is available for iOS development as well. Visual Studio for Mac also ships a new Android Device Manager so you won’t need to rely on the one shipped by Google.

Non-Xamarin specific functionality that has been added include ASP.NET Core development with Razor, JavaScript, and TypeScript Editor Support, Building Serverless solutions with Azure Functions as well as support for .editorconfig-files (My colleague Bas wrote about this too). Support for TFVC is available in Preview as well! More details can be found on the The Visual Studio Blog. Version 7.6 is already available in Preview if you want to get a look at even newer features.

Visual Studio for Mac is really working hard to get feature parity with it’s brother on Windows, but on the other hand it’s interesting to see the direction of Visual Studio Code. That IDE is getting more features as well through plugins, but hasn’t reached the level of VS yet.

Visual Studio and Xamarin: The future of app development by Miguel de Icaza

Originally this session was planned together with James, but for unknown reason only Miguel took the stage. His session was built around the complete Development Cycle for mobile development, which was interesting since it started being non technical at all.

One of the more technical bits was the announcement that the Android emulator now supports Hyper-V making it blazing fast and using it is much simpler. Miguel drew this simplification in a beautiful overview.

Another thing that was added, was the Android Designer (in Preview Release). It’s now possible to have a Split View, Drag and Drop and Completion of your *.AXML-files. I’m really looking forward to this since it can speed up development a lot.

Also, the ugly syntax for Xamarin.iOS development when using WeakReference<T> has become a lot cleaner now. Now simply use the [Weak]-attribute to specify this type of reference, which is essentially how this works in Objective-C as well using the __weak-attribute (or weak in Swift).

Miguel finished his presentation with some food for thought of other things people are working on. An example was Xamarin.Essentials which I’ll cover later as well. Other topics were Elmish and Ooui. In the last minute, Miguel talked about Xamarin.Forms Shell which goal is to make it simple and straightforward for new developers to get a complete app experience that is properly structured, uses the right elements, with very little effort and a clear path to being good by default. It’s currently still a draft, looking for feedback.

Cloud-connected apps with Visual Studio, Xamarin, and Azure by James Montemagno

James didn’t show any new stuff, but told the mobile developer story from start to end. Sadly, his demo had some hiccups on Android but that was due to a bug that was already fixed in a later version. He essentially walked us through the Geocontacts-app, an app to connect CDAs.

In order to create the app, he (obviously) used Xamarin and combined it with loads of interesting libraries. New for me were the MSAL (Microsoft Identity Client) and Markdig (Markdown processor) libraries.

The app also used Azure Functions, something that can be created using Visual Studio for Mac as well. James completed the app development cycle by using App Center to build, test and deploy the app.

What’s new in Xamarin.Forms 3.0 by David Ortinau

Loads of goodness has been dropped for Xamarin.Forms in their 3.0 release. David started his session with a recap from last year, but quickly switched to thanking the Community Contributions to Xamarin.Forms, as well as taking the time to focus on some Community Projects like Prism from Dan Siegel.

XAML standard was announced last year, but still isn’t fully used everywhere. David promised it will drop in Xamarin.Forms 3.1, which is expected within the upcoming 6 weeks. RTL-support is already available at this time.

David took us through the Conference Vision app (source), which is an absolute beauty of an app built with Xamarin.Forms 3.0. The app uses the new FlexLayout, as well as CSS and the Visual State Manager. I’ll cover these topics in upcoming blog posts.

If you want to learn more about the FlexLayout system, David created a sample app to do so. He also mentioned the F100 collaboration, which stands for a challenge to improve 100 little things in Xamarin.Forms. Since it’s Open Source, you can create a PR to add this functionality to Xamarin.Forms yourself!

David finished strong with a roadmap of the future for Xamarin.Forms. The {x:Bind} markup extension will be added later this year, but the vNext (3.1-pre1) is already available. vNext2 will include Gestures for Xamarin.Forms as well, which is something I’ll be really looking forward to.

More

Although I think there were a lot more interesting Xamarin announcements last year, the progress the teams shared are still pretty awesome for every Xamarin developer. What do you think and what direction would you like to see some change happening?

The post Visual Studio and Xamarin at Microsoft Build 2018 appeared first on Marcofolio.net.

Marcofolio.net

The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018

Too many brands treat social media like their own personal soapbox. They invest all their energy preaching to their customers, but don’t spend enough time listening. Fewer than one out of four businesses actively listen to their followers on social media.

Many brands are starting to recognize the error of their ways. They recognize that there are lots of great social media listening tools that they can use to their advantage. Here are five of the best.

