How Brenna Earned Money by Opening Emails

Receive up to $25 each month from opening Pacsun’s promotional emails!

 

Companies are constantly on the hunt to add new emails to their list. Us email recipients often think that being added to just one more email list won’t be noticeable in our inbox. However, it looks quite the opposite and makes our inbox feel bombarded. Just when you thought you cleared all the ‘junk’ out, 24 hours later, it’s back to where it started.

Beyond the necessary emails about our bank statements or our insurance; if an email received from a retailer is NOT about a confirmation order or including a number to track the shipment of a package, a great number of people will just ignore the email and delete it right away.

Knowing this was an opinion to many people besides myself, I was determined to interview someone who thought otherwise. This someone would be my cousin Brenna. To be completely honest; after interviewing Brenna, she may have changed my opinion about signing up for retailers email’s and convinced me to register for Pacsun’s.

After reading the interview, Brenna will have probably convinced you too.

 


  1. What makes emails from Marketers and Businesses interesting and worth your time to open and read?

Answer:  When the email titles announce about different sales and coupons, or say “Just In!” for new items or items back in stock, it makes me want to click on them. So that definitely grabs my attention!

2.  Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails? Why or why not?

Answer:  If there’s actually a really good sale or if I see something I really like from an email, I have definitely gone online and bought something!

The companies know me too well that they promote the things I want, and then I buy them. That’s basically why it works and it’s terrible. (laughs)

3.  What usually convinces you to sign up for regular emails from a retailer?

Answer:  Well actually, Pacsun does this thing where if you open their emails, they give you points that can then turn into money; so basically just opening their email gives you money. So yeah, that’s definitely a plus and it made me want to sign up for their emails.

 

PACSUN REWARDS
PACSUN promotes multiple activities for their members to earn point converting cash. Every 1,250 points equals $5 for the store! That means, if a Reward Member is ONLY opening emails, it would take just over a month to earn $5! If you’re on-top of the game, PACSUN lets members earn up to $25 every month!

PACSUN | Rewards FAQS

Aside from that, when I’m at a store and they ask me for my email to make an account, I will be like, “No, no thanks” but whenever they add to say something like, “Alrighty. You could save 20% off your purchase. Are you sure?” I’m always like, “Here’s my email!”

So to answer your question, pretty much anything that earns me a discount or will save me money.

4.  Off the top of your head, which businesses send you promotional emails most  regularly?

Answer:  Pura Vida does for sure! I don’t know about you, but I am always adding items to my cart and then never buying them. (laughs) Anytime that I am signed into my account on Pura Vida and add something to my cart, they track my visit and will always email me something saying “We will reserve these for you for the next 24 hours and here’s a coupon!”


 

If you need help and/or are wanting to be removed from a company’s email list, first contact the company for assistance. If a company refuses, refer to the Federal Trade Commission in reference to the CAN-SPAM Act.

The CAN-SPAM Act is a U.S. law governing a set of email laws and requirements. The CAN-SPAM Act pertains to e-commerces and businesses sending emails to promote commercial website content. The Act also discloses a set of clear and strict penalties if a company’s email does not conclude a recipient’s request. If e-commerces and businesses do not give email recipients the right to stop receiving emails or fail to abide any other requirements within the CAN-SPAM Act, the company is then liable for all CAN-SPAM violations.

For more information, click the links provided:

Federal Trade Commission

CAN-SPAM Rule | Business Guide

eCFR | Text of Rule

How Brenna Earned Money by Opening Emails

Email Marketing in a Digital World

What is email marketing?  According to Mailchimp, “email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales.”

When I think about email marketing, the first thing I think of is campaign fundraising emails.  I’ve had previous political jobs and I am still politically active.  I subscribe to several political candidates who fill up my Gmail “Promotions” daily.  However, this is one of several types of marketing emails from marketers/businesses.  There are so many that most, if not all, are stigmatized as spam.  I think what makes the ones that I engage with interesting is if there is an influencer that I respect or a product that I have considered purchasing.  The easiest example of this is a fundraising email from Bryan Steil.  He is a candidate running for Wisconsin’s First Congressional District.

Steil

This email appears to be sent by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.  The marketer who sent this email is hoping that his influence is enough to peak the interest of the email recipients.  I understand that influencers are mainly used in social media marketing, but I think this is an example of an email using an influencer to boost opens and possibly conversions.

