At a recent business networking event, I mentioned responsive websites. A couple people in the group asked, “What is a responsive website?” After that meeting I thought a quick explanation of responsive sites could be helpful.
A responsive site is a mobile friendly site that is equally easy to use on a wide array of devices, from smartphones to tablets and up to desktop computers. In the early days of mobile browsing, designers would sometimes only show certain important information on a mobile site, such as food menu on a restaurants website. However, much research has shown that in recent years most users are doing many of the same tasks a on a mobile device as they would on a desktop; from filling out contact forms to placing an eCommerce order. Users are now days using their mobile devices the same as they do a desktop machine. Because of that, we now need to include the same set of information and pages on the mobile viewing experience as on the desktop version.
One of the easiest and best ways to tell if your site is responsive is to go to the Google Responsive Test and type in your website address. Google will do a quick scan of your site and tell you if your site is responsive, and if not it will give you a few key reasons as to what was wrong.
Mobile browsing is quickly becoming one of the most common forms of web usage. If you don’t currently have a responsive, your website is in many ways behind the times. To get your site upgraded to a responsive site, please get in touch with us.
When I talk to clients about blogging, email newsletters or social media, I often get asked about what they should write about. What you write about isn’t necessarily the most important thing to think about. What you should be thinking about and keeping in mind, is that it’s all about the conversation between you and your community.
While it’s important for you to be talking about things related to your industry or business, at the end of the day you are really just having a conversation with people. Make sure that your writings and posts are written in a similar tone and style to which you speak. Some people think that since they are writing they need to use big words or come across as a very well educated writer – not at all true, but do be sure to use spell check and proof read things.
The goal with these different types of communications is to keep you and your company front and center with your community. It’s really no different from calling someone or going out for a cup of coffee. Just be yourself and share your ideas and provide some value. We may live in a high tech world, but people still buy from people.
Every few months I’ll get handed a business card or get an email from someone who has an email address @aol.com. I always recommend getting a new address. AOL hasn’t been a big name in the web for years and they’re pretty much a laughing point now.
An email @google.com or @yahoo.com would be a better option. And if you have a website, be sure to use an email address @ YourDomainName.com. You can always set the email up to forward to your other preferred email address, just don’t publish them. The email address @YourDomainName.com always looks much more professional.
Scam, spam, or legitimate? Sounds like a cheesy TV game show or a Saturday Night Live skit, but it’s actually a game we have to play on near daily basis with our emails. I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from clients and friends asking about emails that they’ve been receiving and wondering if they are a scam, spam, or legitimate. When it comes to figuring out if an email is scam, spam, or legitimate, Grandma’s teachings still hold true – if it sounds too good to be true, it’s a lie (or in this case scam or spam).
Obviously, if the Prince of Nigeria needs to hide a bunch of money, he’s not going to be asking you or me. There is no million dollar Russian lottery that you won, keep in mind they use rubles, no dollars. And you don’t have a rich great uncle that dies and needs you bank account to send your inheritance to. And yes, these are all emails that I’ve been asked about in recent months.
Another one I’ve seen recently was about wanting to buy a domain name. These can be tricky, because sometimes people will ant to buy a domain name from you. I have sold a domain name once when asked about it. A quick way to tell if these emails are scam, spam, or legitimate it to take a unique line of text in the email and Google it. If the first five listings say “it’s a scam!” then that email is junk.
If you do get an email about your domain name or any other emails and you can’t figure out if it’s a scam, spam, or legitimate, let me know and I’d be happy to help you figure it out.
Like many people, I get dozens of emails a day. Many of them are marketing emails from various companies wanting me to buy this or that – many of those emails get deleted. But of the few that get opened and read, there’s usually one key thing that sets them apart – a captivating subject line.
We’ve all done it before; judged a book by its cover (or title). A great subject line does two key things. One, it ties into or sparks some emotions in the reader. And two, it has a sense of urgency to get the reader to open right away.
