Your email marketing materials must stand out – not just in a user’s inbox, but once the email is opened too. In the past, email marketing campaigns that encouraged click-throughs typically did so by inspiring users. Read on to find out four ways that you can ensure your email marketing stands out from a crowded inbox and gets the message across.

Give It Personal Appeal

Nothing is more compelling than an email in which the President of the United States calls you by name. President Obama’s Change email campaign understood this exact approach. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be our nation’s leader to take advantage of it.

Email macros make it easy to include a personalized touch, but how you use a person’s name is just as important. The best emails feel personal.  And they are. So, address the customer, but also reach out like an old friend. (more…)

To pop up or not to pop up, that is the question – and the answer isn’t as simple as you think. Sometimes a pop-up is an ad, other times pop-up content is meant as an aid or helper item that provides more information to visitors; however, it could be hurting your business instead.

Read on for the lowdown on knowing when this strategy works and when you should avoid it altogether.

The Good and The Great


Image via Flickr by jonworth-eu

Rich media ads created with HTML5 are the best way to execute pop-up content. Floating rich media pop-ups appear on top of existing content and require the user to close it before he or she can continue. However, rich media ads typically take advantage of the format and include videos or a call-to-action with a reply form.

A good pop-up would also consider the type of content a user might want to see. It’s customizable and adaptable. For example, an inbound pop-up ad should be relative to the content the user is currently viewing, as in a product. Likewise, an adaptable rich media pop-up may detect the user’s Internet speed and provide relevant content without killing his or her download speeds. (more…)

Today, companies must optimize for three different user experiences: laptop/desktop, tablet, and mobile. Morgan Stanley analysts predict that more users will reach the Internet on their mobile device than on their computers by 2015 (or sooner). Take Google’s latest changes to its algorithm into account — it’s trying to better understand/produce answers for long-tail search queries (common to mobile users) — and you’ll understand the need for a quality mobile site and landing pages.

If you’re making any of the following mistakes on your mobile site, you’re leaving business on the table.

Your Images Aren’t Scalable

multiple devices
Image via Flickr by mattcornock

The images on your website should change size according to the device they’re being viewed on. If your images aren’t scalable, they won’t fit the screen view and they’ll affect text and flow. You can fix this problem by using responsive design. (more…)

When it comes to generating new leads for your business, you don’t have to do all the work. Your customers can also work for you by generating leads through social media and sharing. The following ideas are low-cost ways you can use your customers and social media to spread your company name.

You Can’t Afford to Ignore Video


Image via Flickr by Roberto Verzo

In December of 2013 alone, 188.2 million people in the United States watched online videos. Video content is no longer just for funny pet tricks and embarrassing falls. Retailers are learning that videos are an ideal way to generate sales and turn customers into brand advocates. For example, online housewares store Stacks and Stacks found that customers were 144 percent more likely to buy an item if they had viewed a video about it. With close to 55 percent growth in 2012, video is the fastest growing advertisement tool online. While the ideal product video is no more than 30 seconds long, it should also be engaging enough for consumers to share.

Of course, video content production can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. You can either hire another company to create something for you, or you can pick up your iPhone and use your computer’s editing software. (more…)

Creating a successful business has always been more than simply opening shop and waiting for customers to find you. When you’re trying to improve your business, you need to have a great marketing plan, and that includes a comprehensive social media strategy. If you want to entice customers, you’re going to want to consider having a great company Facebook page.


Image via Flickr by Bruce McKay

Select Your Page Type

The first thing you need to do when you’re creating a business page is to select the proper type of business. Pages are listed together in their different categories. If you want people to be able to find your business and interact with your company easily, this first step is crucial.

Facebook currently has six different categories you can choose from for your company:

  • Local Business or Place
  • Company, Organization, or Institution
  • Brand or Product
  • Artist, Band, or Public Figure
  • Entertainment
  • Cause or Community

There are many instances where these categories overlap. For example, a local, non-profit theatre group could select entertainment, local business, or cause/community. It all depends on what the organization wants to focus on. Choose the section that will be most beneficial to your business. (more…)

The length of a landing page is one of the key factors that will influence how well it converts your visitors, but what length is best? Read on to learn more about the long and short of landing pages.