Usually, I do not take action as a result of the marketing emails I receive, and this example was no exception.  I think the main reason that I don’t is because I am so immune to them that I always ignore them.  I thought that I was in the majority on this opinion, but it turns out I’m not.  According to Forbes,

email marketing is still an extremely cost-effective way to generate leads and make sales for businesses.

After learning more about this topic, I decided to interview three people around me to dive a little deeper.  I interviewed my father, Jon – a small business owner who struggles with technology, my girlfriend Brittani – an avid online shopper, and my friend, Garrett – a graduate student.  Their results were surprising to me:

How often do you receive emails from marketers/businesses?

Jon: I think I receive multiple emails a day from different businesses and marketers.

Brittani: I definitely receive more marketing emails than I would like.

Garrett: Too many to count.

Do you ever open on the emails that you receive?  If so, do you ever take action?

J: Yes I open about half of them, but I take action at a far less rate.

B: Yes I open a decent amount of them, and I do take action.

G: I rarely ever open marketing emails, and I never take action.

What makes them interesting or worth your time to open/read and take action?

J: Sales interest me, as well as anything I think might potentially be able to help my business.

B: The biggest thing I look for are stores and brands that I like.  If either or having sales, I usually shop on their websites.

G: I don’t really open or act on any marketing emails.

I was surprised by how much Brittani interacted with marketing emails.  I was also surprised that my dad used them, even though he isn’t very tech-savvy.  I was not surprised that Garrett did not interact with them.  He and I are very similar, so it would make sense that both of us are not interested in email marketing.

As future digital marketers, it is important that we understand CAN-SPAM and why it is important to our industry.  CAN-SPAM is a law that establishes rules for commercial email messages and marketing practices.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you violate the following rules you could be subject to penalties up to $41,484:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • Identify the message as an ad.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

CAN-SPAM is very important to remember.  If you are ever tasked with email marketing for any kind of business or organization, it is vital that you remember and adhere to these rules.

Email Marketing in a Digital World

The Importance of Email Marketing & How to Hook Your Audience

More than 34% of the people worldwide use email, which is about 2.5 billion people, and it’s predicted to increase to about 2.8 billion email users in the next 2 years. Email reaches about 40% of more customers over Facebook and Twitter.

 

If you have the creativity in you or marketing capabilities, then email could be your best channel of communication. In order for you to be successful in email marketing, you must use effective strategies, so I made your life a little easier by listing 4 strategies I recommend:

 

  1. Email Personalization

Personalizing the emails with the help of the information available about the target customers goes a long way to boost the click-through rate of your email’s campaign. Prospects are more likely to click and read emails which they believe are tailored to be read by them.

 

  1. Analytics

Using a dedicated method to track the analytics of your email campaign gives decision making a whole new perspective. A marketing team can better determine what’s working and what’s not. Emails can then, be effectively tweaked to entice better responses from their readers.

 

  1. Automation

One of the latest top strategies available to reach out to prospects today is using automation to drive the sales. Automation platforms help companies access an extensive database of email addresses and send out automated personalized emails to them based on high-level tracking information available about them. Or just even, for example, having the name of the person throughout the email.

 

  1. Segmentation

Segmentation is the process of dividing the email list into groups so as to facilitate the implementation of personalization in emails. The right kind of segmentation can have a huge positive implication on the campaign’s revenue generation.

 

What Makes an Email Interesting Enough to Read

 

Content does matter, but the biggest way to hook the fish, A.K.A customer, is to start with a catchy subject line. For example, you always see thumbnails on YouTube that are like “She Almost Died,” well, people like a good subject to watch; same goes for anything written. Why do you think magazines have so much going on, on their front page? It’s because they use the many things as a hook to reel in an audience. This is what makes an email interesting, if you take the time to come up with something everyone could be like “hmmm… I wonder what that means?” Humans are curious, and if you feel them that they will go crazy for the content.

 

Now if you’re sending an email out to get people aware of let’s say, “The Dangers of Smoking.” Are you really going to want to send that email to a fifty-year-old male who loves dogs and fast cars? No! This is why you want to reach an audience that pertains to what you are talking about. This way, your targeting audience is sent to people who care about what your email consists of, which means people are more likely to click on your email. When you are ready to send your email out, segment your distribution list by target market to make sure the right audience is receiving the right message. You can segment by age, gender, location, education level, industry, job title or any number of other characteristics depending on your message.

