Cold Email Marketing A Powerful Lead Generation Strategy

In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, where competition is fierce and attention spans are fleeting, finding innovative ways to generate leads is crucial for business success. Cold email marketing has emerged as a powerful and often underestimated strategy for acquiring new leads, fostering relationships, and driving revenue. In this article, we delve into the reasons why your business should embrace cold email marketing as a key component of your lead generation arsenal.

1. Direct Access to Your Target Audience:
Cold email marketing provides a direct and unobtrusive way to reach your target audience. Unlike other marketing channels where your message competes for attention, emails land directly in your prospect’s inbox. Crafting compelling subject lines and personalized content ensures that your emails stand out and grab the recipient’s attention, offering a valuable opportunity to make a meaningful connection.

2. Cost-Effective Lead Generation:
For businesses operating on a budget, cold email marketing presents a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising and outbound marketing strategies. With minimal upfront costs and no need for expensive ad space, businesses can execute targeted email campaigns at a fraction of the cost, making it an ideal choice for startups and small enterprises looking to maximize their return on investment.

3. Scalability and Efficiency:
Cold email marketing allows for easy scalability. Whether you’re a burgeoning startup or an established enterprise, you can tailor your cold email campaigns to suit the size of your target audience. Automation tools enable the efficient scheduling and sending of emails to a large number of prospects, saving time and resources while maintaining a personalized touch through segmentation and customization.

4. Data-Driven Decision Making:
The beauty of cold email marketing lies in its measurability. Analytics provide insights into key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This data allows businesses to track the performance of their campaigns, identify what works, and refine their strategies accordingly. The ability to make data-driven decisions ensures continuous optimization, leading to more effective lead generation over time.

5. Personalization for Greater Impact:
The success of cold email marketing hinges on the ability to personalize your messages. By leveraging data about your prospects, you can tailor your emails to address their specific needs, pain points, and interests. Personalization goes beyond just using the recipient’s name; it involves crafting content that resonates with their challenges and aspirations, significantly increasing the likelihood of engagement.

6. Building Relationships and Trust:
Cold email marketing, when executed thoughtfully, is not just about making a sale; it’s about building relationships. Consistent and relevant communication fosters trust over time. By providing value through informative content, industry insights, or exclusive offers, businesses can position themselves as valuable resources rather than mere service providers, ultimately leading to stronger, long-lasting relationships with leads.

7. Targeting Niche Markets:
Cold email marketing enables businesses to target specific niches with precision. Whether you’re aiming to connect with a particular industry, geography, or demographic, cold emails allow you to tailor your messaging to resonate with the unique needs and challenges of that niche. This focused approach increases the relevance of your communication, making it more likely that your message will resonate with the recipients.

8. Overcoming Geographical Barriers:
For businesses with global aspirations, cold email marketing is a game-changer. It transcends geographical barriers, allowing you to reach prospects in different corners of the world. This global reach opens up new opportunities for expansion and growth, providing access to markets that may have been challenging to tap into through traditional means.

9. Immediate Response and Feedback:
Cold email marketing facilitates swift communication and immediate responses. Prospects can reply to emails, ask questions, or express interest in real-time. This instant feedback loop is invaluable for businesses, allowing them to gauge the effectiveness of their messaging and adapt their approach based on the responses received.

10. Adaptability in Changing Markets:
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, adaptability is key to survival. Cold email marketing allows businesses to pivot quickly and adjust their messaging based on market trends, customer feedback, or changes in the competitive landscape. This flexibility ensures that your lead generation efforts remain relevant and effective in the face of evolving market dynamics.

In conclusion, cold email marketing is a dynamic and adaptable strategy that holds immense potential for lead generation. When executed strategically, it provides businesses with direct access to their target audience, cost-effective scalability, and the ability to build meaningful relationships. By leveraging the power of personalization, data-driven insights, and efficient automation, businesses can unlock the full potential of cold email marketing as a driving force behind their lead generation efforts. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, embracing the art and science of cold email marketing can be a transformative step towards sustained business growth.

Website redesign SEO checklist: Retaining and improving SEO

A new website should be an opportunity to improve SEO, conversion rates and digital marketing as a whole. Unfortunately, it can also be an SEO disaster if not carefully managed. This is a website redesign seo checklist.

This article outlines the main areas you must consider when redesigning a website to ensure you retain (and improve) your SEO.

A cautionary tale

Maintaining traffic during a redesign can be tricky.

Google’s John Mueller was asked if there is a way to prevent traffic loss during a redesign, and he had a strong, simple answer – no.

Website redesign SEO checklist

During my career, I have seen many new, expensive, mission-critical websites that have wholly decimated important and profitable organic traffic.

However, one project has always stuck with me among the many horror stories.

The website was for a small multiple sclerosis (MS) charity. The charity promoted a natural approach to helping with MS and, as such, was not well-funded.

The site had gradually built organic traffic over several years but desperately needed a visual overhaul.

After a protracted website redesign involving two companies over 12 months, the new site finally launched. Everyone was super excited about taking things to the next level.

And then this happened:

Website redesign SEO checklist

Organic traffic dropped by over 90%. 

This was not simple turbulence – the traffic stayed low.

Excitement turned into panic.

After a month of waiting for things to improve and receiving no support from either of the web design agencies involved, we got the call and took it on as a pro bono project.

To try and resolve these issues after the fact is difficult.

It is hard enough if you consider your organic traffic from the outset – but to try and reverse engineer the problems is far more difficult.

Where SEO has not been considered, any number of problems may make recovering traffic problematic.

Fortunately, with much pain, wailing and gnashing of teeth, we recovered around 90% of the traffic. But it was painful for all involved.

Two years later, we helped architect a new site and weave SEO into the website planning, enabling the charity to supersede historic organic traffic.

With this site, we were careful to establish clear SEO goals and track SEO KPIs, so we understood what worked and used that to inform the website planning.

The SEO website redesign takeaway is simple – failing to plan is planning to fail. 

SEO and website redesign: The basics

Maintaining (and ideally improving) your rankings and organic traffic during a redesign has three key components:

  • An understanding of what works currently with your SEO.
  • Knowledge of common issues that crop up with a redesign.
  • A detailed plan of what will change on the new site.

My advice would always be to aim high. Don’t just try to retain traffic. Look to improve it. Research to understand both your SEO strengths and weaknesses. 

Let us look at each of these areas in more detail.

What works currently

If you are running SEO campaigns, you should (hopefully) have a good idea of what is working currently: keywords and topics that rank, pages that bring in organic traffic and any other organic visibility.

By clearly documenting what works, you can ensure this is factored into the design and planning for the new website – you can’t rank for something that is no longer there!

Common issues

There are many reasons for a site redesign, and this can be as much to do with branding and technology as it can be with traffic and lead generation.

Things that typically can change or be problematic for SEO during a redesign include:

  • Content can be removed. (It won’t rank if it is not there!)
  • Content can be changed.
  • Content may move within the site’s hierarchy.
  • URLs may change.
  • Page-level optimization may change.
  • New content can be added.
  • New sections can be added to the site.
  • New technology or features may be used.
  • New technical issues can be introduced.
  • Internal link structure could change.
  • The domain name may change.
  • The subdomain may change.
  • The protocol may change.

Any of the above can cause issues with your SEO. And if there are multiple issues, such as content changing and being moved to a new URL, then it gets harder to diagnose the root cause of problems.

Multiple issues can multiply your SEO problems. Changing your website’s domain, hosting, CMS and architecture in one go? This will multiply the likelihood of SEO problems.

Have this conversation with the team so you can balance the desire for change with the need to retain and improve organic traffic. Remember, you don’t need to do everything at once in most cases, so minimize the variables.

Ensure that during all website planning discussions, an SEO stakeholder is involved and armed with information on what works and must be factored into the new site.

Get SEO in at the planning stage – don’t try to fix things when development has started.

What will change with the redesign?

Armed with a knowledge of what works and what can go wrong, you can review the goals for the new site.

Two key SEO goals should be:

  • To preserve the existing rankings and traffic.
  • To improve the rankings and traffic.

Ideally, you will have a complete sitemap for the new site that you can use to compare against the existing site and create mappings for URL moves.

Website redesign SEO checklist

Fortunately, with some preplanning, avoiding SEO disasters and maintaining SEO during a website redesign is pretty straightforward. Website redesign SEO checklist.

Following the stages in this website redesign SEO checklist will ensure you preserve your precious SEO rankings and traffic.

1. Keep the old site live

Keep the old site live on a private web address if you can. Make sure a crawler can’t access the site.

Some HTTP authentication is best, but having the old site to refer to when you hit a snag can be a godsend.

