12 reasons why you should do a giveaway

Giveaways are important and people love them. If you ever get a wildfire going, you can’t stop it, and that’s a good thing when it comes to brand exposure. The power of referral is the gas to the task and if you do it right, people will come. They’ll join and possibly even buy from you one day. That’s the power of the giveaway. But let’s say you’re not convinced. Let’s say you think that the whole thing is total sham.

You think that it will not work because you’re attracting the wrong kind of people. Or that it gives you a bad image. Whatever reason that maybe, I want to blow it out of the water and share with you my reasons why you should in fact do a giveaway.

1. You get more exposure for cheaper

People love giveaways and naturally will share it with softwares such as King sumo. Full of excitement these guys will share and talk about it. Emotions are how humans spread a message.

2. It gives you a great self image (a giver)

Anytime you give to an atmosphere it comes back. It’s just laws of nature and the more you do it the more good that will come back. So even if you don’t make a single cent during the campaign, something good will come out of it. A good image is priceless and a giveaway can in fact help you with that.

3. People love winning free stuff

This one is self explanatory, but people love the idea of getting something for nothing. Actually ran a test here during this article. For whatever reason, people randomly type “free” into Google. I guess to see what’s free out there? Not free iPad or free smartphone, but just the word “free”. Here’s how many do that:

free

 4. A cool way to launch a podcast, blog etc.

It’s been a marketing strategy for a while but businesses are starting to do it. I’ve even see some major restaurants (like Zaxby’s) just giveaway meals to everyone the first week or so. In the middle of city. So thousands of dollars were being spent in free food. But guess what? That restaurant has more customers now than they know what to do with.

zaxbys

5.You can grow your email list with one

A guy grew his email list up to 200k emails with Kingsumo and he’s doing very well with his nice email list. It’s a great way to build traffic and grow profits.

6. More people will share this than a blog or a product page

Blogs are important because they attract traffic, but if you want to put a match to it. Consider doing a giveaway. You can usually get twice the exposure with a giveaway than a blog post and sometimes way more than that.

7. Shows you how demanding your prize (your product) is

You know iPads are in high demand, because giveaways explode when you offer them. What about your product though? How much is it in demand? Consider doing a giveaway, it will show you how demanding it is. You base this on the response that you get.

8. You’re rewarding your community

If you have a blog, people feel grateful when you give back. Everyone community needs high maintenance and if you don’t take care of them, they’ll soon fall off. If your open rates are falling, and comments are fading, consider a giveaway. This really helps with that.

9. Engagement will rise with you and potential customers

With emotion comes engagement and very crucial when building connection with our customers. According to Inc, 6 emotions can make that happen. You will be engaging many emotions with a giveaway and that’s nothing but good for you if done right.

10. Gives you another backlink to your site

By creating a page that is linked by others with a flow traffic, it could definitely help with rankings. As more people share, and more people come to visit, the more links that will be made.

11. It’s a great way to gather leads as a local business also

If you’re trying to gain exposure this is a great way to do it. As people are exposed to your brand it brings questions. Half the battle is simply showing that exist. Giveaways help with this to get you out there. Some even do monthly giveaways for this reason. If you’re a local company looking to attract leads, offer your service as a giveaway. For every email you collect, consider that person as a lead. You turn that email into a lead by sending it valuable information over a period of time.

12. Helps you learn your target audience

As your email list grows from the giveaway you will notice your audience. Soon they will read your blog and comment. They will be emailing you and telling you about their problems. Soon you will know their voice and who they are. When you know your audience the rest falls into place.

Another thing about giveaways is that it shows you how accepting the world is of your product and company. If you can’t get people to sign up for a free product, how will you get them to sign up for a paid product? So consider these reasons when debating to do a giveaway. They work and it could give you the boost you’re needing. What’s stopping you from doing a giveaway now?

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Epic Guide To Becoming A Famous Blogstar

You’re wanting to be a famous blogger with the godzilla size of an email list. You’re looking at your blog views and no one is reading the blog post about your happy puppy. The internet is getting more crowded at the speed of light and you’re feeling lost. What can you do? Keep reading.