 

Taking Action Within an Email

 

Your email recipients will react, respond, and take action, depending on the layout of the email. For me, if it is an event that is being sent out as an invitation via email, I will write it on my calendar right away. However, the person who sent the email really doesn’t know that I do that or if I did it. The hook here is in how you get the person to respond, so you know if that person is, in fact, coming to your event. For example, one of my clubs set up an event to welcome new members, but instead of just giving the email invitation; the subject line stated, “Action Required RSVP….” I noticed it right away and took action to get my seat reserved. This simple step can be easy and helpful in the long run.

 

 

What is CAN-SPAM and Why Is It Important?

 

It’s possible that you don’t even know what CAN-SPAM is. If you’re going to send emails to your customers, CAN-SPAM is a very important law that you need to know about. It governs whether the email you send is considered a legal communication or an illegal piece of unsolicited spam. If you don’t abide by it, you’re subject to fines and penalties from the U.S. federal government. Obeyed by the following, and you should be okay:

  1. Never use False or misleading header info: Example: “From” or “To”
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines: Subject line must reflect on the content in the email.
  3. Identify the message as an ad.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out from receiving future emails if uninterested.
  6. Honor the opt-out request promptly.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf: The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

 

 

Recommended video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRCmwVtkzZw

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/27-prewritten-templates-for-your-toughest-work-emails

http://fortune.com/2014/11/13/7-tips-for-writing-effective-emails-to-your-boss/

https://searchengineland.com/how-to-create-catchy-effective-subject-lines-for-link-outreach-299287

https://knowledgebase.constantcontact.com/articles/KnowledgeBase/5825-can-spam-act-and-how-it-affects-your-campaigns?q=can-spam&pnx=1

 

 

The Importance of Email Marketing & How to Hook Your Audience

Email Marketing: Exciting or Excruciating?

As stated on the FTC’s website, “the CAN-SPAM Act [is] a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, [and] gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them….” These regulations protect consumers against fraudulent and unsolicited emails. It’s imperative that businesses familiarize themselves with the CAN-SPAM Act with regard to email marketing, as non-compliance comes with a hefty price tag.

What about email marketing?

As I think about email marketing, I think of the sheer volume of emails I receive and about inbox clean-up. I’m particular about where, why, and how I make purchases, so unless I receive a marketing or promotional email that’s tailored to my current situation, I delete it immediately. For example, I may receive an article from InHerSight with pertinent career advice or a discount from Etsy for a recently-viewed product. In those cases, I’m inclined to read the entire email. An email with a promo code may lead to a site-visit, but I’m just as likely to close the website without making a purchase after a few minutes of browsing. Marketing emails that are personalized, interesting, and visually appealing, much like these examples, also get my attention.

To gain a better understanding of how others feel about email marketing, I spoke with Francisco, social-media-boycotter and construction worker, Mary, avid shopper and event planner, and Emily, millennial and aspiring architect. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Think about email communications from marketers/businesses. What makes them interesting and worth your time to open/read?

F: I don’t care for marketing emails. I get too many of them promoting products and deals that really aren’t that great or relevant to me. I might open an email with a subject line that indicates a better sale, deal, or product than I’m used to seeing.

M: I receive TONS of marketing emails daily, oftentimes from the same source. An email that stands out to me is visually pleasing, gets my attention, and is quick and to-the-point. I also look at the subject – if it makes me think “hmm, I need to know more,” I’ll open it. If it’s a standard subject line, I’m led to believe reading the body of the email isn’t worth my time.

E: The first think I think about related to marketing emails is “do I want to receive this email? Aka did I sign up for this?” If so, emails that are personalized or have relatable subjects are interesting. For example, discounts, ads related to something I’ve purchased, or articles based on a recent search would all interest me.

Q: Do you ever take any action because of the emails? Why or why not?

F: If a good sale is advertised in the subject line, I’ll read the body, then possibly go to the website to look for the specific deal. If the deal is only available for a limited time, that’s probably the only time I’d buy a product directly because of an email. That is rare though – I usually delete the emails without opening them. Sometimes I will unsubscribe.