Some or part of the site will often be on the web archive, but having the real thing is way better.

2. Save crawl data

Save a crawl of the old site, even if you have the site on a temp URL. Screaming Frog is great for this, and again, you can load up the old site crawl if you need to do any analysis.

3. Don’t fix what is not broken

Keep things the same where you can – particularly URLs. If you can keep the URL structure and page names the same, there is way less that can go wrong.

If you have to make changes, so be it. But make sure they are warranted for the greater good, not just done for the heck of it.

Remember, you don’t need to keep things that are not working.

4. Set up 301 redirects

Redirecting old URLs to new ones should be the first job on your list. If possible, keep content on the duplicate URLs when redesigning a site.

For instance, a WordPress or Shopify redesign can keep the same URL structure. This is desirable. If not, you will want a spreadsheet of all URLs on the old and new sites to implement and test your 301 redirects.

When the new site is live, you will want to crawl the old list of URLs (another time that saved crawl comes in handy) to ensure everything 301 redirects correctly.

5. Maintain your content

Where you have content that performs well, you’ll want to minimize changes (or improve it).

There will be plenty of opportunities to tweak your content in its new home after it is indexed and ranked, but for now, aim to minimize the variables of change.

6. Optimize for on-page elements

Crawling your old site will allow you to easily export all key on-page elements: page titles, meta descriptions, headers, etc.

Where the site is well optimized, keep these elements the same.

Document your backlinks and where URL changes are made. Attempt to update these links – research in Google Search Console and the typical link index tools.

Once you have a list, contact the website managers to update these where possible. You should have a 301 in place, so don’t lose any sleep over this, but updated backlinks can help get the new site indexed and ranking quickly.

Be mindful of any changes to the internal link structure. Again, your historic crawl data can be helpful here.

If you have pages that had thousands of internal links previously but are now barely linked, then this can impact the rankings for that page.

9. Update your XML sitemap

Update your XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing.

We want our 301s, page structure, navigation and XML sitemap to align and indicate the new site structure to help search engines understand the changes quickly.

10. Monitor rankings

You can expect some fluctuations, but you should be back at a baseline within a month or so of launch (ideally sooner).

If you have issues, investigate them now to identify and resolve them. Sometimes, with more significant sites, it can take longer for deeper pages to be recrawled, so be mindful of this. Website redesign SEO checklist.

11. Monitor organic traffic

For larger sites, you can never rank-track every possible keyword that drives traffic, so also monitor traffic to key pages to ensure you see improvements.

You can compare a simple before and after using Google Search Console that will clearly document any drops so you can take action.

12. Do a technical site audit

Ideally, use a technical site audit tool to provide proactive information on any technical issues.

13. Use Google Search Console

Google Search Console keeps improving and will give you diagnostic information directly from Google. Here you can track:

  • Indexing.
  • Sitemaps.
  • Page experience.
  • Mobile usability.
  • Products.
  • Enhancements.
  • Links.

If you have problems, the information here can help you track and remediate them. Website redesign SEO checklist. 

Retain and improve your SEO during a redesign

The crucial factor here is planning.

New websites fail in many ways, but always due to a lack of diligent planning.

SEO failures in website redesigns are, in our experience, nearly always down to a lack of planning and a clear and well-articulated SEO plan for the new site. 

Ensure that SEO is factored into the website redesign process, and you can launch your new site confidently.

How to calculate your SEO ROI

 

2023-08-24_22-18-40

Why use a CRM

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a software tool designed to help businesses manage and optimize their interactions with customers and potential customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle. There are several reasons why businesses use CRM systems:

1. **Centralized Customer Data**: CRM systems store and organize customer information in a central database. This allows businesses to have a holistic view of their customers, including contact details, purchase history, interactions, preferences, and more. Having all this information in one place enables better decision-making and personalized communication.

2. **Improved Customer Service**: CRM systems facilitate better customer service by providing quick access to customer information. When a customer contacts the company, the support team can easily retrieve relevant information, understand the customer's history, and provide more tailored assistance, leading to a better customer experience.

3. **Sales and Lead Management**: CRM systems help sales teams manage leads, track sales opportunities, and forecast revenue. By capturing interactions with leads and customers, businesses can better understand their sales pipeline, identify potential bottlenecks, and make data-driven decisions to improve sales processes.

4. **Marketing Automation**: CRM systems often integrate with marketing automation tools. This integration allows businesses to create targeted marketing campaigns, segment their audience, and send personalized messages based on customer behavior and preferences.

5. **Data Analysis and Reporting**: CRM systems offer reporting and analytics features that provide insights into customer behavior, sales trends, and overall business performance. This data-driven approach helps businesses make informed decisions and adjust their strategies as needed.

6. **Task and Time Management**: CRM systems can help teams manage tasks, appointments, and follow-ups. This ensures that important interactions with customers are not overlooked and helps maintain a consistent and organized approach to customer interactions.

7. **Enhanced Collaboration**: CRM systems often have collaboration features that enable different teams within an organization (sales, marketing, customer service) to work together seamlessly by sharing customer information, notes, and updates.

8. **Customer Segmentation and Personalization**: By categorizing customers into segments based on their behaviors and preferences, businesses can create personalized marketing messages and offers, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.

9. **Customer Retention and Loyalty**: A CRM system can help track customer interactions, enabling businesses to proactively address concerns, provide timely support, and build stronger relationships. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocates for the brand.

10. **Scalability and Growth**: As a business expands, managing customer relationships manually becomes challenging. A CRM system provides a scalable solution that can accommodate larger volumes of customer data and interactions without sacrificing quality.

In essence, a CRM system streamlines and optimizes customer-related processes, leading to improved customer satisfaction, increased sales, and more efficient internal operations. It allows businesses to build stronger, more personalized relationships with their customers, which ultimately contributes to long-term success.

Team Debello's custom configured CRM platform is called Magnetic-Leads and has all the tools and integrations you need for marketing, sales, content management, and analytics reporting. Each product in the platform is powerful alone, but the real magic happens when you use them together.

These 5 ways can help improve your PPC lead quality

Online leads are not all equal. The quality of those leads ultimately matters in driving meaningful business outcomes.

Focusing on high-quality leads in your PPC campaigns increases your return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Additionally, improving lead quality allows salespeople to focus on more promising opportunities, streamline their sales process, and cultivate a loyal customer base.

Here are the tools and strategies you can employ to drive better leads and more ideal customers to your doorstep:

Key 1: Teach Google what a good lead looks like

Google’s ad bidding algorithm is a sophisticated system determining whom to target and how much to pay for a click.

The algorithm considers many factors, such as the bid, the ad and landing page quality, the expected click-through rate, and other historical performance data.

The better quality data you can provide to Google, the better the algorithms will do your bidding (literally).

You can do this by providing Google the following:

  • Clean conversion tracking, depending on what clean means for you.
  • Customer lists that are filtered for your highest-quality customers while meeting the 1,000-user threshold.
  • Conversion values for designating more highly profitable leads from others.

Positive feedback loops

Algorithms like Google’s ad bidding system are designed to continuously improve performance by leveraging a feedback loop. This loop allows the algorithm to learn from past decisions and adjust its strategies for better outcomes.

When the algorithm receives accurate and high-quality initial inputs, it establishes a strong foundation for this learning process. The algorithm can make increasingly precise bidding decisions as it refines its understanding of user behaviors and preferences.

Fueled by the right inputs, this positive feedback loop results in more accurate learnings and better bidding decisions, enhancing campaign effectiveness and improving return on investment.

Key 2: Don’t neglect offline conversion tracking

One of the best practices for improving your PPC lead quality is offline conversion tracking or Enhanced Conversions for Leads.

Offline conversion tracking in Google Ads lets you link online ad interactions with offline actions, like in-store purchases or phone orders.

Doing so better informs Google’s bidding algorithms on what and who to optimize for increased profits and offline sales.

Here’s how it works:

High-quality lead data curation

Compile your online leads that generated revenue offline with an average volume of 30 or more per month and an average lag of 90 days or less.

Consider creating a database of all of the high-quality leads generated, whether they purchased or not. This is recommended because we aim to inform Google of the ideal lead candidates and to generate more of these, whether they become customers or not.

Integration with CRM or database

Next, integrate your offline data with Google Ads. This can be done by collecting and associating a Google Click ID (GCLID) with your leads.

Alternatively, consider using Enhanced Conversions for Leads for less technical and more streamlined implementation.

Ideally, you will have an automatic upload of this data into Google Ads regularly. If you use Salesforce or HubSpot, Google Ads has an easy and direct integration for uploading these offline sales conversions.

Attribution and reporting

Once Google matches the lead with the originating click ID, it can attribute the ads, keywords, campaigns, etc., that drive these valuable offline actions.

