All posts by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

Digital Branding

Some Pro Tips for Paid Search and Google PPC in 2019

Year after year, marketing is becoming more and more challenging. When it comes to digital marketing and SEO, this year is posing many new challenges too, which the marketers should learn to tackle effectively.

Unlike olden times, the general search itself may not be enough for any business, irrespective of the industry, to survive in the highly competitive digital market. This points to the fact that it is a perfect time for the marketers to think of revisiting their PPC plans to enhance their performance. PPC is also becoming synonymous to search engine best practice for the online marketing campaigners.

Apart from the opportunities to make use of the dependable and time-tested PPC best practices, there are also opportunities to implement your innovative ideas too to make it more efficient. In fact, all those time-tested SEO strategies as both generic and paid were also the result of trial and error experimentations by the digital marketing experts of different times.

Let’s further explore some such strategies you can try out in case of PPC.

1. Review the latest features in ever-changing Google Ads

This year also, Google comes with a lot of new features, for which the marketers need to set their deadlines. The latest change is all about introducing a handful of exclusive and user-friendly features only for those who have upgraded to this new experience. Let’s check.

  • Promotion extensions: you can showcase your products or services with a percentage or flat price discount. You can add this to the account down to the level of specified ad groups.

This can be greatly advantageous to the advertisers with a limited budget for PPC to use the ad copy or site links for promotions. These promotion extensions may smartly stand out like a coupon.

  • Bid adjustment for calls: setting some bid adjustments for specific ads can easily enable those ads to be served better and more often. You may check the ad impressions as well as call impressions to check if it is necessary to use this setting for more effectiveness.
  • Outstream the video campaigns: the mobile-focused video ads seem to perform the best outside the Google and YouTube on the partner apps and sites.

2. Try and test the new platforms

This is another important point for Google Ads pay per click marketers to listen up and practice. It is worthwhile to test various new paid channels to see their effectiveness. You may not know which could work best for you. In terms of paid campaigns, there is no problem I’m going beyond just Google and Facebook. These can always complete your Google PPC also. Some such advertising platforms to try are:

  • LinkedIn: This professional networking platform is appropriate to target the professional and business circle clients.
  • Pinterest: Consumer goods, services, fashion can be best advertised on this platform. Products for youngsters and female-focused service marketers identify this as an apt platform to explore.
  • SnapChat: This is another younger targeted platform, which is ideal to focus on the audience between 15 to 35. You can plan for video ass, lenses, filters; the app also installs on this platform.

3. Mobile first

For the last several years, we have seen how the usage of mobile devices increased to such a large extent. The time now is a do or die situation for business marketers. If not done by now, it’s a high time to customize your brand’s mobile-first ad experience.

In fact, this goes far beyond PPC best practice, but so important that you shouldn’t avoid it. In the case of PPC ads, you are simply wasting your marketing budget and moreover losing significant opportunities on ignoring the mobile-first approach. Whichever target market and demographics you focus, mobile first is inevitable.

There are reassuring statistics based on market studies that about 58 percent of the PPC conversions are now coming through mobile phones. Most importantly, these are coming with the lowest cost per conversion.

If not tried yet, you can analyze this at each campaign level to determine whether you have to adjust the bids based on the devices too along with another criterion. You may first try a 10 percent increment or decrement to identify how these changes impact at the bottom line to devise your strategies.

4. Test the features

As we have seen above, there are many features you may consider in 2019 in terms of Google paid ads as like promotion extensions and upstream video campaigns, etc. Another such feature outside Google, which can give an impact is Bing Ads. This is now one of the first Artificial Intelligence enabled approach h to online marketing campaigns, which can give an extra push to your search campaigns.

The AI algorithm can analyze billion of audience-centric signals from the online searches and make of these in relevant in-market lists and hit the target audience with the right offering at the right time to make it a sale.

5. Integrating audience with the search

From the beginning of it to now, we were restricted to just keywords in the search engines. However, now we can so layer on the target audience too to refine the keyword campaigns.

Here, what we mean by the audience are those users who get grouped based on their interest or online behavior. We have seen such an example at Bing Ads audiences. Similarly, there are some opportunities to check in Google Ads too to explore in 2019.

  • More specific demographics: Apart from age, gender, and other basics, you may also check out the marital status, parental status, education, home-ownership, income, etc.
  • Custom intent: you can get proper in-market behavior and custom intent by analyzing the searches and online behaviors to get buying cues.

Along with these, it is also advisable for the PPC managers to learn some scripting also to automate the repetitive tasks in their Google Ads campaigns to make those more effective. It may be initially a bit overwhelming to learn the scripting basics, but you can practice it a little bit with some use cases and online resources to slowly gain expertise. Overall, there is a good lot to cover up in 2019 to make your digital marketing campaigns smoothly sail and succeed.