M: If it’s from a store I frequent, I open it and read the body to ensure I’m not missing a good deal. Oftentimes I’ll make a purchase, or at least visit the website. However, if I get too many emails from the same place in the same week, I send them to the trash immediately. I also unsubscribe from marketing emails quite often, but I usually re-subscribe down the road.

E: I often unsubscribe in response to [marketing] emails, even from companies with which I shop. I don’t like to receive daily ads. Rarely do these types of emails cause me to act in the way of purchasing or browsing the website.

Consistent with the above stated insights into email marketing, data from the “Email Marketing Industry Census 2016” show that consumers are interested in promotional emails that offer discounts, and the article also provides data and detail as to why individuals unsubscribe from emails. For additional examples of effective marketing campaigns, I encourage you to visit the above mentioned HubSpot blog post.

I hope you enjoyed hearing more about these insights into email marketing!

Email Marketing: Exciting or Excruciating?

Top 5 Places to Travel This Year – For less

accomplishment action adult adventure
2018 destinations that you wouldn’t think to travel to

 

There are many places that come to mind instantly when thinking of vacations – beaches, resorts, big cities, and so on. Many of the popular destinations have become so famous, and therefore, out of reach price-wise. The following list is a cheaper alternative to the ever so popular vacations you see daily on social media and the television. Now, everyone can travel to exotic destinations even on a modest budget!

Don’t forget to subscribe for more related articles!

 

1. Seattle, Washington

space needle
Photo of downtown Seattle, featuring the famous Space Needle

Recently, many airlines offer budget travel options if you are willing to forego your carry on luggage. This is a great and cheap alternative to arrive in cities like Seattle on a modest budget! The flight patterns are extremely convenient – offering direct routes from most major cities in the United States.

2. Sri Lanka

beach coast ocean outdoors
Sri Lanka is surprisingly similar to the Maldives or French Polynesian Islands – for much less

Sri Lanka is just as dreamy as the popular Maldives and French Polynesian Islands – for less than half of the cost. Tourism to the Maldives has increased so much due to the spread of its popularity on social media making is less and less affordable. Take a trip to Sri Lanka before the secret beauty spreads and prices increase!

3. Turks and Caicos

landscape photography of beach resort
An affordable, alternative island destination

Due to the devastation of hurricane Harvey, tourism in many of these Caribbean islands has suffered tremendously. Find all-inclusive vacations to islands like Turks and Caicos for next to nothing. The plus side – these packages include airfare, meals and drinks!

4. Hawaii, United States

beach buildings city clouds
Honolulu is one of the top, and priciest, tourist destinations in the United States

Hawaii is one of those unique travel destinations that makes it onto most people’s bucket list. With the recent eruptions of Hawaii’s volcano, tourism has dropped which caused hotel pricing to drop as well. You can easily find a 3+ star hotel here for under $200 per night – a huge discount compared to a few years ago!

5. San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

two person walking on sea shore
San Jose Del Cabo is a short taxi ride away and features beautiful beachfront resorts for much less than Cabo San Lucas

If Mexico is on your list of travel destinations, skip Cabo San Lucas and head straight to the other Cabo. Just a short cab ride from all of the nightlife and popular marina, San Jose Del Cabo offers luxurious, all-inclusive resorts for an affordable price.

 

If you find any of these travel destinations on your bucket list, don’t wait to book your trip! These destinations offer unlimited fun and beauty for half the cost. Subscribe for more articles and make sure to check out the article coming soon: Ten ways to make traveling on a budget more exciting!

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time
AaronServaisGmailCom

 

Top 5 Places to Travel This Year – For less

Layers of a Comfortable Snowmobile Ride

Snowmobiles are huge in the state of Wisconsin, I would know, I work at a Ski-Doo Dealership. Being comfortable during the cold times on the trails is crucial, if you are not comfortable then you will have a terrible time. Layers are very important when you want to stay dry and warm. I personally have had frost bite while riding because I didn’t have the right layers or no protection where I needed. I’ve heard horror stories on how bad people get frost bite just from not having the right protection. This article will give you the proper information on what you need to have a safe and comfortable ride.

ridinggear

  • Base Layer

This layer can either be as simple as just a regular t-shirt or as complex as long underwear. This layer is made to keep you dry and have the basic warmth. It is a thin thermal layer, you don’t necessarily need it but it is a good base to start with.

