How private is my data in Evernote?

Well I had a bit of a shock today. I use Evernote religiously. I mean I actually don’t know how I managed to even function before Evernote. I use it on all my devices and I use it to organise EVERYTHING. It simply is THE BEST.
So imagine my surprise.
I was somehow under the impression that when I stop using Evernote on a computer, and log out of the app, the notes would not be accessible to anyone else. Well I had another think coming, didn’t I.
There, snugly in my users folder, are the files:

Which can be opened by any text editor, native Windows Notepad or Notepad++, not to look too far.
And while the file looks encrypted at a first glance, and about half of it looks like this:

there are whole notes visible and searchable and accessible in there as well:

I have contacted Evernote over this, and their response stated that:
– files over 500MB cannot be opened by Notepad – which doesn’t really help me as my file is about 50MB, and isn’t the point really
– I can add encryption to specifically sensitive notes – while I appreciate that, I was kinda under the impression that there was a log-in and log-out option there for a reason, ie if I log out at the end of the day, other people can’t access my content, like Google Drive sort of thing, right? RIGHT?

“I know that this can be a bit disconcerting but please rest assured that your data is safe with us.”

Well it is massively disconcerting. And no, it doesn’t feel that my data is all that safe. Makes me wonder what other computers I’ve ever used Evernote on and should I try to remove the data….


Evernote seems to be under fire over the new privacy policy, but really, if you look at the above, they probably had access to it anyway?


Instagram business accounts

Business accounts are coming to Instagram, and with them – some powerful analytics capabilities:


“Instagram is giving marketers everything they could ever ask for: follower demographic analytics. Now, you’re able to see where your followers are located, their gender, and their age.”

Apart from user insights, we will also be able to look into post analytics and view the reach, impressions and clicks. The userbase was desperate for these, and Instagram has listened.

But we still miss the old logo!

Read more: Your First Look at Instagram’s New Analytics

social media

I am often asked about social media and how jewellers should use them for digital marketing. And usually they’re are after a recipe: this may celebrity posts, this many product posts and this many ‘events’ posts and WE’RE ALL SET.

It’s very very hard to explain that this isn’t exactly how it works. That you have to find your own voice and figure out how to communicate your brand values. That your business needs to have a personality. When you follow the brands that do it REALLY well, like Astley Clarke, Tiffany, Stone and Strand, you feel that they are sharing their passion with you, that you get a glimpse into their world, a insider look at who they are and what they do. And with other companies you know are being ‘marketed to’ and ‘talked at’. Shown products. I can’t explain it any better than that, and unfortunately following a recipe or worse, copying the ‘good’ ones just doesn’t work. What works for one company, might not work for another.

The absolute best example is Boden. If you know the brand, the moment I mention this name you have an image in your head: colour, fun, style, happiness, polka dots, yellow jackets.. and so on. They manage to create a ‘vibe’ and a whole ‘boden world’; someone there has an amazing ‘voice’ to put to the brand. But that style/vibe might not work for your business, if you try to copy Boden or Tiffany, it’s very obvious. Instead, you should try and tap into the core values, figure out what your brand is really about and what makes it different than any other, find a way to let the passion for what you do to speak through the social media content. And include some fun in there too, a bit of playfulness works a treat :D

Social media, e-commerce and conversion rates

The Christmas shopping bonanza is peaking just about now, and while we’re a bit quieter, t here’s time to look at some figures.
For quite some time now we were leaning towards the opinion that while social media are a fun channel to engage on, they don’t exactly convert when it comes to purchases. Looking across the board on all our sites, those trading actively and those that are catalogue-only, we are definitely seeing a trend. Below I’ve shown stats for two of our of our most active retail sites:

Website 1

Organic traffic: 45% of acquisition and 56% of sales with 1.95% conversion rate.
Direct: 20% acquisition, 19% of sales and 2.05% conversion rate
Email accounts for 10% acquisition and is responsible for 9,5% of transactions, with 1.67% conversion rate (bounce rate is 31% against site average of 29%
Social media account for about 2% of acquisitions with 1.1% of transactions, with 0.73% conversion rate (where facebook sports 0.72% conversion rate compared to twitter’s 2.65%) (bounce rate is 26% against site average of 29%).

Website 2

Organic traffic accounts for 49% acquisitions and 51% of transactions, with 1.52% conversion rate
Referrals: 22% of acquisitions but only 6.5% of transactions,
Direct: 17% acquisition, 29% of transactions and 2.94% conversion rate
Email accounts for 11% of acquisitions and is responsible for 13% of transactions, with 0.90% conversion rate (bounce rate is 36% against site average of 26%)
Social media account for about 0.74% of acquisitions and 0.6% of transactions, with 1.04% conversion rate (bounce rate 47% against site average of 26%)
(again facebook drives 7x more visitors than twitter, but has lower conversion rate at 1.13% compared to 1.85% for twitter, but overall 4x the amount of transactions).
In multichannel funnels, email is involved in 16% of visits, while social doesn’t seem to be involved in any multichannel funnels at all.

Paid advertising is not included in the stats, but is a reasonably well-performing channel.

Across the board, the highest acquisition rate we’ve seen for social media is 3.5%, but it’s important to note that on that particular site the social media traffic did not result in ANY sales.

Our figures seem to be consistent with recent studies:

Direct email marketing is the most popular trigger for online shopping, suggests research from shopping and price comparison website Give as you Live, with 64% of consumers likely to stop what they are doing to click an email link from a retailer,

The study of 4,234 UK shoppers in November found that social media posts and advertising were less appealing – wooing a comparatively meager 10% of shoppers each.