Digital Branding

New Age Issues of Rapid Data Flow – How to Collect the Best Data

Even though big data projects are a normal part of doing business in the modern world, many organizations are still struggling with applying and implementing their big data strategies. According to the Gartner survey from 2016, the majority of businesses are stuck in the first stage of their data initiatives. Also, there are fewer organizations that plan to invest, mostly because they are not sure how to use the data, or they think about it as a separate effort. Let’s see at first what big data is and what its characteristics are, and afterward, the essential ways and steps to collect the best data.

The characteristics of big data

There is no exact number of terabytes and gigabytes which will differ big data from small, or average-sized one. Big data simply requires large storage space and businesses are always forced to find new ways of storing it. Besides, new data is created quickly, and organizations have to respond in real time. Also, data is usually present in different formats – text, images, videos, databases, etc. Therefore, finding ways of collecting and storing it has to be one of the priority goals for (almost) any bigger business.

At first, start with small data

It is highly recommended not to set your data sites too big at the start. At first, develop big data analytic techniques on smaller data. That way, if you see the return of investment on minor data streams, you’ll know that you’re capable of new challenges. It is impossible to get the value of big data instantly; it is a slow and thorough process. Therefore, the best way to see if you are on the right track is to start with minor data streams. Furthermore, small data could also mean that you are focusing only on the highly important stuff for your organization, which will further result in collecting the best data.

Do not hesitate to recruit and cooperate with big data talents and companies

Handling, developing and managing all the data is impossible without the help of professionals and experts. Almost all prominent organizations in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore should head towards cooperating with the data experts. However, that doesn’t only include engineers and scientists (by the way, their services are expensive, but very much worth it). As a big organization, you also have to care about your reputation in various digital platforms and media. Collecting that sort of data is an entirely separate job. Usually, the best way of handling this is to cooperate with other agencies and companies which will take care of your media appearance, social mention monitoring, campaign tracking, etc. That way, you’ll also handle a lot of your marketing efforts.

Data integration, validation, and security

Data comes from many different places – email systems, social media streams, applications, etc. Combining all those bits of data to create reports could be extremely difficult. However, investing in new data technologies and solutions (analytics software, integration technology) might be the best way of resolving this matter.

Data validation can often cause a similar issue. Many organizations are collecting data from different systems, and sometimes, the results from those systems do not match. The process of fixing those results, so that they match, as well as ensuring their accuracy, is called data governance. Solving these issues usually requires a set of policies and procedures and new technology. Investing in data management solutions which simplify data governance is often the best way to go.

Finally, security is also an essential step, especially for those companies with large data storage. Protecting yourself with additional security measures might be a smart idea, even though it’s going to be more expensive. The most popular additional steps are identity and access control, data encryption and segregation.

Implementing data strategies for your company or organization might be the most challenging task of them all. However, starting with small data is usually the best way, not only because you lack experience or money, but to collect only the best data. Afterward, if you seem to handle it with reliable ROI, start thinking bigger. Connect with experts and companies in different fields, and invest in technology which will improve data integration, validation, and security.

Uncategorized

6 Key Reasons to Hire Remote Digital Marketing Employees

The Internet has radically altered the marketing world. An email has allowed us to send instant newsletters and promo materials to clients and prospective customers, and you can even get business just by having someone search for your product or service.

If the terms organic search, SEO, keywords, anchor text, and title tag all seem strange to you, it may be time to think about contracting with a digital marketing team. And while you may like dealing with employees that come to your office each day, savvy business owners realize that the best digital marketing teams may work remotely—in other words away from your office. Here are six great reasons to hire a remote marketing team:

Avoid the Local Lack-of-Qualified Employees Issue

We are in a period of almost full employment with the unemployment rate recently down to a very low 3.6 percent. When this happens, it’s tough to find quality employees, and if you live in a small town, it may even be more difficult. Using a remote workforce, however, allows you to pick from the global employee pool, and that can make finding the proper employees or contractors a lot easier.

Motivated

Many remote employees cherish the gig economy where they can work as much or as little as they desire from wherever they want. A lot of these Millennial workers are desperately trying to earn money to buy a house or to start a family, so they want to work as much as possible. These types of workers are almost always looking for more opportunities and they also want to hold on to the clients they have. This mindset can cause remote employees to be more responsive as they will want to do a great job for you in order to win and keep your business.

Perspective Advantages

A remote contractor in India that has worked with companies worldwide can give your business a different perspective because they may have been involved in a project similar to yours in a different state or a different country. An outsider’s perspective can be very valuable to you and your business.

