ListWise

Online Management

Online Management

Does your Website need a Re-Vamp?

Does your Website need a Re-Vamp

With the world increasingly leaning towards a digital focus, it is practically unheard of for a brand to have no online visibility. This means having a website is an absolute must. This is why virtually every brand has a functioning website. At this point, the thing to ask yourself is whether the website meets current user trends and is relevant to the changes in user patterns. A first, simple question to ask is if you only have your products on display on your site or if people can actually make a purchase online.

A website redesign can be a very costly affair however, so start by taking a good look at your current site and asking yourself some of these very pertinent questions before you make your decision:

1. Is it Mobile-Friendly?

Because mobile internet usage is on a staggering rise, it makes no sense to have a site that hasn’t been optimized for mobile platforms. This means you need to have incorporated a responsive design into your site or else you are losing out on a huge audience.

2. Digital Media Connectivity

Including links or buttons that take customers to your various social media sites, blogs, forums etc. is something you can’t afford to do without in this digital savvy era. It makes it easier for readers to share or tweet your information online and make you a more visible brand overall. It also helps all your online media to be integrated through one primary platform.

3. Improve Usability

Ask a stranger to look for a random product on your site. If it takes too long or confuses them you could be losing out on a potential buyer just by making things difficult for them. Just like your physical store is designed to create a seamless shopping experience, so should your website.

4. Is your site reflecting the new you?

If your brand or visual identity has undergone a rebranding that you have adapted to all physical elements of your company, ensure that your website also has undergone the same changes. Sometimes this may be more than just replacing logos and may require an entire rethink of the layout.

5. Are you Up-to-Date?

In most cases, news sites carry more up to date information on your brand than your actual website does. You need to ask yourself if your current site allows you to update information regularly. Look into adding a ticker on the home page that will keep all readers informed of the latest information from your company.

If you have your answers in hand, then you will know if your site needs a re-vamp. Sometimes, it’s also good to give your site a new look and feel. In doing this, you are engaging the attention of your readers and not boring them with the same look from year to year. 

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Strong Calls-to-Action for Subscription Forms

Blog - Call to action

Adding something as simple as a subscription form to your call to action of your email marketing campaigns has been proving more successful on the digital content front. If you want your readers to respond to your email marketing content, then adding an immediately doable and beneficial aspect to the end of the content, like subscription forms, creates the tendency for impulse actions.

The point is to be able to make your content lead to a desire for more information – if you are giving your readers a perspective on a product of interest that they have not come across before, chances are you will be able to pique their interest. This obviously means they will want to know more and the best way to reap results is to be able to let them know how they can get more information.

This is in fact better than a traditional opt-in method to get you starting a dialogue with a new email database: tell them something of value and let them know how they can find out more. By increasing email subscriptions, you know that your readers consciously want more from you as a result of them taking the time to fill in your form. It also means you are able to gather more valuable data about them. This allows you to fine tune your future content due to the individual disclosing personal information through these email subscription forms that they may not be able to get by clicking a yes with a traditional opt-in button. Ideally, you could follow up the subscription form with something else of value to them such as an e-book in relation to your industry that will add value to the reader who has subscribed to more content from you. Announce this in your email, leading up to the subscription form and you will automatically be able to increase the number of email subscriptions immediately.

Adding links to subscription forms through email is also referred to as a method of Direct Response Marketing defined by Wikipedia as a strategy designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual advertisements. This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches, primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller, and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services.

This is exactly what a subscription form will do for you – create an immediate response to your call to action and also give you direct access to your end consumer without having to go through an intermediary in the chain.

Turn Your Email into a Solid Branding Tool

Blog - Branding

In email marketing, marketers are always talking about conversion, experience, making smart use of data and testing. But have you ever thought about how your emails reflect your brand image and how a recipient views your company? Let’s look at the branding effects of the email channel and how to utilize email marketing to its full potential.

All the products you use are brands. Email marketing can be a uniquely strong branding tool, if it is used correctly. So what does that mean for the email marketer?