Well, put it simply, the social media don’t seem to be a key acquisition channel, both in terms of visitors and definitely when it comes to transactions. The social media figures above do not include any paid advertising, but even then the conversion rate seems to be in the lows.

Of course, as part of our clients’ websites’ objective is to drive more traffic through the door, we can’t exactly say that the social media never result in sales. I am looking at the above figures as indication only, but they do confirm that onboarding, targeted email campaigns and acquisition through optimization and referrals are more important to invest effort into, than social media.
I am not saying that we should abandon marketing through social media or stop using them, not at all. Social media are a GREAT channel when it comes to raising brand awareness, customer service and communications. But I have been to a couple of seminars for retailers recently, where we were told that the best investment now is to send staff for social media training, and I disagree with that.
There are so many better areas to explore, educating the staff on how to improve content in the new digital environment in general, get them more involved in creating content, improve CX using the chat facilities, training on how to write engaging newsletters and create personalized emails to customers, would all be a better investment in my opinion.

e-commerce and retail – the next big thing?

Got to discussing the Next Big Thing in e-commerce with a friend yesterday.
Personally, I think the single user view is the next big ‘to do’, collating online and offline customer data could be a dealbreaker when it comes to targeting and personalisation. Online buying patterns might differ greatly from the offline brick and mortar shop purchases and the retailers need to find a way to collate those data sets, using the ‘digital passport’ or any other means.
To be effective, the marketing message needs to be consistent and carefully targeted across ALL channels. You might be missing huge opportunities, if your print marketing is different to your online, because you’re going on store purchases. Or if you’re segmenting, and marketing to, your online customers based on their online purchases (while they would only buy silver under £500 on your site, the same person might happily buy precious jewellery over £1,000 in your store).

My friend, a digital marketer herself, thinks that an even bigger shift to mobile devices, mainly tablets, is the one to look for. Any company adapted and prepared for that is going to win big (much scope for creative segmenting here as well). Recent data trends (via dotRising) seem to support that…

time will tell..

Fast pace of digital

Couple of talks at recent digital marketing events made me realise that we’re all scrambling hard to keep the pace. We were all happy to deploy our shiny new responsive sites, only to see bootstrap release v3, now it’s the mobile-first approach. Adaptive is the new responsive, twitter cards are already old hat, Facebook business pages go through yet another update. Not to mention all the new APIs for e-commerce and fulfillment. You’ve deployed the universal analytics but that’s not quite enough. Segmentation is the new black, and it all takes time to implement and adjust your digital offering to new approach, personalization and all. And why are you not on Vime??

It was refreshing to hear others admit honestly that they are also finding the pace challenging. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, that’s why we’re all in digital, right? Because it offers so much variety and adapts quickly to new times. But it does all make your head swirl. Just a bit :)

digital marketing trends

Strongly recommend Econsultancy and dotRising, two brilliant resources on digital marketing and the upcoming trends. They carry a wide selection of topics, with very good in-depth data driven analysis, as well as superb walk-throughs and examples from real campaigns.

Another regular read is TrendWatching, focused on new marketing approaches and strategy in general, not just digital. Their briefings give real insight into changing consumer trends, with very good implementation examples.

web apps and pinterest

A curious thing.. We are introducing probably an all-time-high of web apps onto the market these days, beautiful new apps, streamlining workflows, enabling collaboration, optimising processes and just about doing everything. At the same time we’re advising clients on how to effectively market through social media. In interwebs timescales, Pinterest has been around forever now.
So, why, when I want to pin a new great tool onto my ‘Tools/Apps’ Pinterest board, there are ‘no pinnable things on the page’? It would be so simple to include a little banner with logo or screen a short description? Campaign Monitor, PourOver, Marvel AppPeak, Solo, Buffer.. the list is endless.. Or do we not consider it priority?

meltdown and crisis management

Now and again there comes a day, when everything than can, just breaks. The bugs and errors pile up, or the whole data centre goes down, one frantic phone call follows another, getting to the bottom of issues among a circle of suppliers takes FOREVER, and nothing seems to be getting fixed. It’s called a ‘s**t day’, and it just comes from time to time, we work with computers, it just can’t be helped. Murphy’s law kicks in and one disaster attracts another, and there it goes.

Just hold on. Don’t panic. Keep your nerves in check, it WILL pass. Don’t have another coffee! Prioritize the problems, resolve what you can, beg with suppliers and trust that they’re doing everything to remedy the situation. Shout if they aren’t :) And slowly slowly it will all start falling into place. Talk to clients, pick up the phone and keep them informed, they will appreciate it. If they get impatient, remind them that none of it happened on purpose, and that you’re working hard to fix things. Hopefully they’ll understand, and if not, you’ve done your best. You will also learn a lot from this. A meltdown will show you all the holes you need to plug, the bugs and setup issues. You will fix all these things and everything will work better. Until next time ;)

product tank october (2)

At the October London Product Tank, one member of the audience asked the panelist ‘how do you know, if to improve the product, keep optimising, or just to scrap the whole project?’

I thought it was a good question, in terms of experience. I think, but it would be good to hear other people’s opinions, that it all boils down to gut feeling. If the product is underperforming, Jo Binding said, you can go back to initial stages, and re-assess the approach, evaluations, see where you’ve gone wrong and that might give you a hint of where to look to improve/fix. However, the decision to keep improving or scrap will at some point be down to your instincts. You will know if the product has enough potential, or you will know deep down that the chance has passed.

(And I’m not talking here about products that you knew from the beginning were wrong, and you were producing them as demanded by stakeholders)