Anytime

You can find remote employees to match your business hours, or you could find a remote digital marketing company that has employees available to work around the clock. Rather than having to depend upon your in-house staff for overtime when big projects need to get done quickly, you can count on an array of remote employees stationed in a variety of countries able to be called on when you need them.

Cost Effective Benefits

Remote employees are almost always hired on a contract basis, and therefore you will not have to withhold taxes or offer benefits. You can contract at a set hourly rate and also avoid paying overtime—a great benefit to the small business owner. You also don’t need to supply them with an office. If they’re totally comfortable working from their cheap studio apartment in their hometown of Minneapolis, or any city in the world for that matter, then you’re saving a bunch of money on office and business expenses.

 

Happy Workers

Contract remote employees will work for you because they want to and are generally happy that they have the freedoms that remote employment provides. Happy workers are more productive workers and, as any entrepreneur will tell you, the lack of employee issues is a great thing.

Yes, you can still do in-house digital marketing, and hire great local people, but you may want to consider going remote for the reasons listed above.

 

 

Digital BrandingLegal Branding

5 Steps for Creating Your Brand Strategy

Wherever you are in your eCommerce journey, it is vital to put brand strategy to work for your business. According to Simon Sinek, best-selling author of Start With Why, “people don’t buy what you do [or sell], they buy why you do it [your brand].”

Your brand tells the world who you are, why you exist and what sets you apart from the crowd. Do branding well, and you create a conversational marketing strategy where your business takes on a personality of its own, communicating with customers at an emotional level.

To help you find the voice of your business, we have created this brand strategy guide to take your business to the next level.

The 5 Step Plan for Building a Winning Ecommerce Brand

Think of your brand as the foundation of your eCommerce business. This is the first thing your customers are going to notice, and what it says about you can make a huge difference between being passed up for the competition and getting that first-time conversion.

1. Evaluate Who You Really Are

The first step to building your brand is to evaluate who you are and how you want to operate in the marketplace.

Customers want to buy products from companies with integrity. That doesn’t mean that you have to offer your customers the world. Just make sure that you deliver on the promises that you make.

Authenticity should be the driving force while you forge your brand. Keep it at the forefront of your strategy as you work through the remaining four steps.

Whoever your brand is, think about the kind of customer that brand will resonate with. Think about how they will identify with your brand and your core values.

If you want a perfect example of this, look at Apple. Their slogan “Think Different” had college lecture halls filled with MacBooks by the mid-2000s. They built their brand on innovation, on something different than the “stuffy” windows computers businessmen were using. This appealed to a lot of creators, young people, and those in an alternative industry.

2. Get into the Mind of Your Customers

Who will you be selling your products to? You’ll want to use detailed statistics and demographics, delving into your ideal customer’s mind to see what triggers them to buy.

Below are some questions to consider.

  • What do you know about your current customers?
  • What is the age, gender, household income, marital status, education level and occupation of those who could benefit most from your products?
  • How will the personal habits (values, lifestyle, and personality) of your customers influence their buying decisions?

If you have a customer base now, create a survey and send it out. The more you know about your ideal customer, the easier it is to sell your products to them.

From here, you can create a marketing persona or a symbolic customer that represents your customers as a whole. When you have all of that information and the marketing persona, think about who that person is when you write copy, create visuals, or craft your marketing messages.

When you write for that person, it’s going to feel more authentic with your brand voice and for that customer. Build your marketing around your customers’ wants and needs, and they will become loyal to your brand.

3. Identify Your Core Values

Earlier, we discussed the importance of authenticity.

Now, it’s time to identify the core values of your business. How do you want to treat your customers? Or put another way: How do you want your customers to view your brand?

Your core values will determine how your company is going to operate the business from day to day. Also, think about whether or not your core values represent your products and brand. For example, if you’re promoting a luxury product that’s meant to be high-quality and on the upper pricing scale, using flashy red sales vectors is going to destroy that image. You wouldn’t want to seem cheap.

Below are a few ideas to consider.

  • Honesty in advertising
  • Respect for customers
  • Promptness in fulfilling orders

What is essential to your company? Make sure your values are sustainable so that you can remain true to your brand.

There have been plenty of environmentally-friendly brands that found that their practices were unsustainable. It’s important to think about sustainability when determining core values, else you’ll end up with a scandal later.

4. Create A Core Brand Statement

Now that you have gone through steps one through four, you need to whittle everything into a succinct and pithy core brand (or mission) statement.

Your core brand statement will be the driving force behind your business, and all your marketing will flow from it. Your mission statement should be clear and memorable but also realistic. You don’t want to set your team up for failure nor let down your customers.

