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If managing your website is making your head spin we can help you – talk to the conversion experts today

Written by Joseph Clements on November 30th, 2011.      0 comments

Running a successful website doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. We talk to a lot of people who bought a website, and who were full of exciting ideas to achieve online success, only to then hit a wall and lose their enthusiasm. Managing their business takes up all of their time, they lack the technical know-how to make changes or they don’t know what they need to do to make their website successful.

If that sounds like you and you want to stay focused on developing your business, and you find that you have no time left at the end of the day to work on your website, or you want to make sure you extract the maximum value from your investment then we would love to take the hassle away for you.

The Zeald Professional Services team understand exactly what is needed to make a website successful and can come up with a plan to get your site to its full potential. After all if you just bought a brand new Ferrari, nobody would expect you to service it yourself!

How we can help you achieve your website goals

We will quickly identify the major stumbling blocks that are preventing your website from being successful, and then explain in plain English what needs to be done.
• We discuss your business and website objectives with you
• Come up with a plan that will give you the best ‘bang for your buck’.
• You open a Zeald Professional Services account which gives you access to Zeald conversion, design & development specialists. A complete turnkey solution for your website.
• After our initial review of your website you will know exactly what is required to improve your traffic and sales
• We will help you get everything sorted and come up with an on-going strategy to keep your website humming

Get a Free Zeald Web Design Consultation or Audit today

We can help you with:

Advice on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Website Content effectiveness
PPC Campaign creation and management
Production of Graphics designed to enhance website content effectiveness
Split Testing & tuning
Usability Testing
Online marketing
Social media

Don’t worry if these terms sound confusing! We spend all our time optimising websites so that you don’t have to. This frees up you and your staff to concentrate on your core business, giving you peace of mind and a competitive edge over your rivals.

Optimise your Website today with Zeald Website Audit or Consultation

How Google Docs can help your business

Written by Casey Hartigan on November 7th, 2011.      0 comments

Google Docs is something we use a lot of here at Zeald, and is a great tool that we feel many other businesses can benefit from. Google Docs is a free Web-based office suite and data storage service offered by Google. It is a free alternative to costly suites such as Microsoft Office, allowing you to create spread sheets, presentations and documents with ease. Google created Docs based on the idea that not all users have the need for the more technical functions. This means they have created a simpler suite with many advantages that set it apart.
Google Docs is an online application which means that it can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. By simply logging in, users are able to see their documents from wherever they are. This is handy for people who are always on the move or need to shift between computers a lot. Documents created on software such as Microsoft Office can be uploaded onto Google Docs which makes Google Docs a handy option for storage.  Each user is given 1GB of storage space for free and documents created within Google Docs do not count towards this quota. Users are also able to pay for additional storage.

Google Docs is Great Way to Help your Business

Google Docs is highly focused on aiding collaboration. Users are able to choose who is able to view their documents and give other users permission to edit them.  Up to 50 users can edit a document at one time, and each user is able to see what the other users are doing in real time. Google Docs also has a chat feature within the document to allow users to have discussions during their collaboration. This means there is no need for email attachments and multiple copies of documents. Instead there is one copy of the document that is accessible to everyone who has permission to view and edit it. Google Docs also keep a record of past versions of the document, which means that if someone makes a change you’re not happy with, you will be able to restore it back to the old version.

Google Documents is great for Collaboration

 Another useful feature of Google Docs is the form creator. Users are able to create interactive forms with ease and email them straight to the people they wish to fill them in. When a form is created it is put on its own webpage so the link can be passed on to people. Google Docs will then record their responses in a spreadsheet for the user to easily analyse.  This is useful for things such as surveys. Just create the survey using the form creator, send it out to the people you wish to survey and read the results through the Google Docs spreadsheet!

 Joining Google Docs is as simple as signing in to your Google account and clicking on the 'Documents' tab or visiting and signing in to your google account. If you don’t already have a Google account, you can create one for free by visiting and clicking 'Sign up for a new Google Account'. There’s no software to download – it’s all on the net. So sign up, sign in and have a play. We’re sure you’ll find it as handy as we do!

Get a Free Zeald Website Consultation or Audit todayWe want to help...

Please don't forget we are right here. We have a team experienced in achieving great results for businesses. We can help you with Online Marketing, SEO, Results Consulting and more...Let us help you generate more sales and enquiries with your website.  Please talk to us
Topics: Google

How outdoor adventure buff Guy Becker increased monthly revenue by 58.7% after we optimised his outdoor gear website

Written by Joseph Clements on September 22nd, 2011.      0 comments

We’re always hearing from people who have websites that are quietly humming when they should be booming. The problem is that it’s next to impossible to know what the solution is. You could hire an expensive SEO firm, improve your meta tags, run Adwords or use any number of online marketing tools out there. Even if you close your eyes and pick something at random, it takes time to research, implement and run, and it’s almost never the best option for your business.

When Guy approached us he had a specific request – he was paying too much for Google Adwords and wanted us to show him how to get the most out of his advertising dollar. One of the things we stress is the importance of taking a holistic approach to websites’ optimisation. The question we always ask ourselves is “How can we increase traffic and conversion?"

Guy had the right idea – The Adwords campaign was not bringing in enough customers, and many that did come left without purchasing anything. In fact it was costing Guy an average of $16.48 in advertising for every single sale he made on the site. Instead of focusing on Adwords we asked if we could look at the big picture and make changes that would benefit the whole site.

Top-gear was already a great website with an impressive product range, but we were able to identify some key areas to work on that we believed could provide some big wins for Guy and his business. He agreed to let us do a thorough overview of his website and booked two hours results consulting with one of our specialists. After our initial review we felt that Top-Gear would benefit the most if we focused on perfecting the basic elements of a successful website. This way both paid and organic traffic will see the difference.