  • 2nd Layer or Sweatshirt

The second layer is just about anything that goes over your base layer, which includes sweatshirts, jerseys, over-shirts, or even a thin jacket. This layer is where most of your warmth comes in, not always known to keep the moisture out but definitely one of those layers you can take off if you get too hot while riding.

  • Snow-pants/Bibs

Your legs make up over 50% of your body, would you want to make sure they are warm? I hope so because cold legs aren’t fun when you’re riding of more than hour or two. Also if you are a dare devil on a sled and you fall off your going to get filled with snow. Getting filled with snow without protection means your legs are going to get wet and if the temps are really down your pants are going to freeze and your going to be miserable. With snow-pants or bibs, you are protecting your legs from the snow and also extra cushion if you fall.

  • Jackets

Jackets are one of the most import layer because it protects you from the snow and the wind. It also keeps the moisture away from your body. Jackets come in many different styles and different warmth degrees.

xteam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Helmets

Helmets come in many different styles and many different colors. You have heated helmets, open-faced, modular, BVs2, Oxygen’s, and many more. Helmets protect your noggin from the wind and also if you get into an accident. I’ve seen people who weren’t wearing a helmet while snowmobiling and they got very sever frostbite on their noses and cheeks, I’ve also seen people get very hurt because they thought they didn’t need a helmet.

  • Boots

You can use many different kind of boots for snowmobiling because it all depends on what you like on your feet. I personally have a pair of snowmobiling boots and they work fantastic but I have friends who use everyday steel toes and they love it for snowmobiling. I will admit the best kind for snowmobiling would be one of the waterproof kind. What I do with my boots is I also wear wool socks for extra heat. I know people who just put in a foot warmer and call it good.

 

I hope you take this article and learn on how to have a safe and warm snowmobile ride. You need layers upon layers. My mom always said “It’s easy to take off layers when your out riding than putting layers on in the middle of nowhere.” You can always buy some of the best winter gear on Ski-Doo Clothing. 

 

Layers of a Comfortable Snowmobile Ride

10 “Creative Steps” to Putting Up a Pool

We decided this past summer we needed a bigger pool. We’ve always had the Intex 10×30 pools, they were easy to set up and care for. The kids loved it and had tons of fun. Well the kids are bigger now and the adults wanted in on the fun this year.

We started researching pools and found that with the steel sided pools there was a lot of prep work like digging up and filling your yard with dirt to ensure the pool was level. We watched this video and many like it and decided that this was definitely not something we were willing to do, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-4z9CReUO8.  After a lot of research, we finally found a pool that was big enough and seemed easy to set up. We settled on the Intex 18x10x42 Oval Pool. We still had some prep work to do. The video we watched made it all sound so easy, https://youtu.be/EMYQMv4W6N8. I figured it wasn’t going to be quite that easy and it wasn’t.

Here’s the Creative way to prep and set up your pool:

  1. Find the sunniest spot in your yard
  2. Measure the exact dimensions plus 2 feet on all sides of where you want the pool to sit.
  3. If your yard has even a slight decline (most do) measure the length and width of the decline.
  4. Go to Menards or Home Depot and measure sand bags. Buy as many sand bags as you need to fill the decline that you measured in step 3 plus a couple more in case a bag or 2 breaks (they did).
  5. Take the pool out of the box and position the tarp (included) and pool in the location you measured.
  6. Fill the inflatable ring with air making sure the floor of the pool is as wrinkle free as you can get it.
  7. Place the sand bags under the tarp and pool in the decline. We placed them sideways end to end and adjusted as necessary.
  8. Turn on the hose and start filling the pool. While the pool is filling make sure the floor of the pool is as wrinkle free as you can get it. Do this by getting in the pool gently kicking out the sides and smoothing the wrinkles with your feet. Do this while there is just an inch or so of water in the pool. If you wait too long to get the wrinkles out, the water gets too heavy and the wrinkles stay put.
  9. While the pool was filling we noticed that the tubes on the sides were slipping and not raising like the video showed. We needed to think fast, it was hot and we wanted some fun! We searched the garage and found an old croquet and horseshoe set. We used the horseshoe poles as a brace for the tubes and covered them with a blue pool noodle for safety (see the first photo below). We used croquet hoops to steady and hold the tubes in place. This worked really well and saved the day!
  10.  We assembled the ladder and secured it in the most level place we could find (this step wasn’t so bad). After that it was smooth sailing, we jumped in and had a blast all summer!
  1. Intex 18x10x42 pool
10 “Creative Steps” to Putting Up a Pool