Once you’ve created your statement, send it to all your team members, and ask them to memorize it. It should be short enough to learn quickly – as little as 10 words.

A sample statement for an online jewelry store might be: “To beautify the human spirit with exquisite and unique jewelry.”

This mission statement should appear on your site. It should be present in some form in your copy, your photos, and your marketing messages.

I don’t mean copy it word for word in everything, but you need to have it in mind when you’re creating content for your brand. Your content needs to embody that mission statement at every turn.

5. Publicize Who You Are Across All Channels

Up to this point you’ve

  • Determined to be authentic
  • Got into the mind of your ideal customer
  • Identified your core values
  • Created a mission statement

Now it’s time to take the brand that you have created and let it speak for itself in all your marketing channels.

Your brand should have a unique “voice” that can be heard in your email marketing automation, social media platforms, and all your web pages. This conversational marketing strategy will resonate with your customers and create loyalty to your brand.

Brand consistency is critical to getting customers to believe in that brand. If you’re communicating in one way on Facebook, another way on your site, and then sending really different emails, there’s going to be a huge disconnect for your customers.

A great way to maintain brand consistency is to create a brand style guide for your company and distribute it to each employee. Think about how copy should sound, what visuals should look like, and variations of your logo and slogan. You want your employees to be on the same page.

A great brand isn’t created in a day. It takes thinking about the present and the future of what your brand might become to really nail it.

It’s also okay not to get it right the first time. While rebranding is difficult and complex, it’s not impossible if you see your brand going in a new direction. The important thing is to get the authenticity right and be flexible to how the market shifts in the future.

We hope this brand strategy guide has been helpful and will take your eCommerce store to new levels of success.

Local Branding

5 Slides Every Start-Up Pitch Deck Needs

The more creative, unique and memorable your pitch deck is, the better. That said, there is certain information that needs to be present in every start-up presentation.

Of course, there will be slides in your pitch deck that are unique to your brand’s message, but there are certain things an audience needs to know whether they are an investor or potential client or user.

By working with a professional presentation design company, you can make sure that all of this essential information is present in your presentation and is conveyed in a way that represents your brand’s unique story.

Considering that, according to Tech Crunch, the average investor only looks at a pitch deck for an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds, you’re going to want to make every slide count and leave no question left unanswered.

If you are tasked with building or presenting a pitch deck for your start-up, these are the slides that are the bare bones of every good pitch presentation:

1. Mission Statement

Entrepreneur defines a mission statement as “what an organization is, why it exists, its reason for being.”You can’t have a pitch deck without a slide outlining the purpose of your company and what it wants to achieve.

Your mission statement should be punchy and enticing. Mission statement slides are an impactful way to either begin or end a pitch presentation.

2. What’s the Problem &How Will Your Company Solve It?

Why do people need your company, and how will your company satisfy these needs? This is a question every business will need to answer in their pitch presentation. Integrating this type of slide is a good way to convey the services your company will provide and why these services are needed.

3. Big Numbers

How many users or customers has your company already attained? What is the current and potential size of your company’s user base?

Data talks, so prove your value by showing important numbers. Your ROI, current and projected earnings, current and projected userbase, statistics of your target demographic; these are all substantial numbers to have on a slide — or multiple slides — in your pitch deck.

They key is to make sure these numbers pack a punch. You can always get Stinson Design working for you to create infographics and visualize data in ways that will deliver the importance of these numbers.

4. Demographics

Your pitch deck will need to address what services your company offers, why they are needed, and specifically who needs them.

It’s essential to showcase the volume of your target audience in a way that is clear and engaging. After all, if a lot of people or companies can make use of your offerings, that’s a huge selling point for your brand.

5. Past & Projected Timelines

What has your company attained in the last year? 5 years? You should have at least one slide displaying what you’ve already accomplished.

This slide should be followed by one that displays your projected 5-year plan. If you have any projections based on data findings, present them at this point in your presentation in a visually appealing way.

A PowerPoint presentation company will provide your brand with an informative and engaging pitch deck that integrates made-to-order graphics like graphs and technical drawings to visually depict what your company is about, what it’s achieved, and where it’s going.

Digital Branding

10 Tips to Overcome Email Rendering Challenges

Sending an email can either make your brand or break it. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to design your emails for smooth user experience. A broken email layout is the biggest blasphemy for any marketer as well as the subscriber. The way your subscribers perceive your email determines the level of engagement garnered from the campaigns.

Email marketers face some rendering challenges because of two main reasons:

-Suppression of images

Certain email clients block images by default according to the security settings set by the subscriber. Outlook and Yahoo! automatically reset these settings and turn off the images. Consequently, the subscriber might not be able to understand the purpose of the email, which will hamper the performance of your email campaigns because of the improper rendering.