Designing a winning homepage

Once someone lands on your homepage you have a maximum of 7 seconds to make a great first impression. You better make sure what you offer is immediately clear and that you show why you’re the best solution for your customer’s needs.
  • We identified a number of areas that could be improved to create more trust and credibility, promote top selling products and funnel more traffic into the right categories

Original page (click to enlarge)

Top Gear Web Site Design Optimisation with Zeald


New page (click to enlarge)

Top Gear Website Design and Optimisation with Zeald

This is the part where we put on our white lab coats

We were pretty confident  that the changes we made would start showing some big wins for Guy’s business, but no optimisation would be complete without running a split test to scientifically prove the changes were working. This is also known as putting our money where our mouth is :)

The results speak for themselves. The redesigned homepage increased the conversion rate of his top selling knife by 240.2%. Because the homepage really pushed Guy’s impressive range of products, built trust and credibility by offering a money back guarantee and a free delivery incentive, more visitors bought something, resulting in an incredible 35% increase in conversion from June - September.

The biggest win for Guy is that his one off investment of 2 hours results consulting followed by a redesign and split test will continue to show dividends. Instead of paying an arm and a leg for traffic that didn’t end up buying anything, Guy increased his conversion rate, so now whether he decides to pump traffic in from Adwords, or leave it to the search engines to bring in customers, more people will exit through the checkout page.

We’re confident we can dramatically improve your online business as well.
Want help

Zeald voted Best Web Developer

Written by Evan Cooper on August 26th, 2011.      0 comments

Zeald Winners of Net Guide Web Awards 2011Zeald has been voted Best Web Developer in the 2011 NetGuide Web Awards.

The awards were presented last night at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland.

Zeald Sales and Marketing Director Brent Kelly received the award on behalf of the team at Zeald and said that he was “stoked to win the award, especially when it's the first year Zeald has been in the awards”.

Other winners on the night included the likes of Google, TradeMe, The All Blacks, BNZ, and Facebook, "so it's encouraging to know that Zeald is seen in such high regard and as the best choice for website development in New Zealand" Brent said.

"Zeald wants to help New Zealand businesses to not only get a website, but to succeed in the online space, so it's nice to know that it's the voting public of New Zealand that picked us as the best".

Techday publisher Sean Mitchell said there was more than 270,000 votes cast in this year's awards.

Zeald Net Guide Web Awards Winners 2011

Topics: Zeald News

Homepage with image slideshow obtains 44% more revenue in split test

Written by Hamish Braddick on July 24th, 2011.      0 comments

As the follow on from our previous Homepage radical redesign test we really wanted to see if an animation on the homepage would help to capture visitors attention and draw them into the website, or perhaps the additional load times would serve to put people off and the animation might distract users.

Original page

Following our 11 checks for Landing page optimisation we outlined a list of points for improving the page:
Bolt of Cloth Web Design and Optimisation by Zeald

New page

Bolt of Cloth Web Site Design and Optimisation by Zeald

The results

This test was run using the Zeald experiments software and shows reduced information for privacy reasons

What did we learn?

  • In this case animation does help to improve conversion

What next?

I would like to see if different uses of the animation can help to improve conversion. For example,
  1. what if the animation was used to support the USP,
  2. what if it showed the actual products, not in context,
  3. what if the video was used to promote incentive such as free shipping, guarantee etc 

Animation Support with Zeald We want to help...

Please don't forget we are right here. We have a team experienced in achieving great results for NZ businesses. We can help you with Online Marketing, SEO, Results Consulting and more...Let us help you generate more sales and enquiries with your website.  Please talk to us

11 checks for landing page optimisation

Written by Hamish Braddick on July 23rd, 2011.      0 comments

Landing Page Optimisation Use these checks or take the quiz to analyse your landing page and find areas for improvement. We recommend that you measure and Split test any change you make to ensure that they are positive.
Answer each of the questions as honestly as you can and tally the number of “Yes” responses to arrive at your score. The score will suggest just how good the page is. Then take the “No” responses and create a to-do-list of things to improve on your page


Is the design of the page professional? Does it convey quality & represent the brand?

If the page looks cluttered, if you use multicolured styled fonts and if you use any centred text choose No. If the page does not look professional it does not matter how strong your message is, visitors will not stay to read it.
Professional  Design of Landing Page


Is the main headline consistent with the message of your ad for the traffic source?

You need to ensure that the transition for the ad to page is seamless - Look at your traffic sources and and referring search engine keywords.
Is Your Headline Consistent with your Message


Is the unique selling proposition conveyed clearly and concisely?

Does it answer, What is it this about and Why should I be interested? In a 5 second test could someone tell you what the page is about?
Unique Selling Proposal


Is your landing page focussed on just one goal? free of unnecessary distractions?

A challenge for the homepage when you need to juggle multiple objectives for the entire site. But always keep the goal in mind. Focus.
Landing Page Optimisation with Zeald


Do you use relevant photos or video of your product /service being used in context?

Answer no if you are using obvious cheesey stock images.
Contextual Photos


Are you using headings and bulleted lists to convey the message clearly and concisely?

Breakup long blocks of copy.
Headings and Bullet Points to Convey Concise Messages


Are you only asking for just the essential information on your lead gen forms?

Every field in your form creates friction (be honest)
Lead Generation Forms


Is your call to action the most obvious thing on the page? Does it appear above the fold?

Use design to make the call to action stand out such as colour, size and depth.
Call to Action before the Fold


Does your call to action explicitly describe what you will receive when you click on it?

Answer no and give yourself a chinese burn if you have a submit button.
Call to Action Explicitly Describe  What you will Recieve


Are you displaying elements of trust such as testimonials or affiliations?

Make sure they are credible and real.
Testimonials and Affliations as Elements of Trust


Are you providing a strong incentive for users to take action?

Free delivery, for a limited time. etc.
Strong Incentive for Users to Take Action

SEO Online Marketing Heroes We want to help...

Please don't forget we are right here. We have a team experienced in achieving great results for NZ businesses. We can help you with Online Marketing, SEO, Results Consulting and more...Let us help you generate more sales and enquiries with your website.  Please talk to us

New homepage design obtains 85% more revenue in split test

Written by Hamish Braddick on July 23rd, 2011.      0 comments

Welcome to our first Split test experiment. We chose to be our first guinea pig to test our new split testing tool; and they agreed :)
Bolt of Cloth are a Christchurch based company whose store was badly affected in the earthquake and they have subsequently moved their business entirely online. We decided to look at the homepage first, because it had the greatest number of visitors and meant that we would see some quick results. There were a number of changes that we felt should be made initially to accelerate the process. We decided that the first test should be a radical redesign.