Your 10 MUST HAVE Travel Essentials

If you stumbled across this post, you are probably getting ready for a trip (and in that case, do you have an extra ticket?) or maybe you are just dreaming of your perfect vacation. Either way, here are my must-have tips and travel essentials for someone who likes to be prepared and pampered, whether you’re first-class or next to the bathrooms.

image

1) Neck pillow

I know they can look goofy, but this little guy is a life saver. Whether it’s a quick 45 minute flight or an 8 hour red-eye, this will ensure you will be able to get a solid snooze in, even if you’re stuck in the middle seat. It also relieves tension on the neck and back from uncomfortable airplane seats, so when you arrive at your destination, you will be rested and ready to go.

2) Noise Cancelling Headphones

These are a must for me. You can listen to music without worrying that the guy next to you can hear your guilty favorites, and it will cancel out any crying babies or loud engines.

3) Portable Charger

At this day in age, this one should be a no-brainer. Nothing is worse than getting on a flight with your phone at 5%. A portable charger is great for giving you the peace of mind that your phone will always have battery life, so you can take those insta-worthy airplane window pictures and listen to your favorite album while doing it.

4) Makeup remover wipes

After a day of traveling it feels so nice to be able to take off your makeup and have a fresh face. My favorite are the Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes, which are gentle on my skin and come in a mini size, so they are super easy to travel with.

5) Face mask

Whenever I travel, my skin always seems to get dry and irritated. In order to combat this, I’ve started to throw a face-mask or two in my carry-on bag. I love the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, which was made specifically for travel in mind. Not only is it undetectable on the face, but it’s also a no-rinse mask. If you’re feeling a little ambitious, I love the SK-II Facial Treatment Sheet Mask. It may frighten your fellow passengers, but it will be worth it once you feel the cooling, hydrating elements work their magic on your skin.

6) Sanitizer wipes

If you think about the thousands upon thousands of people that have sat in the same seat or touched the same tray table, it can be pretty unsettling. That’s why I always carry sanitizer wipes. They’re super convenient to quickly wipe down handles or simply clean up a mess, and will kill any germs or bacteria so you can enjoy your vacation sick-free.

7) Travel toothbrush

For long travel days when I’ve been stuck in an airport or for when I have an over-night flight, it’s absolutely mandatory that I’m able to brush my teeth in order to feel clean and refreshed. You can simply buy a toothbrush cover to place over your existing toothbrush, or bring along disposable ones that have toothpaste built in. I prefer the latter.

8) Hand cream

Being up in the air always dries out my skin, so having some hand-cream on hand (see what I did there) is a must.

9) Sleepmask

If you’re like me, meaning you are quite literally the ugliest sleeper ever, it’s nice to throw on an sleepmask to block out other people’s wary stares, or your seat partners annoying reading light. I prefer a silk eye mask, which is cooling and soothing on my eyes, giving me a chance to get some peaceful sleep after a stressful day of travel. I love my SLIP Sleepmask which is natural, hypoallergenic, and allows skin to breathe.

10) Lip balm

No one likes chapped lips, and flying seems to make them even worse. Throw some of your favorite lip balm in your bag (mine is the travel size of Aquaphor) and you’re ready to go!

 

There you have it, my 10 travel essentials that will guarantee you a five star flight. Of course, there are always a few more items that get thrown into my carry on, but these are the things I cannot travel without.

Safe travels and Bon Voyage!

Anna.

teal fujifilm instax mini camera near white ceramic mug

Your 10 MUST HAVE Travel Essentials

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Photography

There are many ways to improve your photography skills and techniques. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, these five tips can drastically improve your photos.

 

#1   Practice, Practice, Practice!

I know, it almost sounds too good to be true …  but to be honest, it really is true! No matter how long you have been into photography, it is one of of the most effective practices. You can never take too many photos, but there is always the possibility of never taking enough. Another benefit from this practice is that you are able to see your progress, what you like and dislike, and you continue to improve from there. An example almost everyone has seen effects from this practice would be selfies.

Go dig deep into your social media feed or camera role. You can see the improvements of then vs now (and this isn’t just because of puberty). You can notice how different angles and lighting work best for you.