-Formatting changes

Text alignment, bullets, and font sizes can change according to the email client that the subscriber uses to view the email. Your recipient will not have the leniency to struggle through poorly rendering emails. Most often, such emails will land in the trash bin or even worse get marked as spam.

Here are 10 simple tips on how to overcome rendering challenges in emails.

1. Insert a preview text that aligns well with the subject line and purpose of the email

A preview text elaborates the subject line and lets the subscriber know more about the purpose of the email. Often, marketers face the challenge of limited characters allowed in the subject lines. Preview text helps to overcome this issue.

Here’s an example of how your email will be viewed in case you do not add the preheader text.

2. Add Alt text for all the visual elements

You cannot do away with visual elements in emails. However, it is important to consider the rendering of these elements across the diverse email clients. Many email clients have images turned off by default, owing to which the user might not be able to understand the purpose of the email.

Take a look at the screenshot below.

To make sure that your email does not look like this, always add Alt text to the imagery included in the email. This practice is also crucial when it comes to creating accessible emails.

Here’s an example showing the right usage of Alt text.

3. Avoid using JavaScript

Mostly every email client blocks JavaScript as it can conceal malware and lead to security issues. Consequently, you should not use it in your emails.

4. Choose your fonts wisely

Include the standard web-safe fonts in your emails so that there are no rendering issues.

If you plan to use custom fonts to grab the reader’s attention, it is a must to add fallback fonts with similar height and spacing. The safest bet is to use fonts like Arial, Comic Sans, Courier New, Georgia, Impact, Palatino, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Times New Roman, and Verdana.

Email clients supporting web fonts are enlisted below.

  • Native Android Email client
  • Outlook 2000
  • Outlook.com app
  • AOL Mail
  • Apple Mail
  • iOS Mail
  • Safari browser

5. Inline CSS and tables instead of using CSS Stylesheets

Emails render differently from websites. Many email clients do not support stylesheets which makes it incumbent upon the developer to use tables and inline styles rather than CSS.

6. Use tables rather than divs

While websites are designed using divs, most of the email clients do not support <div> tags. Therefore, emails should be coded using table tags. Moreover, it is easier to create responsive emails with tables.

7. Specify HTML text for CTAs

It is strongly recommended you do not use images for your calls to action. CTAs should be written in HTML text for better rendering. Also, do not have any CTAs in the background images.

8. Standard bullets are more preferable over custom-designed bullets

Use standard bullets instead of custom-designed bullets so that there are no rendering issues. Alternatively, you can make the bulleted list into an image with suitable alt text.

9. It is safe to use <br> instead of “float” and “clear”

Float and CSS properties of CSS can get mixed up in the emails. Therefore, it is better to use HTML code as <br> instead of CSS.

10. Mention the widths and heights in pixels instead of percentages

Some email clients do not look at percentage values as a valid property. If you have to manage large images within the email designs, it is advisable to use pixel sizes as opposed to percentage values.

Wrap up

The foundation of designing a flawless email that renders well across every device and email client is “responsiveness”. Design for “Images Off” so that it overcomes the problem of image suppression.

If you follow these two tips and test your emails before every send, you will surely conquer the obstacle of improper rendering.

Author Bio

Chintan is Head of Operations at InboxArmy LLC. He has been into email marketing domain from last 7 years. Chintan is connected to InboxArmy, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing services from email production to deployment. Chintan’s track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.

Local Branding

An Active Businessperson’s Guide to Aging Parent Care

You’ve worked hard to get where you are now and establish yourself within the career you have chosen. As an active businessperson who prioritizes work success, it can come as quite a shock when your aging parents need assistance from you. After all, you’ve managed to get this far in life and business thanks to your loving parents who have supported you from day one. But just like they were sometimes busy with work when you were a child, getting away from your business endeavors in order to spend time and care for your parents can become quite a big problem for everyone, and especially you. But, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Technology to the rescue

As it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to wiggle your way out of the business meetings you probably have scheduled a month in advance, it would be best to utilize the power of the digital age we live in and introduce your parents to the world of social media. Regardless of their age, managing social media accounts and browsing the Web shouldn’t be too difficult to master. Not only will you be able to check up on them and have a quick chat, but they’ll have something entertaining to do when they’re home alone.

Complete fall prevention

In case your aging parents live alone at their own home, you want to conduct a “fall audit” (similar to a business audit) to make sure that there are no trip hazards at their place considering that you won’t be able to run to them immediately if something happens. That said, inspect their home when you have the chance for problematic cords, poor lighting, unused furniture that simply creates clutter, slippery surfaces, lack of rails/grab bars around the stairs or in the bathroom, and so on. If you can’t deal with fixing the issues due to your business responsibilities, hire someone else to do it.

