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 Website Go-Live Process

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

We recommend that you read this section before you actually reach the ‘Go-Live’ stage, because there are a few things you need to be aware of, for the ‘Go-Live’ transition to be a smooth process.

There are three important areas that you need to have set up before your website can 'go live':
 
  • the domain name
  • email addresses
  • a payment gateway (if an ecommerce Website)
 

Domain Name


Your domain name (what we call your URL- Uniform Resource Locator) is the address that people will use to find your website on the Internet. Your website address is usually in the form of either www.yourcompanyname.co.nz or www.yourcompanyname.com

When we load your website ‘live’ on the Internet we will point your domain name at your new website. If you have requested that we register a new name for you then we will have everything we need in order to make your website visible on the Internet- there is nothing further that you need to do. But if you already own a domain name, then you will need to do one of two things to make your website ‘live’:
 
  • Pass “control” of your domain name to Zeald
We prefer this method. With this method you pass ‘technical control’ of your domain name to Zeald. It is important to understand that Zeald is not taking ownership of your domain name. You are merely putting us in charge of the technical management of your domain name.

In order to pass technical control of your domain name to Zeald you will need to provide us with something called your domain name ‘UDAI’ number. Your existing Internet company (that you originally registered your domain name with) should have sent you this number when you first registered with them. But if you can’t find it, you will need to contact them and ask them to re-send it to you, so that we can transfer everything to our servers.
 
  • Link Your Domain Name to Zeald’s Servers
Some organisations may have a large number of email addresses and other services hosted with another provider and may not want to pass technical control of the domain name to Zeald. In this situation you will need to get the address of the Zeald website servers. Talk to your Internet consultant and they will provide you with the necessary details to pass on to your existing provider.

Important Note: It is important to understand that once you make the necessary changes with your domain name, it may take up to 48 hours for your new website to ‘go live’. This is due to a process called ‘propagation’ which is outlined in the ‘Plan’ module (domain names section).
 

 
Email Addresses


If you have passed control of your domain name to Zeald then you will need to think about what email addresses you will require on an ongoing basis. Talk to your Zeald Internet consultant about your email requirements.
 

 
Payment Gateway


If you have an ecommerce website then as part of the ‘Plan’ process you would have discussed the processing of credit card transactions. If you are planning on manually processing credit card transactions then there is nothing further that you need to do.

If you are planning on automating your transaction processing using a ‘payment gateway’, then you will need to ensure that you have an account set up with the payment gateway, and that it is ‘ready to go’. If you have any concerns about this please contact the Support Team.
Topics: Domains & Email
 

How to Register your Web Site Domain Names

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

If you would like to register a web site domain name, please contact the Support Team and they will make all the necessary arrangements for you.


If you would prefer to register your web site domain names yourself, we recommend you use a domain name registrar such as Free Parking (www.freeparking.co.nz). Registering a domain name will generally cost between $40 and $50 per year.


Keep in mind that when you purchase your domain name, you are essentially reserving the name for your own usage, for a set period of time. You are not required to put up a web site on the new domain name immediately. You also don’t need to have your web site hosted by the same company that registers or hosts your domain name.

Finally make sure you keep your contact information up-to-date, as you do not want to miss being notified when your domain name is about to expire, thus letting your competition scoop it up, along with all your hard-earned web site traffic.

Topics: Domains & Email
 

Finding Out Who Owns a Particular Domain Name

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Free Parking (www.freeparking.co.nz) allows you to quickly find out who owns a specific domain name you may be interested in. Since many web site domain names are registered but never used, this is a great tool to track down the contact details of the owner, allowing you to make an offer to purchase it.



Infringing trademarks

Because ‘online business’ means doing business internationally, you should make sure the domain name you choose does not infringe on any existing trademarks. Domain name disputes tend to go to the trademark holder, so even if you have the web site domain name you could have it taken away.

Consider establishing a trademark on your name - during this process you will discover any possible infringements. For information on establishing a New Zealand trademark go to http://www.iponz.govt.nz. You can also do a free search of US trademarks at the US Patent and Trademark office’s website at www.uspto.gov.

