WEBSITE DESIGN & ONLINE MARKETING

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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.

 

Text/HTML

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!

 

Segmentation

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.

 

Personalisation

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

 
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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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