Test Objectives: Sell products that produce the greatest revenue - Based on the website ecommerce report and in consultation with the client.

Original page

Following our 11 checks for Landing page optimisation we outlined a list of points for improving the page:
Bolt of Cloth Webpage Redesign by Zeald

New page

Bolt of Cloth Website Redesign by Zeald

The results

Bolt of Cloth Website Optimisation With Zeald

This test was run using the Zeald experiments software and shows reduced information for privacy reasons

What did we learn?

  • The new Zeald split test software "Experiments" works really well :)
  • The changes made to improve the homepage were positive & the split testing backed up these educated assumptions. The new page is an obvious winner after just a few days
  • This is addictive :)

Now what?

  1. Apply the improved design to the homepage
  2. Use the improved homepage as the starting point for making minor tweaks to improve the design further
  3. Test Animated image banner and free shipping

Website Optimisation with ZealdWe want to help...

Please don't forget we are right here. We have a team experienced in achieving great results for NZ businesses. We can help you with Online Marketing, SEO, Results Consulting and more...Let us help you generate more sales and enquiries with your website.  Please talk to us

Split Testing

Written by Evan Cooper on July 12th, 2011.      0 comments

The single most effective method to improve the performance of your website

Split Testing is the single most effective way to increase the performance of your website. Split testing is not only effective, it is also an inexpensive way of making improvements to aspects of your website, using your own customers as a democratic tool to help make decisions. Who better to understand the needs and wants of your customers than your customers!

First you need to understand that building a successful website is a process of continual improvement, which involves:

  • Establishing the goals of your website. i.e. sell products or generate enquiries
  • Optimise your important website pages to achieving these goals - these pages are known as landing pages

So what are landing pages?

  • A landing page is the first page a visitor to your site sees.
  • Landing pages are often 'linked to' from marketing campaigns, social media and email campaigns.

Optimising a landing page

  • For each landing page you need a goal. In many cases this will be to convert site visitors into sales or leads. An ecommerce homepage might be to “click through to a product”
  • Improving a landing page involves increasing the number of goals achieved, or convert site visitors into sales or leads. This is known as the Goal conversion rate.
  • Remember, your website is a leaky bucket full of holes and by plugging these holes you retain the precious customers and stop them from leaking out.You improve the number of customers who take the desired action you want them to. You improve the conversion rate of your pages and you improve the performance of your website in general.
Usually when you want to optimise your website you make changes based on a gut instinct, best practices, research, personal preference, previous experience and measuring your goal completions to give you an indication of which changes were positive or not. While this method is most likely better than nothing, this won't tell you exactly what is working or not working.

So what is split testing?

Split testing  involves running experiments on landing pages of your website. You choose a page you think needs improving and duplicate the page; the original page stays the same, while aspects of the duplicate page change. Traffic gets split between the two versions evenly and the split testing software tells you how the new page's conversion rate differed from the original. If you see a significant increase in goal conversion, you keep the highest performing page and continue the process of improvement by testing other aspects on a new page.

How does split testing work?

  1. Pick a page that you think needs improving, starting with the most important pages that are used to complete the goals of your website.
  2. Create a new version of that page and make changes you think will improve the performance of that page, changes that you think will help increase the number of goals your website visitors complete after viewing this page.
  3. Setup a split test experiment using split testing software.
  4. Run the experiment.  Your website will show each page in your experiment to alternate visitors.  The split test measures how many visitors you get to each page and how many of those visitors complete your website goals - like making an order, completing your enquiry form, signing up to your newsletter, or clicking through to your 'About us' page etc. The split test needs to be run long enough to prove conclusively that one page is a winner.
  5. Replace the lesser performing page with the one that’s performing better. 
  6. Repeat the process again. Measure, change, review. The idea is to keep optimising your important pages to continue improving your website’s performance.

Split Testing Landing Page

The importance of finding a conclusive result

This is a scientific method of optimisation, relying on good accurate measurement and finding conclusive results that are statistically significant.

If your results are 50:50 - You don't have a conclusive result

If you don't have enough data to work from - You don't have a conclusive result

In order to collect enough data in the shortest amount of time, you need a reasonable amount of traffic to your website and a reasonable goal conversion rate to measure. You really want a conclusive result within a month. i.e. you don't want to be running a test for 3 years.

Split testing reports

The reports are a very important part of the split testing process. They need to make it very easy to accurately determine which page is the winner. As with any type of polling, it’s necessary to know just how precise the results of the statistics are.

That sounds easy

You already knew that you should be optimizing your website, but the task seemed like a long, difficult and expensive process that only large international companies could afford to tackle.

The power of split testing lies in its simplicity and accuracy.

Case study - Happy baby vs Crying baby?

In the split-test example below, the effectiveness of a testimonial was tested using identical pages with only the accompanying photo changing. One page used a photo of a happy baby and the other a photo of a sleepy newborn. Regardless of which you think is the best, it is the power of split -testing that gives an un-biased and scientific result for use in improving the results to your website.
Control and Treatment Split Testing

The answer may surprise you - the unhappy baby beat out the happy toddler by 12%!

There are large gains to be made if conversion rates are raised. Businesses can see massive benefits from testing then implementing improvements on anything from their homepage, call to action, or a product page to create more click-throughs. It is the ability to continually improve your website and have reliable stats to back it up that makes split testing such a powerful tool.

Where to from here?

Chances are you’re so excited about starting to test your website that 10 different tests are floating around your head for your homepage alone! Be smart about your testing...
  1. Come up with a plan! Decide what your end goal is (more email newsletter signups, increased click-throughs to product page, more sign-ups etc)
  2. Pick an element to test. For inspiration read some case studies of other successful tests. is a fantastic blog that lets you see real tests and guess which version of a page improved results.
  3. Setup the test. You might need to get new photography, graphic design or new copy written. This step takes time so its important to have a solid plan and stay motivated.
  4. Run the test! Depending on your sites traffic it may take awhile before you have conclusive results. We recommend at least 1000 unique visitors before starting a new test.
  5. Repeat the process again. Measure, change, review. The idea is to keep optimising your important pages to continue improving your website’s performance.