Look for professional help

In case your parent or parents also suffer from some kind of illness, either physical or mental, and need special care in that regard as well, you most definitely need to get some professional help. The chances are that you won’t be able to leave work in order to take your folks to doctor’s appointments. This is where contemporary dementia care programs can help you. And even if your parents don’t like the idea, you can convince them by explaining to them that they’ll have all the freedom they want and that they can go back home every once in a while as well.

Make sure they’re not lonely

It’s not uncommon for seniors to withdraw and stay away from social contact, especially when they spend their time away from their home. Add to that the fact that you won’t be able to give them your full attention due to the responsibilities you have and your business, and you get a grumpy and lonely elder. Making sure that their care program and/or facility organizes outings and get-togethers which they’ll be obliged to attend is likely to help them open up a bit again and enjoy social activities and encounters once more.

Even if you’re fully committed to your career and business at hand, you can do everything in your power to provide security and protection to your aging parents. You don’t have to be present all the time for them to know that you love and care for them. And as an active business person, you’ll probably be able to master the scheduling when it comes to squeezing your parents into your lifestyle, at least when regular checkups are concerned.

Digital Branding

How Should Your Email Header and Footer Be?

The world may have adopted newer styles of communication but, you simply cannot ignore email, as it is one of the primary and most often used mode of communication. Despite being the oldest form of digital communication, it is still relevant and effective in the current times.

99% of consumers check their emails on a daily basis.

59% of the people claimed that email marketing did influence their purchase decisions.

These statistics go on to prove the point made earlier on the effectiveness and relevancy of emails in the current time and age. However, it is not enough to just draft an email and send it across; you need to think through the complete anatomy of the email and define the various parts in a way that will grab the audience’s attention and make them convert.

The two most crucial elements of email design are the header and the footer. Most marketers don’t really give importance to these two aspects when designing the email, but it is one of the reasons you gain success with your emails.

Designing the Header: Start with an Impact

The header is the first thing that connects with the audience when they open the email. Your header should not only grab the audience’s attention but also manage to set the tone and expectations for the email. It is the header that will decide whether the target will read your email contents or not.

Here’s what a good header does for your brand:

  • The branding is clearly defined with the header, and the recipient is well aware who the sender of the email was. Secondly, it resonates with the branding elements and ensures there is a quick connection between the email and the audience reading it.
  • The header is generally short and precise and mentions what the email is about in those few words. The reader can skim through the content with ease if the header is defined properly, and they will know whether their attention is required for the rest of the copy or not.
  • The same header can be used across the different email campaigns, thus calling for consistency of the emails sent out by the brand. The user would know who they are receiving the email from, and this consistency helps build the brand’s image and also the engagement rate.

Header Design Best Practices

  • Image Size: If you are adding an image to the header of the email that you are planning to send out, then you need to keep in mind that the header’s height is no more than 350px. Once the image size is fixed, your header should include the following three elements that make up for the branding and consistency of email headers.
    • The first part of the email header is the branding, which means you should identify your company’s name and logo in the header image itself. By identifying yourself to the audience, you are increasing the trust and recognition for your brand.
    • What is the email about? For instance, is your email transactional or event related? The email header should pronounce the kind of email you are sending to the readers. This will help your audience understand whether or not the email is relevant to them.
    • The CTA should be kept in the first fold itself so that the users are compelled to take the action, and you can accomplish your goals. However, designing the CTA and getting users to take action can be quite complicated if you have not conveyed the entire message in a single line. Make sure your header content talks about what to expect in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Simplicity: When designing the header, you should keep it as easy and functional as possible. Navigating through the menu placed in the header should be intuitive. The images in your email should be segregated from the design so that neither overpowers the other, and the focus message remains clear. Keep the email header design minimal and use a simple structure to define it.
  • Colors: When designing the header image, make it a point to use contrasting colors along with calls-to-action that stand out to make the desired impression on the readers. The idea is to grab the eyes with effective and incredible designs.
  • Content: This is an important aspect of the header that you design. You need to include content that matches the overall design. Eye-catching font colors and modern design will help your content stand out amidst the competition.

Some interesting examples of header designs by top brands

The above image shows how National Geographic has included the CTA in the first fold and clearly enabled the different branding elements in the header image.

The above image shows how precise the content is for the header image. It sets the tone and pace for the remaining email for the readers.

Designing the Footer: The Perfect Ending

If the reader manages to skim through the entire email, the last thing they would read in the email would be the footer. The footer is your last chance to connect with the readers and offer them some valuable information, which has not been mentioned throughout the email.