#2  Get to their level.

A common mistake I often see photographer make, is not situating themselves to eye level of their subject. This mistake can often make the picture and/or subject look uncomfortable and awkward. Also, when a photographer takes a picture at the subject’s level, viewers’ eyes are more drawn to it; therefor, increasing the quality of the picture and making a a clearer statement with your picture’s purpose.

Exceptions where this rule would not apply may be such as, birds eye — an elevated view of an object from below — and worm’s eye — a view low or from the ground, making objects seem enlarged and given an unfamiliar perspective.

#3  Rule of Thirds.

Another practice I strongly stand by, is the Rule of Thirds. Some may think it looks like a tic-tac-toe board hovering over their screen, but in reality, it is meant to act as a guide when taking a photo.

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Rule of Thirds

You want the main focus of your subject to pair up with at least one of the four corners from the center rectangle. It is proven that our eyes are most drawn to those four area points when glancing at an image; not directly in the middle. This practice will help viewers be drawn to your subject, rather than becoming distracted from it.

#4  Get closer.

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any closer to your subject, you can! Yes, you can use a zoom lens as a shortcut, but physically move closer to your subject. For some, this may be a little out of your comfort zone, but moving closer to the subject will show much more detail and create a more unique photo and perspective.

#5  Use of correct White Balance.

Instead of spending the time to edit and correct the color temperature of your photos, you can correct it on your camera before even taking them! This is a very simple fix to make, but also a very easy step to forget when taking pictures.

White Balance Camera Menu
White Balance Camera Menu (Common)

You may recognize coming across a “WB” button on your camera before. (The placement of the “WB” button varies depending on your camera brand and model.) Auto WB (not recommended) — this is often the cause for incorrect temperature coloring —, Sunny, Cloudy, Shade, Flash, Incandescent, and Fluorescent are the most common presets found on cameras. There is also the option of creating a custom preset according to your color temperature (Kelvin). Using a correct white balance when taking pictures will also create a more natural feel.

Improper vs Correct WB
Improper vs Correct WB

 

My Instagram:  @hannahhhassler

My Website:   https://hannahhasslerphoto.wixsite.com/photography

Now that you know these five easy tips, try to apply them to your daily routine. Whether it is with a camera or on your phone, I guarantee you will be pleased with the results!

Let me know what you think! I would love to hear feedback on how these five tips have helped you with your photography. Comment down below with any questions you may have. 🙂

 

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16 Things To Do on a Stressful Day

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We all have our fair share of bad days. I mean, being in college is stressful by itself. For the past four years I have been able to collect a list full of things to do when I am feeling sad or stressed out that have totally helped me turn my day around. Also, I just wanted to add friendly reminders that you should do the things you love. Remember, it’s okay to treat yo’self! So, here is the list of 16 things I do to help me on a bad day:

  1. Happy Hour. It literally has the word happy in it. Grab some of your pals and hit the bars.
  2. Sing your heart out. Make sure to channel your inner Beyoncé. Dancing makes it better, too.
  3. Ice cream. My fiancé is really good at telling when I am stressed. He will go and buy me ice cream, every time. My go to: Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy.
  4. Go for a run. Because “endorphins make you happy. And happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… They just don’t.” – Elle Woods
  5. Eat food that makes you happy. This kind of goes with number three but sometimes tacos make you happy.
  6. Talk. Sometimes we just need to vent and get what is off our chest.
  7. Watch a movie by yourself. Indulge in popcorn, M&M’s and a movie of your choice!
  8. Make a list all of the things you need to get done. Then cross off the things that can wait the next day.
  9. Smile. It takes 43 muscles to frown but only takes 17 muscles to smile.
  10. Nap. Best way to hide from things for an hour or two.
  11. Bath time. Don’t forget the bath bomb and wine.
  12. Cuddle a dog (or cat). If you don’t have one, Green Bay has a couple animal shelters where the animals could use some love.
  13. Unplug. Believe it or not, it’s good to step away from social media and text messages. Your phone won’t help you de-stress.
  14. Book a trip. It could be small or big. Planning something gives you something to look forward to. I ran away from school for a week my freshmen year, and I’m glad I did it!
  15. Shopping. Retail therapy can definitely cure the blues.
  16. Cook a meal. Unless you can’t cook, go out to eat.
16 Things To Do on a Stressful Day