Split testing tools

To conduct split tests you need a great tool that is:
  1. Easy to setup
  2. Accurate
  3. Easy to understand - great reports that make it obvious which page is the winner
  4. Able to measure all the important goals of your website

There are a number of split testing tools available:

  • Split Test Accelerator - $891US
  • Split Testing Pro - $147US
  • LinkTrackr - $227US p/year
  • Affiliate Prophet - $97US
  • Google optimiser - Free
  • Zeald experiments tool - Free (with any Zeald website)

If you aren't testing, how do you know if you are making changes for the better?


Mobile Websites - A waste of time for small business

Written by Brent Kelly on June 20th, 2011.      0 comments

Without a doubt, one of the biggest trends in the online space at the moment (aside from social media) is the rise of the use of mobile devices to browse the internet. Widespread acceptance and use of devices such as the iPhone and iPad, along their Android-compatible competitors, has seen a huge rise in the number of people with access to the internet through their phone and, as mobile data rates come down, this trend is only going to accelerate in the coming years – both in New Zealand and abroad.

As NZ businesses become more aware of this trend, we are starting to receive the odd related question – do I need to have a specific mobile-compatible version of my website? Am I losing business by not having one?

A bit of history - mountain to Mohammad & all that ...

In the early days, mobile devices were very restrictive in their navigation of websites. This resulted in some websites being created specifically for browsing on mobile phones. However, it was always highly unlikely that the internet would reinvent itself to support these restrictions. According to the Netcraft Web Server Survey, as at June 2011 there were around 346 million websites on the internet – that’s a lot of sites to rebuild to support these technological restrictions!

Instead, what we have seen over the last few years (especially with the release of the iPhone – thanks Mr Jobs), is a major leap forward in the ability for mobile devices to correctly display normal websites, and allow people to navigate them easily. In this day and age, provided the site is well designed & built, it should be relatively easy for a mobile user to navigate and read – as is.


Let’s back up for a second

To objectively consider the relevance of a mobile specific website for your business, I think it’s important we step back for a moment and consider your objectives in getting a website in the first place. For most businesses we encounter in the NZ marketplace, their primary objective is to generate sales and/or leads.

So when we are asking – “should I have a mobile website?”, one could argue the question actually is “will a mobile website generate more sales or leads for my business”. Or even more accurately, “will the time and money I invest in building, running and maintaining a mobile version of my website provide me with more sales or leads than other activities I could be investing that same time and money in”.

The success of your website is ultimately determined by your ability to get targeted prospects to your website, and once they arrive, convince them to do business with you – to actually pick up the phone and call, or enter their credit card details and make an online purchase.

So should I get a mobile version?

Unfortunately, the majority of NZ businesses we encounter are struggling with the core requirements for a successful website. Because of this, I believe we could compile quite a list of areas to invest into with regard to the average website that would provide greater return on investment, than the creation of a mobile version of the site.

Would a well thought out, well planned mobile version be useful? Most definitely. Would I recommend it in a perfect world where businesses had unlimited resources? Most definitely. However, in the world of very limited time and budgets, I would argue there are much bigger fish to fry. Areas such as; testing headlines, strategy sessions (to help understand your target customers better), planning and organising targeted promotional campaigns and usability testing would all provide greater return on investment than the creation of a mobile version of the site.

Only once all of that is sorted, would I recommend you get down to the ‘finer details’ such as custom versions of the website for mobile devices.

Ultimately, it is essential that our website is persuasive in the first place - otherwise you just end up with a mobile version of your website that still doesn’t persuade customers to buy – it’s fractionally easier to use, but still convinces no one.

Have one website that works for everything.

My advice is to keep it simple. The last thing we want to do is distract you from is having a highly persuasive website – especially when killing two birds with one stone is so easy. A Zeald website naturally suits mobile browsing in a lot of ways:

  • We recommend that all your web content is in HTML (rather than in images etc). This means it will load quickly and automatically scale to a phone’s browser window as a visitor zooms in and out.
  • We help you create a website that loads quickly – essential for slow and costly mobile web connections.
  • We educate & assist you to identify topics for large (in font size), compelling headlines which spark attention – these can be read when ‘zoomed out’ on a mobile device & can be used to convince the visitor  it is worth their time to zoom in on that section and read the detail.
  • We don’t recommend using flash, which doesn’t work on iPhones.
  • We avoid drop menus or any ‘rollover’ functions – they don’t work on phones either.

Users who visit your website with an iPhone or similar mobile device will still be able to browse it easily and look for the information they want. For return visitors it has the additional advantage of looking familiar when they loaded your site on their laptop (navigation hasn’t moved, the layout of the website is as they would expect).

Whatever the case – it will be the effectiveness of the content on the website that determines whether they buy from you or not. How well you answer their questions, and persuade them to trust and do business with you.

Topics: Web Design Tips

Using email marketing to promote your Website

Written by David Kelly on May 3rd, 2011.      0 comments

Email marketing is an extremely powerful website promotional tool. It is one-to-one direct marketing that is personalised, with well-defined targets, where the results are instant, accurate and easy-to-understand.

So as you can imagine, many companies and individuals have started sending out promotional emails to every email address they can find. Just about everyone hates unsolicited email- or SPAM. Many people have associated email marketing with SPAM, but it is important to understand that not all email marketing is SPAM.

It is possible to use email marketing legitimately, without fear of being banned by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). For instance, people who have agreed to receive promotions from you, and where there is a facility for them to request they don’t wish to receive another message from your company, is perfectly fine. This is called ‘opt-in’ email marketing.

An important website rule is:

Get your visitor’s email address whenever you can!

Once you have a visitor’s email address you can encourage them to return time and again to order from you, for little or no extra cost.



The first thing you need to understand before creating and sending email promotions is the difference between text and HTML emails.

They look different– text-based emails are written in plain text (type)– they do not contain any formatting. You cannot bold or underline anything or change the font in a text-based email.

HTML emails, on the other hand, are written using a markup language, which resides in the backend code of the message. This allows you to use an array of ‘formats’ (typeset/design) in your email.

Text or HTML… which is better?