I’ve got a game plan here (based on research) that could give you an idea of what a successful blogging strategy looks like. This post consist of email list growing, guest posting, and connection building. Make no mistake, it all starts with the list.

Let’s get started.

How To Grow Email List

When your list is pretty healthy, and it contains thousands of people, all it takes is one click. That click could retrieve traffic like thunder and have your views rolling like mighty waves.  But you must consider why anyone would even give you such sacred information such as an email address. You must consider the exchanging purpose in which they do this.

Here’s a few reasons why they would give you an email address:

  1. Stay connected with you
  2. Get amazing deals in real time
  3. Learn your strategies as you come out with them
  4. To download an amazing resource that is only available delivery via email

They must get something in return that will blow their mind. But how can you offer something to people who don’t even know you exist? You must get in front of a bigger audience and direct them back to you. You do this by guest posting.

Once you have guest posted with your link, the traffic will come, and your website will capture the emails. Hopefully your blog is built to do this. Once you capture those emails, now you have an audience. Do this every week and soon your traffic will gain speed.

How To Grow Email List With Guest Posting

You have heard about the power of guest posting I’m sure, but yet it’s not working for you. You’ve been guest posting, but you haven’t gotten anything in return. You know why? You didn’t research the blog you was writing for and the benefits it would bring.

You must get in front of big audiences to get big results. If you’re not getting 10-50 emails from the incoming traffic, you need to guest post for a bigger blog.

Example of good size blog:

  1. 300+ shares and above
  2. 50,000+ on email list
  3. 100,000 on Twitter

You determine size of a blog by it’s share numbers, number of comments, the size of email list and so forth. Remember people can buy fake followers, and lie about the size of the email list. If other big bloggers are talking about them, good chance the blogger has a large outreach.

Also don’t forget the epic Google tool: Google Trends.

With this tool you can get a feel of each blog’s power of outreach. It will also show the traffic power they have also.

Let’s go ahead and name some big sites in a list:

  1. LifeHacker
  2. Entrepreneur
  3. Business Insider
  4. Forbes
  5. Mashable
  6. Problogger
  7. Search Engine Journal
  8. Smart Passive Income

These are some big blogs here. Yeah I know, I didn’t name them all, but this is to give you an idea of big blogs. Guess what they all have in common? The editor. If you can get to the editor and show your work, good chance you can write for them. That’s if your work is actually good.

Did I mention the hardest thing you can do when it comes to writing for big blogs? Getting to the editor:) Catch-22 I know. He’s not giving out his email to just anybody.

Their is many walls before you reach the editor also. These “walls” are in fact people, and they’re known as the contributors. Build connections with the contributors and soon you’ll have a path to the editor. How do you do this though? Based on Neil Patel’s experience and mine, this is what I came up with.

13 Steps To Becoming A Famous Blogstar

  1. Find your blog that you want to write for
  2. Find articles that are related to your niche
  3. Figure out who the contributors are
  4. Search the contributors name’s online
  5. Follow them
  6. Like and favorite their stuff (let them see your name)
  7. Email them when you find an article they write amusing
  8. Comment on their stuff
  9. Get them responding
  10. Ask to be introduced to the editor (1-2 months later)
  11. Wait for editor’s email
  12. Submit your article
  13. Become famous:)

This may look easy, but in reality it’s not. Most people don’t even get past step #9. That’s why you must follow many people.

It all comes down to research, patience, and pitch. After a while you’ll learn the gut feeling. When I say this, you will soon know when the right moment has arrived to pitch. Why? You’ve done it so many times before.

How Twitter Helps

On your mobile phone, with the Twitter app, you will have the option to favorite them. After you click “Follow” on their profile, a yellow star will pop up next to the follow button. Click it. You will now receive every tweet they make. I stay on top of these people I want to build connection with and this is a great way to do it. I favorite their tweets. I read their articles. I learn who they are. So when it’s time to write them an email, I include information only a friend would know. Information like where they live, their favorite hobby, favorite game, and favorite book. All of these things are keys to unlocking a friendship that will never die.

How Google Drive Helps

I also use Google drive to organize my plan. I open up a spreadsheet and start typing out the names I’m interested in following. Next to those names I’ll include their blog, social platforms, and etc.