You can see reporting on the associated metrics like conversion value, conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Identify optimization opportunities

This data lets you understand which keywords, ads, or campaigns drive the most valuable offline conversions.

These insights will help you to make informed decisions about budget allocation, keywords, ad creatives, and targeting to optimize your campaigns.

Google Ads conversion tracking

Key 3: Exclude low-quality lead sources

Once you can identify what is generating your best-quality leads, you want to use these insights to pull spending away from your low-quality lead sources.

Audience demographics such as age and household income levels will come to light.

For example, you could discover that conversions are from 18- to 24-year-olds but not revenue. Use this discovery to exclude those age demographics from accruing ad spending in your campaigns.

Placement exclusions

Regularly check your placements report for low-quality websites, apps, and YouTube channels where your ads showed.

This can be tedious, but it will allow you to exclude placements that do not align with your brand or match your targeting. This is a great strategy to exclude low-quality lead sources.

Google Ads placement exclusions

Turn off demographics expansion

If you use demographic exclusions to improve lead quality, it is crucial to understand that Video Action campaigns using optimized targeting will ignore these exclusions.

Be sure to submit a request to your Google rep for whitelisting to turn off the demographics expansion.


Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.


 

Key 4: Attract high-quality leads who want to do business with you.

How good is your brand at attracting your ideal prospects, and does this high-caliber lead want to work with you?

If you’re facing challenges in attracting quality leads to your brand or would like to improve overall, start by evaluating and enhancing your brand strategy.

Consider refreshing your brand identity, including your website, ads, logos, and colors. Be sure these are all effectively resonating with your desired customers.

Revisit your target audience and ensure your brand’s messaging aligns with their preferences and needs. Clarify your value proposition, highlighting how your brand addresses users’ specific problems.

Last, embrace personalization to connect with different segments of your audience and resonate more deeply.

Examples include personalized landing pages, dynamic website content based on the visitor’s preferences and behavior-based retargeting ads.

Key 5: Disqualify leads before they reach a salesperson

I learned this from Perry Marshall, who has a story from John Paul Mendocha about “racking the shotgun,” and it’s about applying the 80/20 rule to your prospecting.

Ideally, you would disqualify folks before they click on your ad, costing you money. You can apply these other techniques after excluding your low-quality lead sources.

Use price as a disqualifier

Some prospecting strategies include concealing the price. I recommend using it as a disqualifier. You will likely prevent the leads from entering your funnel who cannot afford what you offer.

Disqualify leads with your online form

If displaying your price doesn’t make sense, use your online form to ask a qualifying question about the budget or how much they plan to invest. Doing so allows you to route leads with more profitable follow-up tactics based on their response.

Urgency is another qualifier that can be asked online, such as how significant is this problem they are trying to solve? One way would be to ask for their timeframe.

Alternatively, they can rank the importance of finding a solution from one to five.

Disqualify leads over chat

Similarly to the online form, use chat to help disqualify potential leads just as much as you would try to convert them. Ask the same qualifying questions to identify if your solution doesn’t fit their needs.

Bonus key: Get targeting feedback directly from salespeople

One bonus point for improving your PPC lead quality is getting targeted feedback directly from salespeople.

As PPC marketers, we tend to work in a black box. Getting insights directly from salespeople can help inform our targeting and exclusion strategies.

Not only can this make our direct campaigns more profitable, but sending through more highly qualified leads improves the results for the salespeople, increases retention, enhances your brand reputation, and reduces wasted resources.

Increase lead quality to increase your resources

Improving lead quality can significantly impact a business across various aspects. This impact will be more significant if most of your leads come from PPC sources.

Ultimately, focusing on lead quality can lead to more efficient resource allocation, better customer relationships, increased conversion rates, higher revenue and overall business success.

7 Email Design Best Practices for 2023 – Email Marketing

Let’s talk email marketing – We’ve put together a list of our favorite email design best practices to help you increase open rates, drive conversions, and grow your customer base in 2023.

Research shows that in 2019, roughly 294 billion emails were sent worldwide every day. That figure is expected to reach 347 billion by 2023.

Yet many of these emails remain unread, or even worse – unopened. They get marked as spam, deleted, or completely ignored.

That’s why a well-designed, attractive email is essential to drive engagement and conversions. From the moment an email appears in your reader’s inbox, you want them to feel compelled to click through, even after just a glance. Beautifully designed and informative emails result in greater ROI and fewer unsubscribers.

To make the most of these best practices, follow along in your Team Debello-Magnetic Leads account and create your own stunning email content. Don’t have an account yet? Create one today!

Magnetic Leads free plan includes access to, email templates, unlimited contact storage, email marketing automation features, and more.

1. Nail your email marketing basics – email marketing

First impressions count for a lot in the world of marketing, and your emails are no exception.

You can spend all the time in the world crafting compelling email copy, but if your envelope content doesn’t hit the mark, it’s unlikely that your target audience will engage much. (That means low click through rates.)

Your envelope content consists of three key elements: sender name, subject line and a preheader. These are the basic foundations of effective email marketing. Without them, your body copy doesn’t stand a chance of holding its own. No one seems to want to use the preheader, why, because most 3rd party email tools cant create one, OR, you just didn’t want to, but its really part of email basics to use it.

Photo of an email inbox on a mobile device. Arrows labelling the sender name, subject line, and preheader.

Sender name

We’re considering sender name as an element of email design. It’s a hugely influential factor when it comes to open rates and is arguably even more important than your subject line. Why? Because it’s inextricably linked to trust.

The first subconscious question readers ask themselves when scanning their inbox is ‘Is this genuine?’ Your contacts generally look at the sender name first to determine whether the email is spam.

The best way to reinforce trustworthiness and brand recognition is to incorporate your brand name into your sender name.

This could mean opting for your company name on its own, or personalizing it with an employee’s first name, for example, ‘Sarah at Team Debello’ Including a name can be an effective way to engage your readers on a more personal level.

Many larger companies use a distinct sender name to differentiate departments, products, services, or types of emails to reveal key information about the message itself, for example, ‘Team Debello-Magnetic Leads News’ or ‘Team Debello-Magnetic Leads Automation.’

The most important thing is to make sure your sender name displays a real name, whether it be the company’s name or an employee’s name – not just an email address.

Subject line

Aim to make your subject line relatively short (to avoid being truncated) but as informative as possible to capture your reader’s attention. This means highlighting the most important information that you want to communicate upfront. Users tend to only take a glance at the subject line, so you need to grab their attention with the first few words!

Based on the character limits set by various email providers, aim to limit your email subject line to 50 characters or less. In addition, be aware that mobile device users may see even less of the message.

TIP: Don’t overdo it with excessive capitalization, special characters, or punctuation. Not only will this kind of messaging compromise your reputation, but your email could also end up being classified as spam.

Email subject line A/B testing is a handy Team Debello-Magnetic Leads feature that can help you drastically improve your email open rates. This is your chance to entice your prospect to open and click, so don’t waste it – use data to determine which subject line works best!

Preheader text

Preheader text is the short snippet of text immediately following the subject line when viewing an email in the inbox. Preheaders add valuable context to your subject line and can also boost your open rates.

Your subject line and preheader text should work together to start telling your readers a story. If you don’t customize it, it will read as the text that first appears in your email, which could be ‘View this email in your browser’. Now that wouldn’t give a great first impression, would it? Get customizing!

2. Design your emails using visual hierarchy
As consumers, we tend to follow predictable patterns when engaging with content. Visual hierarchy is a powerful email design best practice that marketers can use in emails to exploit these tendencies.

Employing visual hierarchy not only allows your email content to be scanned and understood easily, but it also helps to direct your reader to the most important elements of your email.

Let’s take a look at two email layouts utilizing visual hierarchy…

Email layouts

First, the Z pattern is an effective way to get subscribers to read through all your email content. (Or at least more than they otherwise would.) This strategy plays on patterns of eye movement. Reading left to right, we have a tendency to jump ahead when engaging with content.

As marketers, we can capitalize on this tendency by dispersing particularly eye-catching content throughout the copy. This way, readers are less likely to get bored part-way through.

Email example from Truecaller with arrows indicated the Z pattern of content

Second, the inverted pyramid email layout is another strategy to consider. As you’ll see in the example below, this layout works by broadly catching readers’ attention at the top of the email before narrowing their focus to a call to action, product feature, or whatever the primary goal of your email is.

A newsletter by Strava with overlaid arrows indicating the inverted pyramid content structure.

Whichever layout you opt for, your content should be arranged to tell a story that guides your reader toward the action that you want them to take. Email design aspects such as placement, size, color, contrast, and fonts all play an important role in establishing visual hierarchy.