Some people advocate text-based emails, because they are quick to download by the recipient, are reliable for displaying correctly and do not carry ‘viruses’ or ‘worms’ that may be embedded in the code of an HTML email.

Those who advocate HTML-based emails prefer them for their ‘attractive’ qualities and readability. Most email viewers can display text or HTML-based email perfectly.

Some people argue that email marketers get better results using text-based emails and some people argue the other way. The results differ, depending on your ‘opt-in’ email list.

Test both types of emails and monitor the results. For example, send plain text messages to half your list and HTML email to the other half. Then compare the results. Whatever works best– use it!



One of the keys to any successful email marketing campaign is the targeting of your promotions. You can target your promotions by segmenting your customer database as much as possible. Break your customer lists down into groups. You may want to ‘segment’ your customer database based on characteristics such as:

  • Existing customers versus prospects
  • Customers based on geographical location
  • Existing customers– segmented by the products they have bought
  • Age
  • Sex (male/female)

Once you have your customers segmented you can then target your promotions at those segments at will. For example, if you are writing a promotion for your existing customers, you may concentrate on certain value-added cross-sells, or up-sells, that you have on offer. A promotion aimed at new members may promote a new member offer.



Just as in other forms of direct marketing, one of the interesting areas of email marketing is personalisation. In general, the more personalised an email is, the higher your success rate will be.

Remember, the most incredible ‘sound’, with the most impact on any person, is the sound of their name. Good email marketing packages will allow you to heavily personalise your emails. Some of the most common things that you will want to use to personalise your emails are:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address
  • City or location
  • Last product or service purchased
  • Date of last purchase
  • Most common product category of purchase

Depending on the abilities of your email marketing program, any information you have collected about a prospect can be used to personalize your email promotions to them.

Find Out How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign


The 1 reason website designs fail (& how to fix it)

Written by Hamish Braddick on May 2nd, 2011.      0 comments

(This presentation requires Flash, if you don't have it, you can download Flash here. View other presentations from Zeald)
Firstly, it's important to understand that the success of any website is measured by the results that it achieves.

What do we mean by website results?

When visitors of our website complete the actions we want them to complete - i.e., more sales, more enquiries, more bookings, more business and more customers.

So how do we get more visitors to take action on our website?

There are 5 factors to work on...
  1. Find visitors who are motivated - this will happen if the promotion is relevant, i.e., it's attracting the right kind of people to our website

  2. Convey the value proposition - the website needs to communicate this aspect quickly and clearly

  3. Reduce friction - make it easy for the visitor to navigate around the website and complete the website goals smoothly (for example, long or unnecessary forms can lose visitors).

  4. Relieve anxiety - get  the visitors to trust you so they are willing to do business with you

  5. Create incentive - offer something to prompt action (putting a time frame on it can also create urgency)

But....... the one thing that most websites ignore and the one thing that can make the most difference (from our experience) is a value proposition conveyed clearly and concisely!

What do we mean by value proposition?

When anyone visits a website, they have 2 questions in their mind....
  1. What? What is this about? What can I do, buy or get here?

  2. Why? Why should I be interested? Why should I continue?

Marketing Experiments study shows that if your website can't answer these 2 questions in about 3 seconds, visitors are less likely to take action.

Therefore, in the first 3 seconds, the top part of the page needs to tell the visitor why they should stay here to look for the solution..... rather than look somewhere else.

The order is important

Not only does the page need to answer these 2 questions, but it's important that the questions are answered in the correct order.

Our tendency is to rush into 'why' before we have answered 'what'. For example, it's no use describing the unique flavour if I don't even know that you sell ice cream.

Otherwise you create confusion..... & confusion creates mental resistance.

How does design fit in?

The visitor must be interested, understand and believe the message and design is the art of presenting that message.

Great website design will communicate the message...
  • Clearly
  • Concisely
  • Quickly

How can design do this?

Using an eye path

Design controls what the visitor sees 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. There are 6 ways to control this...

  1. Size
  2. Colour
  3. Shape
  4. Motion
  5. Depth
  6. Position

We use these methods to emphasise one thing over another - we create a visual hierarchy to control what the visitor sees 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th.

Let's see that in practice....

  1. Present the message in a linear format so that the visitors' thoughts come in the right order. Their eyes should travel from top left down to the center through the headline and vertically down the page.

  2. Incorporate the value proposition in the opening headline. If the visitor reads anything on the page, you can guarantee that it will be the opening headline.

  3. Make the message short and sharp. Get straight to the point - provide just enough reason for the visitor to continue with the next step.

  4. Break content into headings and sub-headings - Use bullets or icons such as a 'tick' to break up text and draw the eye

  5. Use large text for important words

  6. Remove clutter

  7. Reduce distractions - Remove, separate, tone down 'related content' so it does not distract from the primary message

  8. Convey the message with images - take care not to confuse or distract with irrelevant images

  9. Tell the story with case studies & testimonials - convey your value proposition through a story and build trust and credibility

  10. Convey your message with your 'call to action' - let the visitor know exactly what you want them to do next

  11. Use white space - to reduce clutter and make the message easy to read. Think of it like a 'pause for effect'

  12. Use depth - depth can be used to separate and emphasise content. Textures and drop shadows create the illusion of depth

And finally... our golden rules

  1.  'Quirky no worky' :-)

  2. And always remember to measure, review and improve for continual progress and improvement on your website results.

It is easy to design a good looking website. A good web designer will create a website design that is unique, reflects the brand and builds instant trust with the visitor.

It is hard to design a website that generates results. It takes an expert designer to create a website that presents the right information, in the right way so it achieves your business goals.

Contact us for your website needs


How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign

Written by David Kelly on April 27th, 2011.      0 comments

In The Benefits of Long Sales Copy on your Website we covered the merits of long copy versus short copy, and how long copy usually outsells short copy. With email promotions, you need to perform more of a balancing act.

Email promotions should be ‘to-the-point’ and not long-winded. Your email promotions should say just enough to get the purpose of your communication across. Remember, your customer’s email inbox is getting busier and busier. Your customers will soon know whether you get to the point in your emails, or bury your message in unnecessary paragraphs or pages of hyperbole.