Next to that column I put down my actions I have made, like how many comments I have made on their blog, how many times have I retweeted their stuff and so forth. I do this to show myself how much time I have invested in each person. You can also put down how many times they have responded.

Based on replies you can guess who would be in favor in helping you one day reach the editor. See each blogger as an account, a “time account”. Once you put enough time in that account you may soon be able to cash out. Cash out as in an interview, a guest post, or a connection to a major lead in business.

How money get involved

The benefits to landing on a huge blog is many. Besides traffic, growing the list, and recognition, you can also make money doing it. By writing for one company you may get a job with another. It’s happened to me. People pay $100-$300 per article based on content and who you are. I talk about this in my article How Your Blog Can Make Money With Zero Views.

On top of that, the traffic will rise and that’s when sponsorships and affiliate marketing comes to play.

Final Thoughts

Never before could you get paid to demonstrate your skills in which produces more clients for you. It’s amazing and I love it! But money shouldn’t be the main reason you write, it should be about solving problems for the reader. It should be about growing that email list!

Show that you have answers, and that you’re always there to help. By doing this in every blog post, you’re basically advertising your name and showing the world you have what it takes.

One day that traffic will turn into something larger than yourself. It will be a community who will forever take care of you. So don’t let money be the driving force, instead let the problems they face drive you. Let it drive you to solve those problems and to build one more connection today. That’s how you become the famous blogstar.

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Bargain Prizes That Make Giveaways Go Viral

As you know the greatest way to build any business is through the email list. With the highest conversion, and highest ROI, collecting emails is one of the most amazing ways to grow your business/brand. One of the quickest ways to do this is through giveaways with prizes that doesn’t necessarily have to hurt your wallet.

The open rates are higher among list which were initially started with contest also. I know mine did. I’ll explain what I mean. Let’s take a look at my email reports below. All the “X” marks show which list had a prize offered to that list initially. From there I just send them the regular emails (in which they agreed)

List Conversion Rates

So by doing a contest and using that new list as part of the email campaign, those open rates will usually be higher. My click rate is usually a 20% among the list also, which I thank my giveaways for too. So contest are definitely a plus. You just need to make sure that one thing has been set in place with strategy: The Amazing Prize.

How to Pick Your Prize That Converts

There are so many prizes you can pick without killing the budget. I’ve heard of people buying 10 years’ worth of Lead Pages, or a years’ worth of Aweber. These are great, but not everyone can afford to do this. I mean 10 years’ worth of Lead Pages is a minimum of $3,000. Which may not fit into your budget right now, and no, more isn’t always better.

So how do you go about picking the perfect prize that fits into budget? It all begins with your audience that you have or want to have. Like for instance, let’s say your audience is a majority of gamers. You could buy the newest Xbox 360 game for $60 and give that away. By knowing your audience, you can pitch the perfect prize. I’ll give you a list of prize ideas based on category:

  • Marketers/Entrepreneurs: Seth Godin’s Books ($60 for 4 books)
  • Bloggers: The Perfect Theme ($50-$100)
  • Cooks: A Cookbook (Newest Of Course)
  • Bloggers: 1,000 photo stock images ($37 via inkydeals)
  • Musicians: 10 free lessons via Google Hangouts (from you personally)
  • Dieters: 100 recipes of Gluten Free Foods (Popular Of Course)

Whatever you’re giving away, make sure it’s a good one. You want to give something away that you know your audience is craving. You want something that doesn’t require shipping if possible. With so many digital products on high demand, I don’t see the point. It may be more beneficial in your case, but the main thing is to keep cost low. You could even get your prize free, I’ll explain later or read about my latest giveaway I did here.