Optimize your CTAs

Now’s a good time to discuss optimizing your CTAs. As you’ve seen in the examples above, there are CTA buttons placed strategically in accordance with the email layout.

This strategy helps boost click through rates. Laying out your content to figuratively point toward a call to action is like giving your contacts a gentle nudge.

As well, the text on your CTA buttons should be specific and to the point. If you’re promoting a new product line, you could write something like, “explore our new collection.” If you just launched a promotion, try something along the lines of “save 20% on shoes.”

Phrases like “read more” or “learn more” are better suited for lower level CTAs.

Some final tips on email layout:

Here are some additional factors to consider when mapping out your content:

People tend to place more value in objects that are larger, so consider displaying the most important information as larger blocks, in bigger fonts, or in heavier weights.
Elements higher up on the page are perceived as more important too, so start your email with the most important information.

Contrast is key, especially for readers who are scanning your email. Important elements, like your call-to-action, should generally stand out from the rest of the email.

Separating sections with white space allows the reader to understand where one element ends and the next begins. This helps to communicate information in a clear, organized, and attractive way.

NOTE Great email layout is also vital for accessibility. It’s important to make your email easily readable for all contacts, including those who are visually impaired. Don’t forget to include descriptive alt text for any images and make sure the background color of your emails allows for ease of reading.

3. Use an email template – email marketing

For those of us who aren’t experts in graphic design, using an email newsletter template is a great way to get started creating beautiful emails.

Email templates will help give your content a professional looking structure and speed up the design process.

As well, be sure to use responsive email templates. This means templates that automatically convert the content layout to be viewable on desktop, tablets, and mobile devices.

Your email marketing tool should have some type of drag and drop editor. This lets you create content without having to know HTML or code. Once you’ve selected a template, all you need to do is rearrange the design elements the way you like and add the email copy.

Now, to make the most of a template, you’ve got to go a bit further than replacing the placeholder text with your copy. Templates are a great foundation for effective email design. But moreso, they’re an opportunity for your brand image to shine through.

Don’t feel obligated to stick to a template’s design features. In fact, we recommend changing anything that isn’t consistent with your brand image like the background color or the fonts, for example!

To build a sense of reliability and trust with your audience, your email campaigns should be consistent in terms of design. This means sticking to a color scheme, font, heading structure, and a consistent email footer.

Email marketing design doesn’t have to be only for the big guys. Businesses of all sizes can create a brand image for their email campaigns. For inspiration, check out Coolors.co. Their site lets you experiment with different color palettes. Perfect for discovering your brand colors!

4. Add images where they add value – email marketing

Another email design best practice is using images where they add value.

Now, you may be tempted to flood your email campaigns with all your latest product photos. While photos are a great way to break up your email message and make your content a bit easier to digest, there’s something to be aware of.

Put yourself in the shoes of the email recipient here. Sending emails with too many photos, infographics, or illustrations can result in a few scenarios:

  • Emails taking a long time to load;
  • Issues in displaying the content;
  • A vague and unfocused message to your audience.

To avoid these pitfalls, be sure to always ask yourself what kind of value an image adds to your content.

Including a few high-quality photos of your products, spotlighting a team member, and using an explanatory infographic are typically great ways to include images in your email campaigns.

By contrast, stock images or excessively large files are great ways to get your readers to click on the unsubscribe link.

5. Use interactive content in your email design

Interactive email design is a powerful way to boost engagement by enabling subscribers to interact with content without ever leaving your email.

Interactive elements create a sort of gaming experience within the email that not only reduces barriers to engagement, but also provides a better user experience as subscribers can interact with content without the need to follow links or click through to your site. This is key to generating high intent clicks within your email.

Take a look at this example of an embedded survey in an email from Bellroy:

An email newsletter by Bellroy which includes an embedded survey. Survey asks "how likely is it that you will recommend Bellroy to a friend?" and allows readers to select a box from 1 to 10.

Here are some exciting interactive email elements to consider in 2023:

  • Animated buttons and call-to-actions
  • Hamburger menus and search options
  • Product carousels
  • Rollover effects to showcase products and offerings
  • Offer reveals
    Accordion features to make your emails more compact
  • Add-to-cart functionality
  • Polls, surveys, and user-generated interactive content

Of course, you’re going to need skills in HTML and CSS to be able embed such interactive content into your emails using an email editor.

NOTE When you design interactive elements, keep in mind that not all email clients may display them correctly. You may need to create segments for email clients (Gmail, Apple Mail, etc.) to ensure optimal user experience.

6. Feature user-generated content in your email design

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Report found that 68% of consumers said trusting brands is more important today than ever before.

More often than not, people trust peer recommendations over brands. So why not let your customers have a say in your email content?

What is user-generated content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any piece of content that has been created by the end-user. This includes product reviews, customer feedback, photos, and social media posts.

Incorporating these elements into your email is an effective way to tap into social proof and reinforce your brand’s credibility and reliability. Highlighting real people brings a two-way dialogue into your emails that helps humanize your brand.

Through skilful targeting and segmentation, marketers can streamline the UGC experience by delivering personalized content, like reviews or Instagram posts, based on email subscriber interests and behavior.

Including relevant buyer endorsements across the email journey is a powerful method to drive conversions. Here’s an example of it in action:

Newsletter campaign by Bose which includes user generated content in the form of a quotation from a satisfied customer.

7. Get personal with dynamic content

As we move into 2023, you can expect to hear less and less about B2B and B2C marketing and more about H2H – human-to-human marketing.

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in email design is a move away from the one-to-many generic approach in favor of personalized one-to-one emails based on customer behavior.

Features like email automation, lead scoring, and segmentation mean content creation can be tailored to the individual like never before, resulting in the most dynamic, innovative, and subscriber-relevant email design to date.

What’s more, email personalization goes even further than using contacts’ first names in the greeting. We’re talking about dynamically changing entire sections of content based on a user’s interests and behavior, such as personalized product recommendations, offers, abandoned cart emails, and customer surveys.

For further reading, you may like the articles below!

5 Email Marketing Benefits for New Businesses

Quick fixes to improve your website conversion rate

Why email marketing is crucial for businesses

20 things your website should do and 5 things it shouldnt

Local SEO Checklist

Local SEO is definitely not new in 2022 but it does continue to grow in importance–if that even seemed possible. Nearly a third of consumers search for a local business online every day, and almost 50% of all searches on Google are for local information.

Just look at these local SEO statistics:

  • Google Maps searches for “curbside pickup” grew 9,000% year-over-year
  • Searches containing “local” and “business” grew more than 80% year-over-year
  • Nearly 80% of smartphone searches for local businesses lead to an offline purchase
  • Local searches lead to purchases 28% of the time

These stats show that if you don’t have a local SEO strategy in 2022, you’re missing out on local searchers looking for businesses like yours.

To help, I’ve put together this handy 13-point local SEO checklist featuring the top areas you can optimize around to get found by local customers in your area, and I’m sharing some actionable tips and examples to help you get started.

local SEO Checklist

Local SEO checklist

By checking off the items in this local SEO checklist, you can increase your chances of getting found for relevant local searches while driving more (potential) local customers to your website.

Keep reading, or skip to the checklist item you want to learn more about below:

  • Solid website
  • Structured data
  • Local keywords in web content
  • Optimized title tags + meta descriptions
  • Keyword-rich blog content or FAQs
  • Claimed + optimized Google Business Profile
  • Good reviews (with responses)
  • Consistent local listings
  • Local backlinks
  • Social media strategy

1-4. Create a solid foundation with your website

You can’t have good local SEO without a solid foundation to build on. And your website is the most important component—without a great website that adheres to SEO best practices, no amount of optimization is going to get you the results you want.

Make sure your website includes the following:

  1. Mobile-friendly or responsive design. Google now indexes the mobile version of your website over your desktop version, so this is a must for local SEO.
  2. Fast page speed. Page speed is an increasingly important ranking factor—plus, searchers will leave a website if it doesn’t load quickly.
  3. The right URL structure. The way your website is structured matters to both searchers and search engines. Make sure you have an easy-to-navigate site with a clear path for users to take from the moment they land on your site until they become a lead. (You should also submit your sitemap to Google to help here!)
  4. Internal links. Linking relevant pages of your site together can help Google and searchers find information on your site.

5. Use structured data

Structured data is a standardized format of code that you add to the backend of your website to provide information that can help Google and other search engines decipher your content and what your page is about. This is often referred to as Schema markup.

You can add Local Business structured data to give Google information about your hours of operation, what your business offers, your reviews, and more to help you show up better for relevant local searches.