Short Landing Pages Minimize Scrolling


Image via Flickr by Rob Ellis

Many people who are fans of short landing pages argue that they minimize scrolling. They know that studies suggest 80 percent of fixations occur “above the fold,” or the space that web users can see without scrolling. They insist that minimizing scrolling is even more important as web users abandon their traditional desktop and laptop computers for mobile devices. Statistics suggest that we’d rather not scroll if we can help it, but many landing pages just don’t lend themselves to the short format. (more…)

Your “About Us” landing page isn’t just an opportunity to introduce your business to potential clients – it’s a place to ask for the sale and so much more. Think of your “About Us” page as tool in your ROI arsenal.

If your “About Us” page contains basic information – or worse, is blank – then read on to learn how to transform your “About Us” page into a sales opportunity.

Creating an “About Us” Page

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Image via Flickr by EpicFireworks

A surprising number of companies don’t have a true “About Us” page. And no, a “Mission Statement” or “Company History” page doesn’t count. Creating a real “About Us” page is the first step to transforming your landing page into a sales opportunity. Search engines typically crawl for “About Us” pages and display them as part of your web results beneath your homepage. Potential customers use it as a direct link to learn more about not only your culture, but your services.

Lack of an “About Us” page can be a deterrent for those who are likely already shopping around for similar services. If your company can’t send a concise message about your offerings via a branded landing page, then what’s to stop your potential customer from finding the answer in another company that does just that? (more…)

Studies suggest that you have around five seconds to create an impression with your landing page, so it’s vital that your page communicates your message and creates trust in a very short space of time. The first part is usually just a matter of getting the copy right, but trust can be much harder to establish. These simple tips will help you create the right impression in an instant.

Keep it Consistent

There should be consistency between the banner that your potential customers click on, your landing page, and your entire website. If these elements don’t work together, it’ll confuse your browsers. Keep the message consistent by repeating key words and slogans on all elements, and using the same tone and type of language throughout. This will reassure visitors that they’ve come to the right place.

A consistent message will also ensure that potential customers don’t feel misled. No one will be impressed if they click a banner offering a free one-week meal plan, only to find it just leads to a discount coupon for your latest recipe base. The two ideas might be related, but this kind of “bait and switch” undermines credibility.

It’s also important that the visuals carry through each digital element. It’s smart to use the same typography and colors on each component. If you do want to spice up the shading, at least make sure you choose tones from the same color palette. (more…)

Offering a free trial is traditionally a great way for a company to get its digital foot in the door with potential customers; however, all too often, companies miss the mark when it comes to actually retaining clients. Conversions are key to your bottom line, but does your company know how to transition to sales?

How can you ensure your customers will stick around after they take a peek at your product? Read on for eight tips on retaining customers after the free trial.

1. Require a Credit Card

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Image via Flickr by Jorge Franganillo

Some users are lazy in cancelling a trial membership that automatically converts to paid, but that isn’t why you should require a credit card. The revenue you’ll receive from this stream is little at best and the numbers will hardly reflect your actual user-base. In fact, that’s the point of requiring a credit card. You want real users with real money to take a stab at your service – a credit card number is typically verifiable, which means your free-trial sign ups will be easier to track and analyze.

Actionable Tip: Pair an automatically converting membership with a clear money back guarantee. Make it easy for users to follow through and get their money back if, for instance, they continue on for one month paid, but still decide your service isn’t right. (more…)

Since the early 2000s, online shopping cart abandonment has been a growing problem, with the newest studies citing that about 67 percent of online shoppers abandon their cart and leave the website without making a purchase. Here’s how this affects your online business.

You Are Losing 67 Out of 100 Customers


Image via Flickr by Andreas Overland

Baymard combined 27 different studies to come up with the 67% shopping cart abandonment rate. The most recent study by Fireclick puts the numbers at 62 percent. Either way, that’s about two-thirds of your website traffic.

Translating the figures into more tangible terms, it means that 67 out of the 100 people who stop by your website long enough to put an item in a cart leave without buying anything. Shopify puts this into monetary terms: If you are currently making $15,000 a month in sales, you are potentially missing out on an additional $30,000 in sales every month and $360,000 every year. (more…)