Email promotions that get to the point are far more likely to be of interest to your readers on an ongoing basis. Your recipients will open and read your email if they know they are going to be able to quickly satisfy their curiosity.

However, your emails still need to be written in a warm, friendly and personable way. Give your regular email promotions their own “voice” and character (which should not be too removed from your brand’s personality). Make them easy for your customers to relate to. Email is a very personal medium and a personable approach to email always works best. Remember, one-to-one!

Email promotion components:

  • From line
  • Subject
  • Headline
  • Greeting
  • Opening hook
  • Call to actions
  • Body
  • Sign-off
  • Signature
  • Opt-out information


From line

The ‘From’ line is the most important part of the entire email, and despite what some email marketers think, the ‘From’ line is even more important than the ‘subject’ line. If you think about when you are scanning the new email messages in your own inbox, you would usually run your eye down the ‘From’ column, first seeing if you recognise the people your messages are from.

So when you set the ‘From’ line in your email promotions, use something people recognise. If your recipients will recognise your individual name, then use your name. But if it is your company name that they are more likely to recognize, use that. You can even use a combination of both – e.g., “David Kelly – Zeald”. Personalise and perfect it; perhaps use the word ‘team’ in your ‘From’ line; for example– ‘The Zeald Team’.


Subject lines

The second most important part of your email is the ‘Subject’ line. It should capture the attention of your reader and draw them into opening your email. The ‘Subject’ line of an email is similar to an advertising headline, except it needs to be more ‘real’. It won’t be as ‘hard-sell’ as an advertisement headline typically is. Remember, just about everyone hates SPAM, so make sure your ‘Subject’ line does not look like a SPAM message, otherwise it will be deleted, or worse still, it won’t even arrive in your customer’s inbox (thanks to Spam filters). Make sure you go easy on CAPITAL letters too, as they can look tacky and Spam-like. Your ‘Subject’ line should be short, friendly and to the point.

Some common themes for subject lines:

  • Sell a major benefit
  • Offer a solution to a problem
  • Ask a question
  • Make an announcement

Personalise your 'Subject' line by using your customer’s name. This will often drastically improve your results.

As always make sure you test and measure everything– results always speak for themselves– so do what works!



You may decide to start your emails with a headline. You can use all the techniques for these headlines that we outlined earlier in the ‘Load’ module.



Personalise your greeting as much as possible. Use the recipient’s name. You may decide to use either an informal and friendly greeting (“Hi David”), or be more formal (“Dear Mr. David Kelly”). It is generally accepted that informal and friendly works best when writing emails. Consider using phrases like, “Good morning/afternoon/evening/”, as these have a nice, warm feel to them, and indicate a degree of familiarity.


Opening hook

Your ‘opening hook’ is what should hook your reader into your email. Make it clear right up-front what you are writing to them about and explaining why they should read the rest of your email. Remember, they will be thinking – “So what’s in it for me” (WIIFM)? Show the reader what they will get out of reading your email.


Call to action

This is when you state exactly what you want your prospect to do. In an email promotion it is important to include a ‘call to action’ very early in your message. This gives a recipient the opportunity to respond immediately without reading through the rest of the email. In this initial ‘call to action’ you should not use ‘hard sell’– merely point them in the direction they can go if they are interested in your offer.

You should look to include your call to action throughout your message. But the first ‘call-to-action’ should be very ‘soft’ and your final call-to-action will be the complete opposite, almost with a sense of urgency. Summarise the main benefits for responding to your ‘call-to-action’, and then state exactly what you want them to do.


The body

The body is the main part of your promotional message. Make sure you focus on the benefits you are offering. It must be obvious what’s in it for them. Use bullets to outline the benefits clearly. Your body should be around two to four paragraphs at the most. Use short, punchy paragraphs and include lots of white space around the paragraphs.



Use a friendly sign-off such as:

  • Best regards
  • All the best!
  • Take care
  • Yours faithfully (more formal)


Email signatures are extremely powerful, and are highly under-rated marketing tools. The next section looks at email signatures in detail.


Opt-out information

Don’t forget to include your opt-out information at the end of your email. This information gives your recipient the ability to opt-out from receiving further communications from you. It also shows you have their best interests at heart- that you listen to your customers!

Most email marketing programs will automatically include this information at the end of all emails you send.



When communicating by HTML email, there are a number of formatting options that will help make your writing more interesting:



Make sure you use a black font on a white background– anything else is very difficult to read. Do not use a ‘fancy’ font. Generally, Serif fonts are used for print and Sans-serif fonts are used for computer screens. The most common Serif font is Times New Roman. Common Sans-serif fonts are Arial and Verdana.



Use bold, italics, underlines and font colours for emphasis, but use them sparingly. Tables and borders can be used to frame specific sections of text that you want to emphasise. Always use emphasis to drive-home your critical points.


Lots of white space

Use lots of white space– this makes everything easier to read and is generally more attractive to the eye.


Vary paragraph lengths

Vary the length of your paragraphs as well– this keeps things interesting. Make sure your sentences are not wider than 55-60 characters across the page– more than this is difficult to read.



Only include a graphic or illustration if it is relevant and supports your message. Graphics, for the sake of graphics, are a waste of time as they increase the size of the email and take longer to load. Your recipient might get tired of waiting and hit the delete key.

If you use plain-text email, formatting will be almost non-existent. Again, make sure you use lots of white space and keep paragraph lengths really short. Make sure your sentences don’t exceed 55-60 characters across the page– more than this is difficult to read. Use capitals (sparingly) for emphasis only.

And finally - don’t forget to use your spell checker!



Zeald Example Email Marketing Campaign

OK, let’s try putting everything together, by writing an email promotion to be sent to the Zeald customer base.

Zeald has a new product called ‘Zeald Email Marketing’. This module plugs into the Zeald Website Adminstration Software and allows the merchant to send email promotions to their ‘opt-in’ email database, as well as to track and measure their results.

In this section we will draft an email promotion that can be sent to the Zeald customer-base, promoting the new Email Marketing module.

