content Archives - Steven's Homestead

Contact Page – Goodbye!

So I used to have a contact page on my website. I thought it would be a simple way for people to contact me instead of needing to rely on having my resume or social media channels (Twitter or LinkedIn) to reach out.  You may be asking yourself why I decided to remove the Contact Page from my site. I hope after reading this post, you will agree that it was something that needed to happen.

Why I got rid of my Contact Page

A few months ago, okay about a year ago really, I decided to update my website to run on this slick new theme. I wanted to showcase my photography and work experience. In addition, I wanted to have a place to blog when the need to write even more got under my skin. When I built this site, I decided to have a contact page so that people interested in one or the other could drop me a message. So, I installed a contact form and had it send those messages to my email. I was pretty happy with the way the site turned out and I still find myself tinkering with various pages when the bug hits.

What I got instead

After installing the Contact Page plugin and activating the page, I started getting about one message every few months. When I got the first message, I was excited that someone other than me was looking at my site. I opened the email to find it was spam  from a company offering to help with SEO on the site. What a let down and a waste or resources for that company, randomly finding personal websites and offering SEO fixes through the contact page. I totally understand this type of selling and why it may seem important but really? It is not like I am a trying to sell anything so was it really worth the effort? I mean, if someone happened to see my photography and wanted to buy it I would probably sell it provided I knew what it would be used for but that is not the intent of this site; after all, there is a shopping cart feature which I have turned off. Lately, these messages have been more frequent about one a day. Really? One a day, you must be getting desperate for business!

I do know about SEO, quite a bit really and I know all of the pages on my site are not optimized for SEO purposes. It gives me something to do when I just want to tinker with my site; update old pages and posts for SEO. When I add new pages and posts, they are all search engine optimized.

As you can see, I needed to remove my Contact Page because I hate to get spam email. Oh and by the way, this blog is SEO ready!

Email + Twitter + Facebook: 22 Tips to Cross-Channel Success

I attended a webinar about the merging of Email, Twitter and Facebook and the information contained below is a short recap of the document.

Today, one in every nine people on earth is a Facebook user and Twitter manages an average of 190 million tweets per day. This is according to a September 2011 post by social media blogger Jeff Bullas, aptly titled, Stunning Social Media Statistics. And just as stunning, the New York Times reported in January that over 107 trillion emails were sent in 2010.

The important take-away for marketers is this:

If you’re not communicating with your customers via social channels as well as through email, you’re not reaching your audience where it lives, works and plays.

Email and social are alike in a very significant way: they are the only two permission-based channels

Opt-in drivers

  • Facebook: use as a driver to increase email opt-in
  • Twitter: Link the tweet to the campaign and offer people a way to opt-in

Social Media increases word of mouth or reach due to sharing of content.

You can use conversations in Social Media to improve your email messages and other content messaging.

Know where your customers are in the Social Media world…there are so many providers you don’t have to use all of them.

Monitor blogs and other conversations to see what is being said; this will enable you to have more relevant communications of which your audience will have an interest.

Integrate “Like” and “Register with Facebook” or add the ability to share on Twitter.

Take your email and turn it into a Twitter and/or Facebook message.

Have solid performance metrics and goals set.

As always check out the document for more details.

Email Facebook Twitter: 22 Cross Channel Tips and Takeaways

MarketingSherpa’s Dirty Dozen

I got the attached document from the Online Marketing Summit produced by UBM TechWeb in San Diego.  I can’t remember who sent it to me or even if I requested it but I wanted to share a few interesting nuggets from the 12 “Newsletter Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes”.

  1. Email sign up should have a verification process where the person has to verify the signed up for your message.
  2. The more you can segment the better results you will have.
  3. Make the welcome message inviting and engaging…tell them what the future holds.
  4. Know how often to send….
  5. Add some personalization
  6. Use proper HTML and CSS…I personally run my HTML through the W3C Validator Service.

MarketingSherpa Dirty Dozen Email Newsletter Mistakes

8 Tips for B2B Email Marketing Success

I went through a webinar presented by Marketo about Email best practices and I thought I would share some thoughts from the presentation.  Like in past posts, I am not going to spew the entire contents of the presentation but mention a few highlights and you can take a look at the slides posted below.

  • Content
    • Fewer calls to action are better than multiple actions so as to not confuse people
    • Use bullets as it is faster to skim the message
  • Testing
    • Test in a minimum of Outlook and Google but the more you can test on the better
    • Test on mobile
  • How to articles go over very well
  • Subject lines
    • Four to six words
    • Don’t tell them who you are in the subject line – the from line should do that
  • Segment, Segment, Segment
  • Track use behavior to see what is clicked on and alter messages to guide the user
  • Build the relationship with the client – this will go further than other types of messages
  • Automate as many messages as possible

b2b-email-mktg-ebook

 

Email Rendering and Design Trends

In November I sat through a webinar half listening as I dutifully continued working on other items of importance…or so I thought.  The webinar was called Email Rendering and Design Trends and the slides are attached with some notes.

Here are a few things as I go back and look at the slides I seem to find important.

  1. Personalize messages to drive engagement – I see this more and more in the B2C world companies are adjusting messages to user preferences.
  2. Clean up the design of your emails – I often get emails from companies that are all graphics.  On my mobile I do not allow for image downloads so the email is blank…why would you want your email to appear this way?
  3. Right-time Email Programs – when someone makes a purchase you need to do a follow-up email with a confirmation and another add-on offer.
  4. Ensure you are testing on webmail servers as well as desktop and mobile.
  5. Design for the preview pane – which is often only 320px high.
  6. Pre-headers are a must – does yours say something like “To view this email as a webpage click here”?
    1. It should have some intrinsic value to the message of the mailing like – “Meet your best prospects from Bayer, Motorola, Airbus at the world’s LARGEST advanced manufacturing event.  View this email in a browser or on a mobile device.”
    2. Sometimes people only see your pre-header.
  7. Need most important content “above the fold” in your email – about 420px.
  8. Mobile design tips
    1. 480-600px wide
    2. Fonts minimum of 14px, headlines 22px
    3. Subject: 15 characters
  9. Video does not work in many email clients ye so it is best to know your audience and only include IF they can view it.

Thank you for taking the time to re3ad this, I hope you enjoy the slides.

aaem_live_rendering_session_2011