6. Identify and incorporate local keywords

Speaking of local searches, it’s important to know the types of local searches you want your business to rank for in local searches. The best way to do that? Conduct local keyword research to build your keyword list.

Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to find information on search engines. By targeting specific keywords as part of your local SEO strategy, you can increase your chances of appearing for those searches.

You want your keywords to be related to your business, your products or services, and your location so you can target searchers in your area. Here are some examples of good local keywords for a plumber:

  • Best plumber in Anaheim
  • Anaheim plumbing
  • Plumbing company Anaheim

local keyword examples

Examples of local keywords from WordStream’s Free Keyword Research Tool.

You should also identify some long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases customers are using to find businesses like yours. You can use these phrases to create valuable content that will drive more traffic to your website from search engines. Here are some examples of long-tail keywords for a plumber:

  • How to fix a clogged drain
  • What to do if my toilet is leaking
  • How do I keep my faucet from dripping

Your keywords should be included in your title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page content for your website but can also be used in your Google Business Profile and social media profiles, which we’ll talk more about later.

7. Optimize title tags and meta descriptions

Once you know that your website is in good shape and you have a strong local keyword list, you can start optimizing for local searches. One important way to do this is by optimizing the title tags and meta descriptions for each of your web pages.

Title tags are the HTML code that shows the title of the page—this is also what shows up in search results.

Your title tags should be between 50-60 characters long and include your target keyword and potentially your location (depending on the page).

Meta descriptions are the HTML code that shows under the title of a page in search results to give users a better idea of what content to expect on the page before they click.

Your meta descriptions should be between 50-160 characters long and include your target keyword and a description of the content on the page.

meta tags

8. Consider a blog (or an FAQ page)

Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness are three key ranking factors Google looks at to determine whether or not the content on a website will be useful for a searcher. Creating regular content in the form of a blog can help you exponentially in these areas. A blog gives your business a place to showcase your expertise and authority while keeping your website consistently updated with fresh, keyword-rich content.

Plus, you can use the content you’re creating for your website throughout your marketing. For example, you can share links to your posts on your social media sites, feature your blog posts in a regular newsletter, and create more in-depth downloadable content to capture web visitors’ information like their email address and phone number.

If you already have a blog for your business, make sure you’re creating content that is keyword-focused (this is where that long-tail keyword research comes in handy!). If you don’t already have a blog for your business and you want to start one, you can do keyword research, use tools like Google Trends to find out what people are searching, and even ask your customers what they might want to see from you. (You can also check out this guide for how to start a business blog!)

If you don’t think you have the time or resources to maintain a business blog (it does take time and planning), you can still create helpful keyword-rich content in the form of an FAQ page. An FAQ page can provide answers to commonly searched long-tail local keywords while also giving search engines and searchers valuable information that can help you rank or win business.

9. Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile can help you get found in local searches happening directly on Google Search and in Google Maps. Google Business Profiles contain a ton of information that can help customers take action (like calling your business or getting directions!) right from your profile. Plus, they’re typically the first batch of results that show below ads for any local search.

google business

The first step here is to make sure you claim your Google Business Profile. You can now do this directly from Google Search! Simply:

  1. Search for your business on Google
  2. Click into the result for your business and click “Own this business?”
  3. Then follow the prompts to claim the page

If your business isn’t already listed on Google, you can add it:

  1. Go to business.google.com
  2. Click “Manage now”
  3. Click “Add your business to Google”
  4. Then follow the prompts to add your business

Make sure that you verify your Google Business Profile after claiming or adding it so you can make changes to the page as needed.

Once your listing is claimed, you can take steps to optimize it. Multiple components of your Google Business Profile can give your local SEO a boost, so this is an important step.

Here are some crucial ways to optimize your Google Business Profile for local SEO:

  1. Make sure all information is accurate. It’s important that your hours of operation, business website, business phone number, and address are correct (and consistent with other listings—which we’ll talk about more later.)
  2. Fill out all the sections. It’s best to add as much information as possible to your Google Business Profile so you can present the best picture of your business to prospective customers.
  3. Add the right business categories. Many SEO experts believe the primary category you choose has the most impact on your local search rankings, so choose wisely! (You can also change it later if needed.)
  4. Upload relevant pictures. Google allows you to add a number of pictures and suggests including your logo, a cover photo, the interior and exterior of your building, your team, and action shots of your team at work.

10. Manage reviews (and get more!)

Reviews are another important local ranking factor that your business can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore. Nearly 90% of people read reviews for local businesses—and search engines want to give the people what they want. Which is clearly: reviews.

Google looks at your reviews, including how many reviews you have, when determining your rank for specific searches. Certain keywords or phrases within your reviews can also help (or hurt) your performance in local search results.

And, having a higher star rating can also help you in local search—when a person conducts a search containing “best,” Google will only source businesses with a 4.0 star rating or higher.

All this to say that it’s extremely important to make sure you’re getting good reviews!

You can get Google reviews by:

  • Asking your happy customers to leave you feedback
  • Including a link to your Google Business Profile on your website
  • Including a link to your Google Business Profile in customer emails
  • Sending an email survey

Once you have reviews, the work doesn’t stop. It’s also important to respond to reviews. Google lists “Manage & respond to reviews” as a way to improve your local ranking on Google.

reviews

11. Keep your local listings consistent

Local listings are a huge component of local SEO. Listings show up in local search results and can help your business get discovered on specific maps, apps, or sites (as well as search engines), so it’s important to have your business listed on the top local listings sites.

But it’s even more important that your business information across all those sites is consistent. Search engines want to make sure they’re showing searchers the most accurate and useful information. They do this by using signals from across the web—if they see that all the crucial information about your business (specifically your Name, Address, and Phone Number—AKA NAP) is consistent, then they have a high level of trust that they’re showing the correct information.

However, if they find conflicting information or inconsistencies, they have a lower level of trust and may not show information about your business on the first page of search results (or at all 😱).

This is why it’s important to add local listings consistency to your local SEO checklist. You want your business name, address, and phone number listed the EXACT same across every directory—including Google Business, Yelp, CitySearch, and more.

NAP

An example of consistent vs. inconsistent Google Business Profile listings.

12. Build local backlinks

Link building remains an important SEO tactic. And local link building can boost your business’s SEO by sending signals to search engines that other local sites find your website authoritative and trustworthy.

Here are some ways to build local backlinks:

Manage local listings. We already touched on the importance of local listings, but these provide built-in backlinks to your site.

Guest posting. Guest posting allows you to build your business’s credibility by sharing useful posts on other websites/blogs to reach your target audience. Many websites accept guest posts with links to your brand website and brand mentions. Aim to get your posts published on authoritative websites in your niche and neighborhood.
Sponsor local events. Aside from being a great way to support your local community, sponsoring events brings publicity to your business, guarantees valuable links to your website on the event page, and can earn your business media mentions. All of these boost traffic. To sponsor local events, start small and don’t limit your idea of sponsorship to funding. You can sponsor events by donating snacks to attendees (if you run a catering service)—don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

Local digital news sites. Don’t underrate local newspapers. A 2019 survey showed that local newspapers remain, by far, the most significant providers of journalism in their communities. Write press releases to be published on local news sites or talk to reporters and supply them stories relating to your business. You can even become a columnist in local media and publish regular commentary on brand-related topics.

13. Use Social Media to add some juice as needed

It may not seem intuitive to include social media marketing as part of your local SEO checklist, but hear me out. It can actually benefit your business’s SEO in a few different ways.

For one, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram give you opportunities to include your business address—which can act almost like their own little listing sites.

Plus, social media sites routinely show up in local search results for your business name, so by managing profiles across social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can give your business more real estate on search results pages when a person searches for your business.

It’s also important to remember that while search engines are still the primary place that people are searching for businesses, they’re increasingly open to finding new businesses through social media. So by investing in a social media marketing strategy, you can increase your chances of getting found in multiple channels by potential customers.

Check all the boxes for your local SEO checklist

Local SEO is a valuable addition to your marketing plan and is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website and get in front of local searchers.

Here’s your 2022 local SEO checklist:

  • Have a mobile-friendly or responsive website
  • Test your site speed
  • Use SEO-friendly URLs
  • Create internal links with locally-relevant anchor text
  • Add structured data
  • Identify and incorporate local keywords into your web content
  • Optimize title tags and meta descriptions
  • Write keyword-rich blog content (or FAQs)
  • Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile
  • Manage reviews (and get more!)
  • Keep your local listings consistent
  • Build local backlinks
  • Use social media

For more information on any of these topics, you can always reach us here!


What Is Website Maintenance and Why Is It so Important?