How to Know if Prize is on High Demand

There are many ways to know if your product is on demand, but let’s break it down into that list I know you guys love. Here are ways to finding how demanding a prize is:

    1. High Twitter Following
    2. Listen to what your audience is talking about
    3. Look at the blog shares of the product’s blog
    4. The amount of years in business
    5. You hear about it podcast by famous bloggers
    6. It’s something you’ve always wanted

You want to make sure that all these apply to the next prize you offer. I will say that LeadPages was one of those products for my industry/niche. I heard it on podcast, the Twitter following was around 3,000 (great for a product page), the product was a needed one, and according to SimilarWeb, the traffic was amazing. See below:

LeadPages Engagement Statistics

So that’s why some people choose to go that route. I have not gone that route myself yet, because the prize hasn’t justified the price to me of $3,000. I’m sure it would do well, but I’d rather give something away that can guarantee me high ROI. I’d rather give away smaller products like new eBooks by a famous writer, or software that’s not quite as expensive without the monthly expense (such as Leadpages).

Just make sure you’ve done your research, because if that prize isn’t high in demand, you’re going to have to beg people to join. Which is a lot of work.

How to Get Prize Free

Not easy as it sounds, but I have found ways to get that prize free. Once you buy our plugin, you can find a product you’d more likely to get free. Like the newest eBook (by famous author) who’s wanting promotion, or an amazing software whose looking for exposure etc. People like this can afford to give away their product, because traffic is priceless. If you can offer good exposure, they might just go ahead and help you. If you have written for big bloggers this really helps also. Offer them some amazing benefits. Benefits Like:

    1. Exposure from your blog
    2. Exposure from your list
    3. Exposure from your podcast
    4. Exposure from guest post
    5. Exposure from the contest itself

Think about it. The product cost zero dollars to distribute and you’re doing the heavy work of promoting, guest posting, networking etc. It’s an even trade really. Like new books by famous writers, these guys are dying to get that thing out there, because they know the first 24 hours is crucial for the success of that book. So they’re pretty desperate. How to turn this into strategy:

    1. Make a list of 20 famous blogger that fit in your niche
    2. Examine their blogs
    3. Follow them on social media
    4. Favorite, and Retweet their stuff
    5. Listen for any product coming out
    6. Email them about offering that product in your contest
    7. See if you get any takes
    8. Rinse & Repeat until you get the results you want.

Final Note About Your Prize

Most important about your prize is that you want something that is related to your niche. When those people have join, you want them to know you are adding them to your email list. After the dust is settled with the contest, what makes them stay for the upcoming emails? It will be your relevant content that will actually help them down the road.

Like back to the gamer idea, if you’re a gamer and love keeping up with the latest game news, why wouldn’t you want to be updated via email about something you love? I sure would. This only happens by offering something that is related to something is passionate between you and the contestants. If you miss the mark, you will receive a lot of “unsubscribes” and possibly be shut down by Mailchimp or Aweber. Not a good day when that happens.

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KingSumo Giveaways 1.1.7 Released

We have released a feature release for the KingSumo Giveaways WordPress plugin. We recommend all users install the update to enjoy all the features Giveaways has to offer.

Changelog

  • Add extra footer setting for contestants who have entered to track conversions.
  • Hyperlink URLs in default email template for Yahoo Mail!
  • Add ability to delete contestants from a giveaway.
  • Add more headers for CDN/proxy cooperation.

Installation

To update to the latest version follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin
  2. Scroll down and select Installed Plugins from the Plugins menu
  3. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the installed plugins.  If you have 1.1.7 already then you are already up to date! otherwise proceed to step 4.
  4. Click Updates Available from the top of the Plugins list
  5. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the available updates and click update now

For more information or help see the frequently asked questions or drop support@kingsumo.com a line.

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10 Ways the Email List Crushes Facebook

With people still ranting about how Facebook is rising I wanted to bring light to something that never went away. Email marketing. For whatever reason people always flock to the newest instead of the proven. Well today I’m going to give you 10 reasons on how the email list crushes Facebook.

Am I a hater of the social media giant? No, I am aware of people who are doing well with the social network, but I want to bring justice to all platforms and show where you should really be focusing your time. And guess where that should be?  The email list.

Let’s go ahead dive in and learn these cool ten ways email beats Facebook.

1. Email has higher exposure rates

As popular as Facebook is, it is yet to compare to email marketing. One way this is true is by studying your insight statistics built within both of these platforms. According to Social@Ogilvy the reach of Facebook has been cut in half within the last year. The reach went from 12% to 6%.