From Line: David Kelly – Zeald

Subject: New Product Launch – Low-Cost Email Promotion


[Element #1 - Headline Start]

Do you collect your customer’s email address? If ‘yes’, you could be using email as an extremely low-cost way of advertising and promoting your company’s products and services to your customers.

[Element #1 - Headline End]


[Element #2 - Greeting]

Good afternoon [Customer First Name],

[Element #2 - Greeting End]

[Element #3 – Opening Hook]

You have probably heard of email marketing. Many people have been talking about the power of email and how you can use it to send out monthly, or even weekly, promotions to your customer database, for little or no cost!

[Element #3 – Opening Hook End]


[Element #4 – Call to Action (soft)]

The great news is that Zeald has just released a new module for the Zeald E-business Suite. It is called ‘Zeald Email Marketing’ (creative huh!). Jump straight to all the details.

[Element #4 – Call to Action (soft) End]


[Element #5 – The Body]

The one question I always have when using any form of marketing or promotion is – can I measure the results? Otherwise– how do I know that the latest marketing or promotional tip is not just the latest craze or buzz? I need to know if it has made a positive impact on my bottom line? If you can’t measure your results then you should probably not bother doing it– especially if you have a tight advertising budget.

The great thing about the new Zeald Email Marketing module (in my humble opinion) is that everything can be tracked and measured. You can measure:

  • how many people have read your email promotion
  • how many people clicked on your promotional offer
  • how many people purchased a promotional item
  • what the total value of the purchases were.

This means that you can run email promotions and continually improve them by measuring their results. But ultimately, you can work out whether it is worth going to all the time and effort with an email promotion in the first place.

[Element #5 – The Body End]


[Element #5 – Call to Action (close)]

[Customer First Name], many organisations are using email marketing to generate great advertising and marketing results, and now you have access to an excellent email marketing tool that is completely tied-in to your website. Find out more about the Zeald Email Marketing module and sign-up for a FREE test drive.

[Element #5 – Call to Action (close) End]


[Element #5 – Sign Off]

All the best with your future endeavours!

With regards,

[Element #5 – Sign Off End]
[Element #6 – Signature]

David Kelly

CEO – Zeald

Zeald E-business Hotline

Your 9am – 5pm access to a Zeald Internet consultant.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 0800 72 55 23.

We would love to be of assistance!


Zeald – “Websites that Work!”


PO Box 102-904

North Shore Mail Centre


New Zealand

Ph: +64 9 415 7575

Fax: +64 9 443 9794

Mbl: (NZ) 021 434 105


[Element #6 – Signature End]


[Element #6 – Opt Out Information]

I no longer wish to receive promotional communications from Zeald.

[Element #6 – Opt Out Information End]



Promotional Signatures

Email signatures are one of the most highly ‘under-rated’ marketing tools on the Internet. Your email signature should appear at the bottom of every email that you send. Most signatures contain the sender’s contact details, but why not make your signature a small advertisement? This advertisement goes out to every single person you ever send an email to. These small signatures can have a huge impact on your website’s success and your bottom line!

So how do we write a great email signature?

The first key, as always, is ‘know your target customer’. If you don’t know this by now, then you have a problem. What are your target customer’s goals? What do they want to achieve? What need do they want to satisfy?

Your email signature should be based around a great headline that will grab your target customer’s attention. It should focus on the strongest benefits that fit into your target customer’s goals, problems or needs. Use your unique selling proposition (USP) as the basis for the majority of your signatures.

Straight after your headline should be the ‘call-to-action’. Your ‘call-to-action’ should be completely focused on getting your target customer to click-through to your website, where you can hit him/her with your full sales copy… or alternatively, to call you on the phone.

It is absolutely vital that you have a number of different email signatures. Email signatures are generally not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Think about it– you don’t want to send an email to an existing customer with a signature that promotes a product that they have already bought from you. Instead, you would present a signature that focuses on providing them with the information they need to obtain customer service, support, or up-selling them to other products and services you offer.

For the sake of simplicity let’s focus on a ‘signature’ that promotes your core product. Let’s look at the headline and opening hook that we used in the ‘Load’ module:


STOP! Is Your Website Delivering Amazing RESULTS?

Many websites are a complete waste of time and money because they don’t deliver results! BUT if you have a good product or service, it is possible to produce a website that generates excellent results; a website that sells!


This can be used as the basis for a promotional signature. In the following way:


David Kelly

CEO – Zeald

Is Your Business Website Delivering Amazing RESULTS?

Your business website should make sales or generate enquiries for your products or services. Is Yours?

If not… it will be because of one of three simple reasons.

Visit our website or call 0800 72 55 23 to find out why.


Zeald – “Websites that Work!”


PO Box 102-904

North Shore Mail Centre


New Zealand

Ph: +64 9 415 7575

Fax: +64 9 443 9794

Mbl: (NZ) 021 434 105



As with all promotional writing, you will want to review and sharpen your signature until it is perfect.



Tracking & Measuring

Finally, you need to track and measure your email marketing results. The basic figures that you will want to track are:

  • Impressions – the number of people that your email was sent to
  • Click-throughs – the amount of click-throughs to your website that you received from your emails
  • Conversion rate (visitors) – the percentage of click-through visitors that placed an order, or made an enquiry
  • Enquiries/Orders – the number of enquiries or orders placed by visitors, generated by your email.

Most good email marketing systems will provide you with the facilities to track and measure impressions and click-throughs. Unless the email marketing system is completely integrated with your website, it will not be able to measure the conversion rate and enquiries… or orders. The Zeald Email Marketing Manager measures all these key metrics including the exact value of the purchases made.

If you are interested in using email marketing to promote your organisation talk to your E-Business Consultant or the Support Team about the Email Marketing Manager.


The Importance of Sending Order Confirmation Emails from Your Website

Written by David Kelly on April 20th, 2011.      0 comments

As soon as a customer confirms an order on your website, a confirmation email is automatically sent to them. Order confirmation emails are extremely important as they further reinforce your credibility and professionalism.

The natural tendency for many customers, after making an order, is to be plagued with fears and doubts; i.e., “I hope I did the right thing buying that”; “I hope my order arrives”, and so on. This well-recognised condition is called ‘buyer’s remorse’, and is very common.

