Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Few Secrets to Creating a Solid Website

Creating a new website? People are constantly coming up with new products and website ideas, so here are some helpful website content strategies to bear in mind during the planning and creation process to help get your conversions up.

First of all, defining the goal of a website, the target audience and a website’s ability to support the content is what separates successful sites from unsuccessful sites. The content has to support the product completely and vice versa. Content creation should focus on providing information that generates call to actions and conversions. You need to know who you’re talking to and what you’re talking to them about and know what your expectations are so you can fulfill them – otherwise, how will you know if your site or product is successful?

If the site is ecommerce based, for example, conversions are a good indicator of success, while informational-based sites are more geared toward the length of time users spend on your site. These analyses are crucial for understanding how a user navigates a website so you can create content that generates leads and sign ups. Google Analytics has become a standard for such analysis. It allows you to analyze your site’s data and traffic and set future goals. Also, click heatmaps are a great way to see where users are clicking on your site and cater your information to generate more clicks.

It’s crucial to make sure everything on the site is in proper context. For example, a newsletter sign up, Twitter and Facebook icons shouldn’t just be put at the bottom of the page because they may go unnoticed by lazy site goers. They need to be in a relevant location with attention called to them so they can actually be effective – they should generate sign ups. Every single piece of your new website should be effective, especially the landing page, so you can bulk up your email lists.

If you don’t have a newsletter, consider creating an autoresponder and short curriculum to notify new users of what your company has to offer. Always include a send to a friend link in every mailing – if your consumers like what you’re saying, they’re going to tell their friends, who will likely sign up also. Every sign up and every click helps

If you do have a newsletter, the sign up should be very visible on your landing page. Put it in an obvious location and include a call to action to draw users’ attention to it. Try including a pop up which asks users to subscribe to your newsletter. This is a great call to action technique. It’s instant, noticeable, direct and effective.

Call to actions for sign ups shouldn’t just be on your landing page, though. There should be a call to action for whatever it is you want users to do – sign up, download, purchase – on every single page of your site. Some people need a little more persuading and want to learn about your business before they give you theirs.

Lastly, web content writers should get out of the mindset that content is concrete. It needs to change constantly to be relevant, maintain good SEO, comply with new laws and regulations and remain interesting. Get users to trust you and they will be loyal followers of your newsletters and purchasers of your products.

Good Luck!

Author: Courtney Dillsworth
Editor: Carolina Bonaparte

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gmail’s “Priority Inbox”

If you use Gmail, you may have noticed a new button displaying Priority Inbox (Beta). This new and improved inbox is meant to provide users with a far more efficient way of filtering their emails. What does this mean to you? Well, the Priority Inbox filters emails in a way that enables users to control what emails they will see, and when they will see them. Emails are organized into three categories: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything else.

The idea behind the new inbox is simple – Emails are tagged and then sorted by importance. Placing emails into the “Important” inbox is as easy as a click of the mouse. Gmail users can now enjoy the luxury of seeing what they want when they want. Ultimately, this could be considered the most efficient inbox to date, leaving email marketers in quite the conundrum.

To be successful, you must adjust to the change, revamp emails, and send accordingly. If you can adapt accordingly, you will reap the benefits, leaving competition far behind.

The Priority Inbox could pose a threat for your email lists hitting the inbox. However, if you implement a few minor tweaks, emails can be optimized to reach these users

Initial Email
You must continue to try to maximize engagement. This can be done through something as simple as asking users to place emails into their priority inbox. It takes very little time on both ends to do so

Optimize Emails
This concept should be nothing new to you. It’s simply an adjustment that should be made to adapt to the changing times. You should note that the Priority Inbox algorithm does not use sender I.D. to classify “important” emails.

Link Social Networks
Try to take even more advantage of social networking sites that have been implemented. If emails contain any type of link to these networks, Priority Inbox will automatically mark them as “important”.

Consistency in Emails
You must make sure that your emails are consistent. Frequently repeat keywords within emails from specific addresses. Since Priority Inbox organizes by click rate & keywords, this is sure to bolster your chances of being an “important” email.

Here at KobeMail, we like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to strategic email marketing. Our strategy team is designed to keep our clients up to date with the newest technology and revenue generating practices. The Priority Inbox represents a step in the right direction for inbox management. For personal emails, this is a great feature. On the business side of things, outlook seems to control a good portion of the work force. However, countless small businesses do rely on Gmail. In order to be successful, you must realize this and personalize emails towards these people. The small amount of time it takes to make these changes could make the world of a difference for your campaigns.

Author: Anthony Lee

Editor: Peter Schirripa, Yasifur Rahman