Here’s what a good footer does for your brand:

  • It attempts to remove all the unrelated information and helps streamline the entire communication of the email with minimal words or phrases.
  • The terms and conditions are part of the footer content. Such things help the readers gain transparency and will allow them to understand what the promotion is all about.
  • There are a few steps mentioned in the footer, in case of promotions, which assures the user about the direction they need to take to complete the transaction of any kind.

Footer Design Best Practices

  • Inclusions: When designing the footer, there are a few elements that you cannot ignore. Here are the footer inclusions that are a must
    • A backlink to your site is essential – either to a site page or to the blog, depending on where you want to take the user. The users should understand a bit more about your website and your brand, and the footer link is the only way for that.
    • The mailing address is important as readers should know where to contact you for more information. Also, include other contact information such as your email address and phone number.
    • The social media links should be placed along the footer. Use social media icons and link them to your social media pages so that the users can gain more insights about your brand.
    • You can also add a sign-up link, a menu and other such information in the footer if needed.
    • Don’t forget to add copyright information as well as a link to the privacy policy in the footer.
  • Simple & precise: The design of the should be simple and insightful. It should grab the user’s attention with the content placed in it. Don’t try to stuff too much information into the footer. Focus on the central message while designing the footer, and just include what you believe works for the readers.
  • Organize it: It is important to organize the content in the footer in a defined manner. You ought to make sure that the content has a hierarchy, which is based on the kind of actions you want the user to take. You should direct the users towards one action at a time.
  • Space it out: Take up the space to communicate every part of the email footer in a defined manner. Don’t cramp up the content just to reduce the space as that will have a negative impact on the readers.
  • Signoff: It is important that you have a signoff that you can use with every email you send to the customers. It could be playful or serious, depending on the image you are trying to carve for your brand.

Some interesting examples of header designs by top brands

You can see how well organized and hierarchy-based arrangement in the footer design looks like. It gives the reader clarity on what is expected of them first, and what are the various actions they can take.

The perfect signoff can be seen in the Google Home hub email in the form of “was this email helpful?”.

You also see add-on content like copyright and privacy policies in the footer in a defined manner. The social icons are well spaced out that makes it a perfect example of an email footer.

Wrap up

If email marketing is important to you, then you ought to look into every element of the email and ensure that they are properly designed and defined.

The header and footer play an important role in enhancing the overall appeal of the email and increasing email engagement.

Both the header and footer should be designed carefully and should be simple and intuitive. The content should specifically convey what you want to say throughout the email, for the header. In the case of the footer, the content should convey that you have ended the email and offer some more valuable information to the users. Links to the websites or other social sites can help the user know more about you as a brand, and bring higher conversions for you.

Author Bio

Chris Donald is the Director of InboxGroup, A professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing result-driven email marketing services. He has worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government bodies in all facets of their email marketing services email audit and marketing automation programs for almost 2 decades. He enjoys sharing his distinctive thoughts and insights into email marketing best practices at his blog.

Digital Branding

4 Examples Of Great Brand Newsletters To Inspire You

Your newsletter is an important part of your branding and marketing efforts. It’s where you showcase your brand personality, upsell products, and strengthen your customer communities.

But creating a great brand newsletter is easier said than done. So why not take inspiration from some brands that have got it right? Read on for 4 examples of stunnig  brand newsletters that you can learn from today.

Apple: reinforce your branding in every element

Your email newsletters are an important touchpoint, an opportunity for you to showcase your unique brand to your customers. Every newsletter to your customers is a chance for you to strengthen your brand and stand out against your competition.

The key to this is consistency across every channel: your website, social media, emails, and so on should all reflect the same branding elements. And for a masterclass in newsletter branding, one need look no further than tech giant Apple:

Image Really Good Emails

 

Every aspect of this email exudes the Apple branding, from the cool monochromatic color scheme to the iconic sans serif font. This is complemented by the large, high-quality image that takes center-stage in the email — unmistakably Apple in its style.

The language used in the newsletter also appeals to the brand’s exclusivity. Every new product launch is met with queues hundreds of people long, and the invitation to “be one of the first” to own the new iPhone echoes that sense of anticipation.

What you can learn from it

Apple’s branding is a success story that everyone can learn from. Consistency is crucial. use the same font across every channel, the same color scheme, the same language, and so on. Even the timing of your newsletter should be consistent to nurture trust with your audience.

Just as important are the words you use to write about your brand. Your brand personality should permeate your newsletters through your copy, continuing the conversation across each communication.

The Creative Independent: show your audience you care

A successful brand newsletter should a) get opened, and b) get read. An intriguing subject line can help with the former, but with the latter, you should appeal to your readers as individuals.