Facebook Organic Reach Chart

Compare this email,  according to Mailchimp the average exposure is around 20-23% open rate. To me this low. I receive a 35% open rate on average and have gotten a 47.2%. This means the results can be 6x if not more than Facebook.

Now imagine click rates? Facebook actually punishes statuses with links. You are going to get less reach with any status with a link. I understand that Facebook wants to keep it’s users safe and that its a cold world out there, but this doesn’t help me anyway (or you).

2. Cheaper

In order to get the same results as you do with email you must pay Facebook. You’re already paying out of pocket what was already natural for email marketing. But let’s ignore this for a minute and pretend they are the same in exposure. How would the ROI compare?

DMA National Report (May 2012)

According to this graph by the DMA, the ROI is much higher for email than Facebook (Social Media). Email is 67% compared to social networking which is a 12%.

The reason being is:

  • Email has been around 10 years longer
  • More people use email (3.3 billion)
  • People trust email more than social media
  • Social media is about connecting
  • Custora study shows email customers are 11 percent more valuable than average
  • Facebook customers are average, and Twitter customers are 23 percent less valuable than average

All this revolves around one thing, trust. If you survive in the inbox and surpass all the filters you have more opportunity to build trust with the reader. Once you build trust, if that reader has money, they will buy from you. The larger your list, the more opportunity you have to make more money. People simply trust and buy more from their email accounts than Facebook.

3. Not controlled by a company

Facebook is owned Mark Zuckerberg. Email is owned by no one. Just like the internet, email is a community. Sure you have providers like Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, and others, but they do not own all email platforms. They only have a piece of the pie.

They only manage and protect users from spam. That means no one controls email and that it’s open game for anyone who doesn’t spam and follow the guidelines laid down by CAN-SPAM Act.

This is great for us and keeps the results amazingly high. Facebook on the other hand controls and manages anything organic. To see any success from Facebook anymore you must pay for it. Hardly anything is organic from this site. So if your budget isn’t high this year, neither will your success.

4. You own that list

We work hard to build our list. We direct traffic to our lead pages by guest posting, paying for ads, and providing great content just to have a healthy list. The effort is worth it because we own that list. Reason being is because that list has one thing in common and that’s you.

Even if someone was to hack your account and steal your list, it probably wouldn’t benefit them anyways. Why? That list becomes use to you and will buy because it has learned your personality and style. If they have stayed this far it’s because they like you and the content you provide. Therefore this list is only profitable for you. That’s why Mailchimp and others made sure you had permission before adding any emails, if not those people will unsubscribe within no time.

Yeah someone could make profit for a little while. But down the road people would catch on and eventually unsubscribe.

5. You can personalize that list

With email providers today you can personalize the broadcast of emails. You can give that email more of a warm feeling by adding their name and such. You can add almost anything, but you must capture it at the sign-up.

For instance, if you ask for their name and email when they sign-up, that’s all you have to include in the email.

Personalized Email Example

You can personalize with their name and bring more connection. I only suggest asking for the name and email anyways. Anything more than that could be a turn off and leave you with less emails and contacts.

Can Facebook do this to a fan-page of 100k and greet everyone by name? Please.

6. Break your list down into categories

You can break down your email list however you like. You do this to keep track and keep your list organized. You can break it down by location, gender, age group, and etc. (if you collected this information). You do this to target the users on that list. The more focused you are with this, the better the results. The user will feel more connected when they see you know a lot about them. You can make a list of 10,000 feel so close to you simply because you took the time and organized everyone in their groups. Sales will improve when people feel like you know them.

By breaking down your list into smaller list you can zone in on your users. Like in my situation I could break down my email list into smaller list in which I have captured names separating those from which I have not. I could also break my list down into time periods. If they signed up in September, I could mention that to let them know I remember. If I captured more information about them, I could break down each list based on those factors. Why would I go through all of that though? To make that person feel special. I would stick out so much compared to others simply because I took the time to organize my users into categories.

7. “The money is in the list”

Many famous bloggers are known for this quote. People like Michael Hyatt, Pat Flynn, Derek Halpern have all said it. All of these in which make good money, and we’re talking millions in some situations.  The reason being is because email is one-on-one.