What Is Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance is the act of regularly checking your website for issues and mistakes and keeping it updated and relevant. This should be done on a consistent basis in order to keep your website healthy, encourage continued traffic growth, and strengthen your SEO and Google rankings.

Keeping a website well maintained and attractive is important to companies big and small in order to engage and retain customers. It’s easy for businesses, especially startups, to cut corners and let a few tasks slide.

Website maintenance can easily become one of those things as it doesn’t always present immediate issues. However, just like your health can fall apart if you go too long without a regular check up, so can the health of your website.

Regular monitoring of your website is a must for keeping your business running smoothly.

What Are the Steps in Website Maintenance? A Quick Checklist

There is a laundry list of tasks that should be done to keep your website running smoothly. The most time-sensitive of these are website security updates and patches. Without these, your website has the potential to be an actual danger to those who click on it.

With that in mind, here is a list of website maintenance tasks that should be completed regularly:

To be done weekly:

  • Check that all of your pages are loading without errors
  • Run a backup and make sure a previous version of your site is stored
  • Make updates to website software and plugins
  • Check that all of your forms are running properly
  • Remove any spam comments from pages and posts
  • Check your pages to see if there are any broken links
  • Search for 404 errors and fix or redirect
  • Write one or more blog posts to keep your community engaged and encourage SEO traffic.

To be done monthly

  • Check the load speed of your website and ensure that nothing is bogging it down
  • Review your security scans and make sure nothing is out of place
  • Analyze website statistics from the previous month
  • Check your blog to see if there are any articles that could be updated

To be done quarterly

  • Review your website design and structure – can be it improved?
  • Check graphics and images – should anything be updated?
  • Review SEO and meta titles and descriptions to ensure they are as effective as possible
  • Test and tweak popups, forms, and calls to action
  • Review your workload for efficiencies to see if anything can be automated
  • Test your website on all devices and browsers to see if it displays correctly
  • Review advertising and marketing campaigns to see if anything needs to be changed or updated.
  • Restore a previous version of the website to check your backup health

To be done yearly

  • Update any reference to the current year
  • Review each page for content accuracy, grammar, typos, and relevancy
  • Check any active email addresses and see if any are excessive and can be deleted
  • Ensure that your website domain name is renewed
  • Consider whether a website design update is due
  • Review all of your top performing blog articles and see if they can be updated with new content

A Proper Website Maintenance Plan Is a Circle

As you can see from our checklist, website maintenance should be a consistent part of your business. It grows on itself, and if not correctly implemented, can cause some serious problems and setbacks to your potential growth and business health.

Staying on top of website health takes awareness and organization. This is particularly the case for a large site with hundreds (or even thousands) of pages.

With the introduction of new tools to make website building easier, website sizes are growing each year. While it’s easy to add pages to most websites, it’s not as easy to keep all of your pages in a good state.

All that to say: keep on top of your website maintenance.

Why Is It Important to Do Website Maintenance?

Many new businesses already have a lot on their plates without worrying about constantly checking in on their website. It’s tempting to buy a domain name, throw up something temporary, and just worry about it later. There are many reasons why this is not a good idea. Maintaining a current, healthy, and active website is important for a number of reasons.

SEO

The whole point to starting a business is to have customers, clients, or an audience. To drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to keep it regularly updated.

Google wants to rank websites that have the most relevant and up-to-date information on their search engine results page . They may even de-index your website entirely if it hasn’t been updated recently enough and if they suspect it has been infected by malware. You must keep your website regularly updated with current content, news, keywords, and articles in order to rank well in search results.

Regularly website maintenance is invaluable for SEO strategy.

Customer Attraction/Engagement

If your website is gaining traction and traffic, it’s important to keep those potential customers. If they aren’t able to find what they are looking for, current information and relevant content, there is a good chance you’ll lose interest quickly. In order for your website to be the useful tool you want, you’ll need to ensure it is free from typos and grammar issues, has any and all information a customer could want, and looks engaging and consistent.

Security

This is the single most important reason to keep website maintenance on your radar, particularly if your website is storing any form of customer information. If you are using a website building platform like WordPress or Wix, you must ensure that you are installing regular software updates and security patches. It can be easy and attractive for hackers to find and target websites that have sat dormant for too long.

Corporate Image

It’s becoming more and more simple to create a website that looks well-designed and professional. There is an expectation for a professional website from professional companies. If your website doesn’t deliver on the promise of professionalism, your customers will often go elsewhere.

Your Sanity

Your website is a very important element of your business. If it is up-to-date and running smoothly, it can be a valuable support and asset. If it is not in a good state, it can cost you dearly. Once you are behind on your maintenance needs, it can be quite the process to bring the website back up to speed. Sometimes, if your maintenance has been ignored for too long, it is easier just to scrap everything and rebuild from the scratch.

Do yourself and your business a favor by staying on top of your website. This will repay you with simple ease of mind.

Keep up with Trends in Design and Technology

The sleeker your website is, the more you’ll convince potential customers that you are their ultimate choice. If you’re staying on top of your website maintenance, you’ll also have the opportunity to be an early adopter of new website technology that will help the back-end run more smoothly. If you’re installing software updates regularly, you’ll be able to take advantage of new features that install along with the updates.

You’ll also be able to tweak your design to stay on top of the latest website looks. It’s far more tempting to employ a company with a polished and modern website than one that looks like it hopped on a time travel device from 2003.

How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?

There are different cost expectations based on what your website is used for, the size of your audience, and how much content is hosted. We’ve discussed the different pricing brackets below.

Small Personal Blog

A small blog typically does not have a lot of traffic and has very few needs. This can be hosted on a blogging site like Google Blogger with no costs whatsoever. Or, it could be self-hosted using a platform like WordPress with low monthly costs stemming from domain name renewal and hosting service.

Medium-Large Sized Active Blog with a Wide Audience

If you have a blog that is bringing in an income with an active audience, you will likely want to be self hosted with some customizations. This will require more frequent maintenance, updates, marketing and backups and a slightly larger monetary investment.

Company Website for the Purpose of Marketing Only

Similar to the medium-large size blog, this will need to be self hosted with a simple design template and limited content. It will be low maintenance for upkeep with with regular updates, marketing, and backups.

Large Customized eCommerce Websites

This will be a larger financial investment as you’ll need to be vigilant about website maintenance. You’re handling a lot of content, code customization, and customer data. If you do not have an IT team on staff, we would recommend finding a web maintenance package to stay on top of your website needs.

Custom Built Web Application

This will be your largest financial investment. Your web application was custom built from the ground up for a specific purpose and it needs to be in top-notch working condition at all times or your company will suffer. This likely needs a dedicated staff of developers keeping a close eye on the maintenance.

Paying for Website Maintenance Services: The Advantages

Now that we’ve established that website maintenance is a must for websites of any size, it’s time to discuss the advantages to employing someone else to do that maintenance. You can, of course, take on these tasks yourself, but it will save time and stress to pay an agency for several reasons.

  • You’ll be hiring a team of experts who take care of these tasks every day. They know what to look for and what to expect.
  • You can focus on other areas of your business that need your attention.
  • Hiring an outside agency is cost-effective and can scale with your company. Your package will reflect the needs of your company.

Determining If You Should Buy Website Maintenance Packages

There are several elements that go into determining whether you should purchase a website maintenance package.

  • The size of your website
  • The purpose of your website
  • How much of your website is customized content
  • How quickly is your business growing?
  • How much experience do you have with website maintenance?
  • Is your website currently out-of-date?
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to website maintenance?

If you’ve read this whole article, you probably have a good idea if maintaining your own website is something you are currently capable of. If your website is simply sitting and taking up space on the internet, you should absolutely consider purchasing a website maintenance package. Your website should be a tool that is supporting and helping your business grow. It is a living and breathing entity that deserves your time and attention in order to fulfill its potential.

Let Us Help You

At Team Debello we offer reliable and affordable website maintenance packages with no long term contracts. We offer SEO, hosting, security and updates, backups, support, and peace of mind.

Ask yourself honestly whether you are keeping your website in good health and consider contacting us. If you were to drive a car miles every day without regular tune-ups, you wouldn’t expect it to work for you long-term would you? Your website is the same. . But don’t worry, We’ve got your back.

5 Email Marketing Benefits for New Businesses

Why Email Marketing Is Crucial For Businesses

5 Email Marketing Benefits for New Businesses

The goal of every new business is to generate revenue with a quick ROI. With today’s technological advancements, marketing communication has never been easier. The modern marketer can reach prospects through several digital channels, from search engine marketing to social media platforms.

With so many innovative ways to reach prospective customers, it can be challenging to determine the best marketing strategy for your new business.