The order confirmation email can be structured to help alleviate ‘buyer’s remorse’. Thank the customer for their order and inform them about the delivery process from this point forward. Remind them of your guarantee and provide them with contact details should there be any queries or concerns.

Topics: Email Marketing

Why is SEO important for your business?

Written by Hamish Braddick on March 29th, 2011.      0 comments

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way you structure your website and your content so that it can be found and indexed by search engines like Google. When you optimise your website for search engines, it makes your site visible to search engines and therefore to the users.

Why is SEO important?

Studies show that 95% of NZ adult Internet users research goods and services online before making a purchase. This means that even though people might see your offline advertising offline or a sign they are highly likely to jump online to search for the products or services.

It's also well known that most users only browse through the first page and if they don't find answers to their query, they will click through to the second page but very few go past the second page. So if your website is not listed in the first couple of pages, chances are no one can find you. Instead, the users will probably find your competitors. Therefore, being seen on the first page of the search results should be one of your priorities when promoting your website.

To get your website ranking highly on Google, it pays to understand how Google actually works.

> Read our article on how Google works


Why doesn’t my website appear in Google?

Written by Hamish Braddick on March 28th, 2011.      0 comments

We are often asked this question not long after a new website has gone live. To answer this question we first of all need to explain how Google works…

Google employs some of the world’s greatest minds to continually develop the complex ranking process which ensures that the top results of a user's search are of the highest relevance and quality.

This is of course what makes Google the world’s most popular search engine.

Understanding how Google works

Google is constantly looking for new websites and updated content on the Internet using automated programs known as 'spiders' or 'robots'.

These robots use links between websites to travel around the internet and find new websites. If your website is not linked to the rest of the web, the robots will not be able to access it. And Google will not be able to find it.

When Google finds a new web page, it will analyse the content, known as 'crawling' the content. It will then transport the information back to the Google data centre, where Google stores it, known as 'caching'.

Once Google has a copy of your website in its index, it will send out the robots to check for new content on a continual basis. If the robots find new or updated content Google will add it to its index. The period between visits will vary from site to site, but the robots are intelligent and they will not waste their time visiting websites regularly if the content does not change regularly.


Once Google knows about your website, it then needs to calculate the 'relevancy' of each page to a user's search term. So when a user performs a search with Google, Google calculates the relevancy of search term to the web page. If the search term is not relevant, or the search term does not match the content of the web page, Google will not list the page in the results.

Google also uses geographic location to help match a website to a user's search query. Google will try to serve web pages that match the users geographic location.


Relevancy is just part of the equation. Remember there are likely to be hundreds, thousands or millions of other websites that are 'relevant' to a user's search query. And only a few spots on the front page of the search results. Therefore, the next thing Google does is calculate the 'quality'. This allows Google to position the web pages that are most relevant and of the highest quality at the top of the results page. This is of course what makes Google the world’s most popular search engine.

Calculating the relevancy and quality

Google uses a very complex 'formula' or 'algorithm' to calculate the relevancy and the quality of a web page to a user's search query.

This formula uses many factors to help calculate the relevancy and quality of a web page, including and not limited to:

  • Keywords found in the content of the page
  • The headings
  • Links on the page
  • Hidden Meta data found in the code of the page
  • External links that link to the page

Google awards ranking for a page based on how often the keywords appear, how prominent they are on the page and the location of the keywords on the page.

Therefore, the more focused you are on a certain topic, the better you will rank, as Google will believe that you are an expert on the topic.

Let’s use an example

Let’s say you have a website focused on photography services in Wellington. Let's say a user performs a search using “photography wellington”. Google, at the time this article was written, lists 411,000 web pages that match this search term. That is 411,000 different websites that are relevant to this search term.

Google has a tough job to order this list to ensure the websites at the top are the most relevant and of the highest quality.

The top listings are websites of photographers based in Wellington. If we look further down the list we will see websites with less relevant content, for example photography equipment suppliers, etc..

Now we know how Google works...lets apply this knowledge to our website...

Does Google know about my website?

Now that we have a greater understanding for how the search engines work, we can turn our attention to finding our website on Google.

The quickest way to find out is to perform a 'site' search. You can do this by entering Site: [your website address] into Google as shown below:

Google Site Search

If your website has been listed you will see a list of all the pages of your website that Google has stored in its cache.
Next you can find out which search terms your website is ranking for. The easiest way to do this is to check your Search keywords, traffic report. If you are a Zeald client, you will be able to find this report in the admin of your website under the "Reports" tab.

If other people have found their way to your website via these search terms, chances are your website is ranking well for them. Try a Google search using the search terms to see where your website is currently positioned.

What if my website is not listed?

If your website is not listed with Google, your search for the site will result in something like this:
Website Not Listed in Google

This means that Google has not discovered your website yet, or has not completed the content crawling and storage process.

Tell Google about my new website

You need to ensure that Google knows about your website or connect your website to the rest of the internet so Google robots can find your website. You can do this by submitting your site to Google and/or generating inbound links to your website.

But I have already submitted a sitemap?

Once you have submitted your sitemap, there is usually a delay before which you can find your website on Google. This is because the robots still have to find their way to your website and complete the process, which can sometimes take up to 3 months. Unfortunately you can't rush Google but there are things you can do to speed up the process.

How do I speed up the process?

There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your website is found and the content crawled as soon as possible:
  1. You need to ensure that you have submitted your website
  2. Or that you have some inbound links to create a pathway for the robots to be able to access your website
  3. To get your website instantly to the top of Google for targeted search terms, use Google’s advertising program, called Adwords.

How do I get my website to the top of the Google results for a keyword of my choice?

There are various techniques you can do to improve a web site's ranking in Google's organic search results for chosen or targeted keyword phrases. This process is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is a large topic that requires another article.

>Stay tuned for our next article on how to optimise your website

Or... you can get your website to the top of Google for targeted search terms using Google’s advertising program, called Adwords. By setting up Google Adwords you can create a listing and choose search terms that will trigger your listing or advertisement. The good thing about Google Adwords is that you don’t pay unless someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your website.

You might pay as little as 5c per click, especially if it is your own business name, which will be less competitive.

>Learn more about Google Adwords

>Learn more about Search engine advertising

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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