As for Facebook? You could see hundreds of statuses in one day. It means nothing and people aren’t logging into Facebook in order to buy something. It’s to connect, entertain, learn, and remind.

As for email? It’s almost required to buy anything anymore. Like delivered pizza, membership to a blog, or to pre-order that next video game. People are use to this buying with their email and have done it for over two decades. So when someone is willing to give their email, that’s a step closer to their money. Getting a like from Facebook means nothing.

8. You’re more valuable with a list than social followings

What makes a brand valuable these days? It’s the following of that brand/person. What determines the sponsor pay between two blogs/podcast? The people following that brand.

If you have a healthy list, people are willing to pay you to advertise and mention their products to that list. It’s all based on your following though.

How do you measure following these days? Sponsors focus on the size of the email list,  because social networks are full of fake followers. By pulling insights from your blog, and email list you could land a sponsor ad of your dreams.

Sure social network followings help too, but unless you can prove those people are real, it’s not helping. If you have 30k followers on Twitter and no retweets within the last month? Hmm… I wonder if that will convince someone to pay you a fat check this month? Let me answer that for you. Um, no.

9. Facebook requires email to login

Even the login on Facebook shows what’s the best way to get a hold of someone. Email has 3 times the users Facebook has. No wonder Facebook asks for an email, what else could it ask for and make sense? Nothing really, email is still the gold standard for websites including Facebook which is #2 on the internet.

10. Email is filter by content, not by money

One thing about email is that it has filters just like Facebook. Not as strict as Facebook, email uses this to track spam and give users a greater experience. Facebook announced in 2014 that money would be the way to bring great content to the top and filter the rest. To me, that only brings businesses to the top with marketing agenda.  Not like email filtering which is based on content.

Filters like the tab system (created by Gmail) has given each email it’s rightful place. So instead of just disappearing altogether completely like it does on Facebook, each email is filter by the content that is within. If you have a message that isn’t too salesy, you can hit the Primary Tab. By simply bringing value and establishing connection you will be seen by your list. For Facebook, money is the only way to be seen at the highest exposure to your fanpage.

Understand I don’t hate Facebook, but I hate it when people just flock to the newest toy. I know it’s the way of the new age, and everything is about being cool. I just hate to see people spend so much money when they don’t have to. We must advertise and be everywhere, I know this. But spending your money where the highest ROI lies, that too is a great strategy. So by focusing on the email list, you could grow your efforts faster than you could Facebook. Hope this helps you today along your business journey! Thanks for reading.

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KingSumo Giveaways 1.1.6 Released

We have released a maintenance release for the KingSumo Giveaways WordPress plugin. We recommend all users install the update to ensure they’re running bug free but all WP Engine users must update.

Changelog

  • Extra checks before pushing to Mailchimp and Aweber.
  • Refactor draw() code to work around WP Engine issue.  All WP Engine users need to update to this version.

Installation

To update to the latest version follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin
  2. Scroll down and select Installed Plugins from the Plugins menu
  3. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the installed plugins.  If you have 1.1.5 already then you are already up to date! otherwise proceed to step 4.
  4. Click Updates Available from the top of the Plugins list
  5. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the available updates and click update now

For more information or help see the frequently asked questions or drop support@kingsumo.com a line.

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KingSumo Giveaways 1.1.5 Released

We have released a maintenance release for the KingSumo Giveaways WordPress plugin. We recommend all users install the update to ensure they’re running bug free.

Changelog

  • Check for conflict with other Aweber plugins and avoid.
  • Add missing [date_end] shortcode.
  • Fix template for notified winner state (template changed).
  • Encode URI components sent to sharing networks.
  • Add contestant ID to CSV.
  • Add contestant lucky URL to CSV.

Installation

To update to the latest version follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin
  2. Scroll down and select Installed Plugins from the Plugins menu
  3. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the installed plugins.  If you have 1.1.5 already then you are already up to date! otherwise proceed to step 4.
  4. Click Updates Available from the top of the Plugins list
  5. Find KingSumo Giveaways in the available updates and click update now

For more information or help see the frequently asked questions or drop support@kingsumo.com a line.

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