The answer is simple: Share your message where your audience will most likely see it. As of last year, there were 3.9 billion email users around the world. Email marketing remains a successful platform for converting contacts to sales. Not sure how to develop a solid email marketing strategy? Campaign Monitor can help.

What is email marketing?
Email marketing is the distribution of promotional messages via email to a carefully defined target audience. It can be utilized to boost sales, strengthen brand recognition, and build customer loyalty. Regardless of how many digital marketing channels develop, email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to contact and engage your target audience.

For more than ten years, email marketing has been the leading channel to deliver the highest ROI for marketers. It currently brings $38 in ROI for every $1 spent, a rate of 3800%. There are several contributing factors to email marketing’s success.

Email is one of the most utilized forms of communication. Most people use email daily, often several times a day. With the advent of smartphones, users can now check their email from anywhere. Last year, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day. These emails aren’t just person-to-person contact. They’re also a way for people to connect with their favorite companies. In fact, more than 70% of consumers prefer email communication as their source for updates from the businesses they follow.

Email marketing is cost-effective, so it appeals to businesses of all sizes. It’s possible to reach a large audience for very little investment. You gain direct access to inboxes of quality prospects while avoiding the costs associated with print advertising. Email marketing is a smart way to connect with your target base, identify new customers, and grow your business.

What makes email marketing successful?
The beauty of email marketing is that it enables you to keep in touch with your audience regularly. From welcome messages to follow-up thank you notes, email is an effective way to engage your audience and build customer loyalty. Personal messages can go a long way, and a customer who feels valued is more likely to support your business in more tangible ways.

A recent study revealed that 68% of businesses had lost a customer due to indifference. Email marketing is an easy way to avoid this. Through email messages, a business can further enhance the customer experience and continue to boost ROI.

5 email marketing benefits for startups
As a new business, determining where to allot your marketing spend is critical to your success. It’s vital to generate new leads. However, your marketing strategy should be cost-effective and yield results. Here are five benefits that email marketing offers your new business.

1. Create individualized content with targeted messages.
Email marketing enables you to customize content. Messages can be personalized with the recipient’s name. Emails that include a customer’s first name in the subject line have a higher click-through rate than those that don’t. The more emails are opened, the more information you can learn about your audience. This allows you to discover their needs and pains and helps to develop strong relationships.

Additionally, you’re able to create customized content by segmenting your contacts. This allows you to tailor your marketing campaign to different target groups, like one-time customers versus return visitors. Identify your prospects’ needs. Consider geography, demographics, interests, and even behavior. By targeting your messages in this way, you’re increasing the relevancy of your content, which can lead to more conversions and higher ROI.

2. Drive traffic to your website.
Email marketing campaigns allow you to include links in your message that take your audience directly to your website. Whether it’s a hyperlink or a CTA button, sending readers to your site can positively impact your SEO. By promoting targeted content, you drive qualified traffic to your site. This tells search engines that you’re providing valuable content, which can boost your website’s online rankings. Higher rankings lead to more visitors, which can lead to higher ROI.

You can drive more traffic to your site by solidifying your email list. Build your database by making signup forms easy to complete. Only ask for the most basic information. Make sure your emails can scale to any device. Most people now access their emails from mobile devices. Therefore, your emails should function on a variety of platforms. Effectively reaching more people can bring even more business to your site.

3. Build brand awareness.
In addition to reaching current customers, email marketing is an effective way to reach people who are unfamiliar with your business. Email is nearly 40 times more effective than social media in gaining new customers. It’s an easy way to share information about your business. There’s also an excellent opportunity to send coupons or discount codes.

Use email to set your brand identity that people will recognize when they receive your messages. People are creatures of habit. Set standards early on for what readers can expect to find in your emails. Display your logo in the same place on each email. Ensure messaging includes corporate colors. Establish patterns in your emails that help create brand recognition. Consistent communications will increase the likelihood that people will think of your business when looking for products and services that you provide.

4. Track with ease.
Email marketing allows you the opportunity to see the effectiveness of your campaign easily. An important metric to track is your open rate. Be sure you’re using compelling subject lines to entice people to open an email. Click-through rate tells you the number of people who click on the links in your messages. Clicks per link offer you further insight into the type of content your audience prefers.
Conversion rate shows how many new users you’ve converted with your campaign. Unsubscribe and forwarding rates reveal how people perceive your messages. Are they removing you from their contacts, or sharing you with theirs? Regardless of which information you track, set a campaign goal that includes a CTA. If people aren’t getting to your site, it’s time to re-evaluate your messaging.

5. Create brand advocates.
Email is one of the simplest communications to share with others. With the click of a button, your current customers can do your promoting for you. If you build a strong relationship with your client base, they can become advocates for your products and services. Word-of-mouth advertising is taken to a new level with email marketing. Make it easy for people to share your information by including clear CTA buttons that encourage readers to do so.

Consider special discounts to people who help promote your business. Ask long-time members to share your message in return for premium access to a new product. Encourage customers to refer a friend to build your contact database. Develop strong relationships with your current customers. Brand loyalty can lead to new prospects, exponentially increasing ROI.

Email marketing best practices for small businesses
It’s easy to see that emails are an effective marketing tool, and you can develop a successful email marketing campaign by following these best practices.

Run a test.
Before you blast a message to your contact list, send a test copy to yourself. Check for errors, typos, and broken links. CTA buttons must take viewers to your website. Be sure content appears correctly on a computer as well as a mobile device. Don’t give this campaign an excuse to fail.

Schedule with intent.
Be deliberate in your email campaign schedule. Studies have shown that the best day to reach an audience with email is Tuesday. Keep this in mind when setting your campaign. Use your own data to adjust based on your customers’ needs.

Send to a healthy list.
Develop a quality contact list and only target people who sign up for your email communications. Don’t use purchased email lists or enroll people against their wishes.

Wrap up
Email marketing remains a preferred channel for today’s marketers, as it allows businesses to reach a wide target audience easily and affordably. Email marketing allows your company to:

Create individualized content with targeted messages
Drive traffic to your website
Build brand awareness
Track analytics with ease
Create brand advocates
Email marketing is an effective and beneficial way to boost business and improve your ROI. To ensure success, follow best practices like testing your messages, scheduling with intent, and sending to a healthy list.

We can help your new business develop a beneficial email marketing strategy. For more information, contact our sales team today.

10 Expert Ways To Market During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis

That’s the most important question marketers are asking today. With social distancing, self-isolating, and remote working becoming the new normal, there’s been a shift in the market from the supply and demand side, due to which there’s a shift in the marketing paradigm. For brands and marketers navigating the COVID-19 crisis, simply reaching the customer has become a challenge.

Furthermore, according to a Survey Monkey survey, 92% of Americans are worried about the impact of the corona-virus on the national economy. All these factors can influence business prospects and further cements the need of a crisis road-map.

To help marketers and their business steer through these uncertain times, 11 leading marketers share tips on how to be relevant to customers in this time, how they plan to work through this crisis, and how to keep up the momentum.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Reassure Your Customers About How Your Company is Responding to the Pandemic
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO, Viamedia

“Stay relevant to the consumer’s needs today that means reassuring them about how your company/brand is responding to the pandemic.

“Apply a calming, reassuring tone with a positive message (as a welcome reprieve from the seemingly 24/7 negative news).

“Use video with strong, warm, embracing visuals. After all, TV is the best medium for site, sounds and e-motion.”

2. Move Your Brand Online to Stay Connected to Your Customers
Andrew Walker, CEO, Shift7 Digital

“First, an overall theme to your strategy: KEEP GOING! Moving your brand even more online will keep you connected to your customers and enable a unified customer experience. Three key areas to focus on: your story, website and data. Second, revisit your current content marketing and keyword strategy. Leverage keyword research and social listening tools for topics that provide insight into specific information they are seeking. Check your PPC, too. Keywords targeted yesterday may not be the most relevant today, as search volume and term trends could be fluctuating.”

3. Refresh Customer Experience (CX) Strategies to Relook at End-to-End Sales Processes
Richard Blatcher, Director of industry marketing & business intelligence, PROS

“COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption and uncertainty of when things will improve, meaning marketers must pivot their strategy in three crucial ways. Marketers should refresh their customer experience and look at their end-to-end sales processes to ensure they’re able to respond with agility, engage across different sales channels and optimize processes.”

4. Focus on Strengthening Your Relationship With Your Customers
Tony Kavanagh, CMO of Insightly

“First, you must communicate regularly. Customers today want a relationship with the companies with whom they do business and to go beyond the transaction to a more engaging, human place. If you do not already have a regular cadence of communication to your customers, now is the time to build one. Second, shelve the ‘hard sell.’ COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic. Be empathetic. Focus on strengthening your relationship with your customers but for reasons that are genuine and thoughtful, ask how they are doing, exchange life stories of caution and triumph.”