Topics: Domains & Email
 

Choosing a Domain Name for an existing Business

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

For an already established business making its first step online, you may find that your original business name does not suit the web. It may be too long or too generic. It may not reflect the product or service. It may be impossible to find the appropriate domain name.


In this situation, we suggest you register the original business name so you don’t lose that traffic, but also register a name made up of popular keywords that would attract more targeted traffic, perhaps a name that focuses on the product or service as opposed to the company. You can use this keyword-rich domain name as your main address and redirect the traffic from your original ‘company name’ domain name to the same address.


If the business is completely changing to an online focus, or your brand is not well established, you may want to consider changing the business name altogether.


Don’t feel restricted by an existing business name in order to purchase a good domain. Even what may seem like a perfect keyword domain name, is not a guarantee for your web page design.

 



 

Tools for Brainstorming Domain Names

 

This is a great tool for finding available domains and brainstorming different ideas for domain names.

 

Word Tracker has a free trial version of their service, which shows you detailed information about what keywords people are searching on and how many web sites are competing for rankings on those keywords.

 

Overture is similar to Word Tracker and has a free version of their tool that will show you information about the keywords people are searching for on Overture.

Topics: Domains & Email
 

Brainstorming Domain Name Ideas for your Web Site

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

The domain name of your web site design should reflect your business name and if possible portray who you are and what you do. Try to obtain a domain name that is:

  • Catchy
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to remember
  • Easy to pronounce
  • Easy to type.

Look to reflect your business name in your domain name. Zeald is our domain name and our company name. When we tell people we work for a company called Zeald, it instantly tells them that our company has something to do with the Internet and that we have a web site.


Some great domain names include key words that your audience are searching for. Search engines will often credit words in the domain name as part of their ranking process. So if your domain name includes popular keywords that your target audience are searching for, your web site design will have that added advantage.


If you are just starting a new business, try to research popular keywords and see what domains you can register before you brand your new business.


Keep in mind that cute or non-traditional spellings may elude potential visitors.

Topics: Domains & Email
 

Choosing a Domain Name for your Web Site

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

If your target market or your future target market is an international one, a domain name ending in ‘.com’ should be your first choice.


Unfortunately, a ‘.com’ domain name is difficult to find these days. There are now over 24 million ‘.com’ names registered so the chances of finding the name you want will be difficult.


Other international alternatives to a domain ending in ‘.com’ is a domain name ending in ‘.net’ or ‘.biz’. These domain names are not as good as a domain name ending in ‘.com’ but can be used successfully with careful marketing and branding.


If your target market is local or predominately local then a domain name ending in ‘.co.nz’ should be your first choice. If your target audience know you as a New Zealand company they will expect you to have a ‘.co.nz’ domain.


If your target market is a combination of both international and New Zealand users you should consider using both.

Topics: Domains & Email
 

What is a Domain Name?

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

When an Internet user types a domain name into a web site browser, a request is sent out to the local Internet Service Provider (ISP) asking where it can find that website. The ISP checks with the relevant master domain name server for the country then the server points the user to the location of the web site.


Now to speed these domain name queries up, whenever the local ISP makes a query on a domain name it will store the result for a period of time so that it doesn’t have to ask again. This is a process called caching. Every now and then the ISP will update their stored cache with the information stored on the master domain name server. This period of time can range between a few minutes and 48 hours.


Whenever you want to update the information that is stored about your domain name on the master domain name server, because of caching, it can take up to 48 hours for every ISP around the world to update their records. This is a process called ‘propagation’.

 

Own your Domain Name

Every serious business web site needs at least one domain name. The choice of what domain name(s) you purchase is absolutely crucial. Do not use the ‘free’ domain names that are offered by some websites. These free domain names usually come in the form of www.someothername.com/your_name. It is unprofessional and less enticing for users to follow a free domain name made up of unrelated words, in a line-up of search engine results.

Topics: Domains & Email
 
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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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