One of the best email subject lines I’ve ever read was last fall. It was in the middle of November and was getting pretty cold outside and it was just about lunch time. I was debating what I wanted to do for lunch and I heard the little beep beep that I had a new email. All I did was read the subject line and I was sold. Keep in mind it was cold and it was lunch time. What was the subject line?
Want a hot lunch? $7 large pizza!
The subject line sparked some emotions in me – it was cold outside and I was hungry. It also set some urgency by using the words “lunch” and “get.” I didn’t think twice about it and ordered my pizza.
I don’t remember what the rest of the email said. I opened the email and picked up the phone and order by large pizza for $7 and the hot pizza was there in about 30 minutes.
Next time you send out a marketing email, or any email for that matter, try adding in some emotional pulls and set some urgency in the subject line.
Now, who wants some pizza?
I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about the United States Postal Service shutting down different branches/locations and eliminating deliveries on Saturday. I can’t say that I’m entirely surprised to hear this. Since its arrival on the scene, email has continually been taking a bite out of the market that used to be handled exclusively by the USPS. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to be utilizing an email marketing campaign.
I’ve talked before about an email marketing newsletter being part of your website marketing Hat Trick. There are countless uses for an email marketing campaign. For example, email marketing campaigns work well for introducing new products or services, announcing a special sale or promotion, or simply to display your knowledge and expertise about your industry.
There are a couple of things that you can do to help make sure you get the most out of your campaign. First, make sure you have a strong subject line. Many would argue that the subject line is the most important part of a newsletter. A subject line such as “Company XYZ Monthly Newsletter” really has nothing to captivate the subscriber into opening the email. It is beyond easy for a user to simply delete a newsletter if they are not captivated by the subject line (I have several newsletters I get every day that are deleted right away because there is nothing in the subject line to spark my interest). While writing this blog, I received an email newsletter that I will definitely open – it’s from Domino’s Pizza and the subject line reads, “Carry out a $5 oven baked lunch”. The subject line hit on many of the key areas that will interest users, especially if the email was sent out shortly before lunch hour like it was.
The second thing you should be sure to do is to use a custom designed template for your campaign. Your template should be designed based on your website because you should keep all of your online marketing consistent. Even with a great subject line, I’m tempted to delete an email if it doesn’t catch my eye. A well designed email template will do just that. It will get you away from the standard black text and white background email we’ve seen for years. A custom designed template will allow you to easily add in your own copy and pictures while providing a design that will keep users engaged.
We’ve written a few posts in the past about how to market a website, but I thought it would be helpful to do one more, and bring all three aspects we’ve talked about together. When you utilize blogging,Social Media, and Email Marketing you can see a great return on your investment as you complete the Website Marketing Hat Trick.
One marketing element that all businesses should utilize is a blog. Blogging can help increase your overall search engine ranking, as well as help you to showcase your expertise and knowledge in your industry. By writing good posts on a regular basis, your clients will continue to return to your site, looking for more expert knowledge, and possibly complete a make a purchase or contact you (whatever the goal of your site may be).
Facebook has over 500 millions users, odds are that some of them are either existing or potential customers. With a Facebook account for your business, you have a great avenue for introducing new products or services, announcing new sales or specials, or just opening a unique dialog amongst your customers and Facebook community. With new posts made on your Facebook wall, try to include a link back to your main website. By doing this, you’ll help pull visitors back to your site to complete your sites objective, and it also can help increase your search engine ranking.
Acquiring new customers isn’t always an easy task. Once you have a customer, or even just a potential client, you’d want to stay in communication with them. By using an email marketing campaign, you can announce new products or services, sales or promotions, or simply stop in and say “hello.” A well written email, especially one with a custom email template, can yield great results. With a custom template, your email can easily stand out from all the other dozens of emails your subscribers get a day.
The game plan for search engine optimization is changing. The emphasis is no longer on gaming the search engines. It’s about providing your users with quality information at their convenience. By using these three marketing avenues – Blogging, Facebook, Email Marketing – you can see a great return on your investment with higher sales, and a more loyal customer following. If you would like to learn more about putting the Website Marketing Hat Trick to work for your company, get in touch with us today. Are you currently using any or all three of these marketing tools? How are they working for you?