5. Infuse Empathy in Your Marketing Communications
Tara Kelly, president and CEO, SPLICE Software

“Marketers, now more than ever, need to ensure they are using empathy in their marketing communications. Without that, communication is seen as “taking advantage of the situation”, and no one wants that label. Marketing technology can still support the automated distribution of messages and provides invaluable insights to how people are engaging with new messaging.”

James JC Ramey, CEO at DeviceBits

“Empathy is likely the key part of staying or connecting with customers and prospects. Marketers should be working with the organization to understand how they are shifting in customer experience from, for example, phone support to self-service. Marketers should keep in “high touch” with their customers during this time. Keeping in contact with empathy and new innovative programs will create loyalty and a happier customer base as we exit this current challenge.”

6. Implement an Agile Strategic Pricing Model to Improve Margins
Richard Blatcher, director of industry marketing & business intelligence, PROS

“Focusing on short-term strategic planning by implementing tools to enable valuable insight gains from vast amounts of customer and market data will enable marketers to make rapid changes, protecting revenue.

“Marketers must also implement an agile strategic pricing model, which is the most effective way to quickly improve margins. Working in real-time and offering products or services at the most profitable price is imperative for short-term profitability.”

Learn More: Your 2020 Crisis Marketing Strategy: Marketing Communication and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

7. Reflect on Your Company Values During this Lockdown & Refocus Your Engagement Strategies
Tricia Binder, co-founder and president, Muros

“At Muros, staying top of mind is all about creativity. While keeping creativity and authenticity at their core, marketers should consider the following tactic to pivot their strategies. More than ever, we have time to reflect on our values and mission. For us, that’s getting more art seen and supporting the artist community. Refocusing can get you thinking about new, relevant ways, to engage your customers, employees or clients in these uncertain times.”

8. Avoid the Hard Sell and Reaffirm Your Commitment to the Long Run
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO, Viamedia

“Tailor messages to be consumer-focused top-of-mind, as most are shopping “in the moment of fear and anxiety – e.g., I don’t have enough toilet paper. Ask is your message relevant now, today, and tomorrow? Step back from the hard sell and provide messaging that reaffirms your commitment to be there over the long term and through thick and thin. Almost everyone is at home, so video advertising has never been able to be more impactful and serve as the cornerstone to connecting communities. And remember, that many people will mute the TV, especially when it is on 24/7. So, the video imagery is key.

“Today digital and now linear TV advertising decisions are based increasingly on data, we like to say, “Data is the new creative.” Transaction speeds, cost efficiency and flexibility are more crucial at a time of rapidly developing events such as COVID-19. Access to linear TV programmatically will be the next wave, combining automation and data.”

9. Use Marketing Technology to Stay Connected to Customers When Working Remotely
Andrew Walker, CEO, Shift7 Digital

“Further enable your work-from-home marketing, sales and customer service teams through cohesive customer 360-degree views and data via your customer data platform. Help sales continue pipeline growth by feeding customer behavioral insights via your marketing automation system, while also implementing a well-designed lead scoring program to help them prioritize efforts.”

James JC Ramey, CEO at DeviceBits

“Marketing technology plans a huge role during this time. Brands can roll out new programs, innovative approaches and products but without getting the message to the customers, they will have low adoption and frustrated customers. Marketers can show how their brand is here during this challenge and can best deliver the customer value to consume. Marketing technology will drive the shift that we are seeing in every business through what has traditionally been lagging. Things like self-service, chatbots and asynchronous messaging will now take a front seat in the technology roadmap.”

10. Help Your Customers Navigate the Situation and Pivot as Necessary
Tony Kavanagh, CMO of Insightly

“Lastly, be helpful. The recently announced stimulus bill in the US is incredibly important, but many businesses don’t know what this means for them or how it benefits them. Do the research on their behalf and help your customers understand exactly the steps to take to avail of what could be a lifeline for them and their families. All the above can be helpful and is necessary in times like these for pivoting marketing strategies.”

Quick Fixes to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

1. Control for visual attention

If you don’t think about how you manage attention on your site, users are going to have a rough time trying to find what they need. The elements on your pages are not of equal importance – why should they have equal visual weight?

You should drive visual attention to the elements that matter most.

Here are some things you can use:

  • Size – make the important elements larger without making them so large that the web site becomes tacky
  • Shape – if your template allows for irregular shapes, use irregular shapes like rounded corners on your calls-to-action (CTA). Irregular shapes attract more attention than straight lines
  • Color contrast – your theme should largely be one color, and the CTAs should have a high contrast with that primary color to attract more attention

Improve Website Conversion Rate Team Debello

2. Have a clear call-to-action

Every page should be intended for a specific kind of user intent.

  • People who are researching a product should go to your educational pages rather than your product details
  • Users looking for options should be driven to your category pages
  • Visitors who are near the bottom of the funnel but not ready to pull the trigger should go to your trial pages

The CTAs on those pages should match the objectives of the user. You need to think carefully about your buttons:

  • CTAs should complete an “I want to” statement (e.g. “I want to … complete order/download trial”)
  • CTAs should be adjusted to the stage of the customer journey (don’t immediately give people in the

3. Format copy for scannability

Humans are satisficers.

That is, on the web, we are not likely to seriously weigh options and then decide on a plan of attack. Rather, we are likely to examine one option, and if it’s good enough that we don’t see serious issues, we plow ahead without examining the other options.

What that means for web sites is that people scan a lot, read very little, and upon finding a good enough option, they’ll proceed to click without thinking if the other options you provide are a better fit for what they need. You need to have a web site that supports that behavior.

Your web site needs bullet pointsbolded headlines and sub-headlines, and good grouping, so it’s easy to scan.

4. Make your content easy to read

Everyone prefers simple language on the web, even experts and specialists. That means you need to make sure your content is written the right way:

  • Avoid jargon where possible
  • 5th grade reading ability is the sweet spot. Use tools that implement Flesch–Kincaid readability tests. Then, refine your content until you get at least close to 5th-grade-readable-content
  • If you have an international audience, limit the use of idioms

5. Limit choices

We can only use our short-term memory to remember 5-9 things. So, if you have a category list that spans 13 items, for example, you need to trim the options even at the cost of asking the users to make one more click.

Deep content where people need to make easy clicks are better for web usability than fewer, more difficult clicks.

If you make sure you don’t put a strain on the user’s memory load, your visitors will thank you.

6. Get users to trust you

If people don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. There are proven techniques to increase visitor trust:

  • Put trust symbols above the fold – a lot of companies have trust symbols, but lower on the page. Don’t make that mistake – if people can’t see your trust symbols easily, they might as well be invisible
  • Borrow trust – use your media mentions, and display logos of large companies who have bought your goods and services to increase trust
  • Social proof – if you have a large enough customer base, display the number of customers on your pages to take advantage of the bandwagon effect

Balsamiq’s home page has some persuasive social proof and borrowed authority, but they’re bound to be missed because they’re buried towards the bottom of the page.

7. If you have ads, make sure the headlines line up

For people running search ads, one of the most common mistakes is not aligning the content of the link on the ad to the headline of the page the ad goes to.

The headline needs to match the ad so you deliver on your promises. This means more work creating landing pages, but you’ll give your landing pages a higher shot at making visitors convert.

8. Make your pages focused

Outside your web site (on a Google result page, etc.), you need to be loud and compete for attention. Once people are on your web site, you need to quiet down and get people to focus on what they need:

  • Limit the use of visual distractions, especially stock images
  • Avoid moving elements like rotating banners

9. Earn the right to ask for information

Establish a relationship before you ask for information. When your business relies on signups as part of the conversion path, you can’t afford to be a greedy marketer. You need to stop sending people to 15-field forms before they’ve had the chance to get to know you:

  • Ensure you have a ready set of loss leader PDFs or trials that you can “trade” for user information
  • Users are not likely to give you information until you provide value, so don’t bombard them with signup forms immediately

10. Nudge users to convert using scarcity

If people are just about ready to convert, but they need a final nudge to act now, your pages can include the following elements:

  • Limited time offers – this can make people act sooner rather than later
  • Stock availability – for those items where the scarcity can make people act on that same visit

 

Improve Website Conversion Rate with Best Practices

Don’t rely on tests for everything. Your site needs to be sound before you run your tests. If your pages are terrible, your champion and challenger pages will both suck. And you’ll just find the more viable of two bad pages.

If you follow best practices, then run your tests, you’d be more likely to make your site succeed.

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com

Have A Question?
Ready For Answers?
Call Us 1-949-954-7769
eMail us at: wantmore@teamdebello.com