  • What is in a name?

Imagine you owned a small piece of real estate in your buyers’ brains. Which message would you like to see in there and when should it pop-up?

A brand is the way that customers recognize your business and an anchor for how they perceive you. A logo and brand name are there to be recognizable – and represent the business and intentions of an organization. You know that by being top-of-mind and a trusted brand stacks the deck in your favour – it is that little piece of brain real estate.

A brand is carried by all their brand communication: visual, written and across all channels. That includes your website, customer service, shop, blog articles, products and of course, your email marketing.

  • More depth than just the product

A strong brand offers more depth than just a product or a service. Organizations that think “a car is a car” or “a shop is a shop” won’t get past promotions that sum up product features and discounted prices. Branding is the reason why people choose Coca-Cola instead of an unknown store brand even if it is more expensive. There is so much more possible through branding and positioning.

  • Branding and your email-marketing program

When synchronizing your brand and your email-marketing program, it is important – or rather critical – to have a clear view of what your current brand is. A well-defined brand can serve as a starting point and a measuring stick value for evaluating your email marketing strategy and individual campaigns.

  • Test your email on branding value

With every email you are making a conscious contribution to how your subscribers will perceive your brand now and in the future. Below are key ways for you to analyze the branding value of your email.

  1. What is your core message, slogan if you will, and is this reflected in your email?
  2. What makes your brand unique?
  3. Is the tone of voice and imagery consistent?
  4. What types of people do your products and services attract? Are your emails suitable/catered to them?
  5. What does (and should) your target audience think about your current brand and does it match?
  • Beyond consistency

As an email marketer understanding branding and consistency before embarking on any email campaign is a must. Consistency is an important part of branding. You want to be recognized and your message to stay top of mind. Repeating and amplifying a message will reinforce it. Sending out two conflicting messages might confuse your subscribers. Logo, color usage and tone-of-voice are all contributors to your brand. Make sure they are in place, but don’t define your whole brand. Next time you send out an email, just consider if your message is amplifying or sabotaging the way subscribers experience your brand

Guide to Attracting your First Blog Subscribers

Blog - Guide

Starting a blog for your organization as part of your online marketing activities will also need an ample amount of subscribers to ensure that your content is being read. If you can’t rake in those first 1,000 subscribers fast, you may not be a successful corporate or marketing blogger. The principles of personal bloggers are in fact the same because having a substantial number like a 1,000 subscribers ensures that your blog has a good online presence from which it will start to grow exponentially because 1,000 blog subscribers are all you need to make your content go viral as long as you are creating the ideal content to appeal to these people.

Take note of the following points when starting out with a new blog for your brand:

1. Firstly identify your audience, look into related blogs they may already be subscribed to and take note of any comments they leave there. You may be able to pick up on some of these for content ideas, solving issues they site with your competitors.

2. Ensure that your blog has a purpose and is not releasing content that isn’t cohesive. Are you using it to solve consumer problems in relation to your product or service? Is it to further explain brand or product attributes? Identify a singular purpose and use the medium of blogging to fulfil that purpose.

3. Design is paramount to a blog’s success. If you have a cluttered layout, you will irritate your readers and lose the ideal effect you want to have on them. Ensure you either pick and customize a design on a platform such as WordPress or create your own template that ensures all your visual brand attributes are in place while making the reading experience smoother and easier on the eyes.

4. Ensure that your ‘About’ page has ample and credible information on you so that your readers know they are coming to an official extension of your brand’s online visibility.

5. Ensure that your blog is API integrated across all your other online platforms such as Facebook and your website so that every new post you create on your blog will also get picked up by your other online regulars.

6. Chances are there are personal bloggers out there who are influencers in your product or service category. Engage with them, leave comments on their posts that will link back to your content and even invite them to write a guest post for you.

7. Hire content writers that understand the medium well – essentially you need good bloggers who understand your category and write it in the right kind of lingo that will ensure your content is read and absorbed by your readers.