1. SentiOne

SentiOne is a newer social listening tool that is used by over 2,000 brands in nearly three dozen countries. There are three different service tiers, so you will need to decide which one is best for your business.

The most basic plan allows you to track keywords, users, mentions and recent updates in real-time. You can also track historical data for up to six months. If you want to track data for over a year, offer access to more than one user, or follow more than one market, then you will need to choose one of the other plans. You can get your feet wet with their 14-day trial.

Here are some of the main features:

• Data can be collected from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, news aggregators, opinion websites, and blogs.
• You can measure the reach of your messages on any given day.
• You can see results in 24 languages.
• You can monitor campaigns at different levels, including category, competition, consumers and communication.
• Advanced consumer and workflow management filters can be used.

Many marketing experts have spoken highly of SentiOne. If you run a small or medium-sized business, you may benefit from it as well.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite brands itself as a centralized platform to manage all of your social media accounts. While most people use Hootsuite for its schedule and content optimization tools, it also has a very sophisticated social monitoring platform.

Hootsuite has a number of great functions that make social listening easy and efficient. You can monitor social networks by keyword or location. You can also set up an unlimited number of social media streams. Hootsuite provides a great blog post, along with a couple of video tutorials on setting up social listening campaigns on their platform.

Before you choose a tool and dig into the nitty-gritty work of social media listening, you’ll need to determine what you should actually listen for. The exact keywords and topics you monitor will likely evolve over time as you learn (from social listening) what language people use when they talk about your business and what sorts of insights are most useful for your business.

3. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a popular social media management tool that has some excellent social listening features, such as:

• You can track specific keywords related to your industry or business. The easiest way to follow social media discussions of your brand is to use your company name.
• You can generate visual reports on every keyword you are tracking.
• You can subscribe to real-time alerts on hashtags.
• You can integrate inbound message tagging in your social media campaigns.

Over 19,000 brands depend on Sprout Social, so you can trust their social listening tools to deliver the data you need.

4. Talk Walker

Many other social listening tools aggregate data from a handful of social media platforms. Talk Walker extracts data from over 150 million websites, including over a dozen of the most popular social networking sites. This makes it one of the most comprehensive social media listening tools in the world.

Another great feature of Talk Walker is its ability to track conversations in nearly 190 different languages. This feature makes it ideal for global businesses that serve multilingual markets.

5. Conversocial

Conversocial brands itself as a “customer engagement solution as advanced as your customer.” It is a lesser known social listening tool, but many top brands depend on it, including Google, Hyatt, Hertz and Tesco.

Conversocial allows you to collect data on customers from multiple platforms on both mobile and desktop devices. The tool is designed to bring marketers into discussions with their customers and help them be more proactive with their responses.

Use the Right Social Listening Tools to Run Your Business

Social listening plays a key role in any social media marketing campaign. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tools at your disposal. Make sure you understand the nuances of these tools and use them properly to gain access to the social media data you need to optimize your marketing strategy.

The post The 5 Best Social Media Listening Tools for 2018 appeared first on Social Media Explorer.


Social Media Explorer

Nintendo to revive NES Classic Edition in 2018 as it extends SNES retro console shipments


Nintendo has some good news for retro gaming fans as the company announced that it’s extending shipments for its SNES Classic Edition into 2018, having originally announced that it would stop by the end of this year.

But in another surprising twist, the Japanese gaming also revealed that in 2018 it will revive the NES Classic Edition that was launched initially last November.

Above: Now you’re playing with power.

Image Credit: Nintendo

The $ 60 NES was unveiled last June, and though the mini console proved hard to get a hold off when it hit the market five months later, it actually outsold both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in at least one month. The NES Classic Edition shipped with 30 built-in games such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Mega Man 2, but Nintendo was apparently caught off-guard by its popularity and it ultimately discontinued the product less than six months after it went on sale.

Shortly after, however, Nintendo announced the $ 80 SNES Classic Edition — replete with 21 games such as Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart — which Gamesbeat reviewed as a good machine which offered few surprises.

Preorders for the SNES Classic Edition opened on August 22 and they immediately sold out — but those lucky enough to order one should be receiving their machine from September 29. If you weren’t able to get one first time around, the company is adamant that it has increased its production significantly compared to that of the NES Classic Edition, and it has urged gamers not to pay over the odds for a machine through eBay or other similar auction sites.

The company said in its announcement today:

More units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.

There was a great deal of speculation as to why Nintendo cut the NES Classic Edition from production when it proved so popular, but whatever the reason the company has evidently observed market demand and will announce “in the future” exact timing for new shipments in 2018.

Social – VentureBeat