This is achieved by fostering a customer community, showing your audience that you value their input towards your brand.

Creative hub The Creative Independent (TCI) knows the value of their audience to their brand, as exemplified in the newsletter below:

Image Really Good Emails

 

The newsletter opens with an affectionate term for TCI’s readers, a term that compounds the sense of belonging to a community. But it’s the content itself that really shows the reader their importance to the brand.

Not only did TCI actively seek out its audience’s input in their Emotional Planning Worksheet survey, but it also acted on the responses to provide value to its readers too. This comes in the form of a color visualization of the audience responses. It’s engaging, relevant to TCI’s target audience of creatives, and strengthens the brand-reader relationship by acting on your audience input.

What you can learn from it

The Creative Independent’s newsletter above shows the importance of valuing your audience and nurturing a two-way relationship with them. Actively invite input from your audience in the form of surveys, questionnaires, UGC contests, and so on.

But don’t let this input sit idle. Collate the best responses and send them out in your next newsletter, tagging individual customers by name (with their consent). Alternatively, transform survey responses into an infographic for some quick and interesting newsletter content.

Adobe: visual stuff is the hook that draws audiences in

The power of visuals is often shouted about in branding and marketing — and with good reason. A picture tells a thousand words, and we remember 80% of what we see and do (compared with 10% of what we hear and 20% of what we read).

And when it comes to your brand newsletters, strong visuals helps hook your readers and engage them with your actual content. Take the example from software brand Adobe, below:

Image Really Good Emails

 

What makes this newsletter stand out is its genuinely unique and eye-catching images.

Yes, its headers are bold and promising (what Adobe customer wouldn’t want to have the newest design features at their fingertips?) and its copy is concise and inspiring. But its the visual content that undeniably grabs the reader’s attention.

Intriguing mirror effects, high-res photos of gorgeous butterflies, splashes of color — all transfix the reader, keeping them locked into the newsletter, like moths to a flame. As a consequence, they are more susceptible to the other content in the email.

What you can learn from it

As a creative brand, Adobe has no shortage of stunning imagery to hand (not to mention a budget for it). Thankfully, you don’t need to have a big budget or a team of creatives to benefit from eye-catching visuals in your newsletter.

There are plenty of free photo sources that offer unique, creative content (like these crowdsourced photos for free use). Remember to only use photos that are relevant to your industry — a snap of a refreshing cold drink on a beach might look nice, but if you’re a tech company then it just won’t wash.

Unique, high-quality visuals that are a far cry from the generic stock photos you usually find in newsletters go a long way towards engaging readers with your message. Use visuals as the hook that leads your audience towards the cruz of your newsletter.

Google: concise and user-friendly wins the race

The average office worker receives 121 emails a day. As such, the time they spend sifting through them is limited, and their attention will only be focused on the most user-friendly and readable.

Dense reams of copy and unintuitive formatting repel readers. It’s visual noise that will put off even the most committed newsletter subscriber. For an example of user-friendly newsletters done right, take a look at this email from Think With Google, the search engine’s digital insights brand:

Image Really Good Emails

 

The newsletter itself provides a breakdown of different types of holiday customers, with an invitation to learn more with a bold call-to-action at the bottom.

But the information is broken up into small sections, no more than one or two sentences long, with clear, intuitive headings to delineate each one. Each section is also complemented by a small graphic representing each type of shopper, adding an engaging visual element to help the reader process the information.

The newsletter piques readers’ interest, and gives them a clear direction should they wish to find out more about the subject. It’s a fine example of a concise, user-friendly newsletter that puts the reader first.

What you can learn from it

If you want your newsletter to be read and engaged with, its user experience is of tantamount importance. Strive for a logical, intuitive direction for your newsletter and break each section down into distinct subheadings.

Avoid excessively long sentences too — no more than 25 words. While it might be tempting to be verbose and flamboyant with your language, it won’t appeal to every reader. Short and sweet with simple language makes it easy for subscribers to stay engaged with your newsletter.

 

Struggling with your brand newsletter? No problem! Learn from the best and follow the tips above to create a newsletter that engages customers, reinforces your branding, and satisfies your readers every time.

Digital Branding

How Can Set up a Google Ads Campaign Help Real Estate Investors?

According to professionals, nothing is better than Google Ads because it is offering enormous benefits to us.  In order to attract a lot of customers then it would be better to make the use of Google Ads. Make sure that you are creating a genuine campaign that will increase the awareness of the business without any problem. In order to generate more revenue then Google ads would be beneficial for you. It is one of the most important things that will attract a lot of traffic on the website.  It isn’t a straightforward process because you need to analyze lots of things like finding a fantastic keyword that will improve visibility and will improve the revenue of a business. It has become one of the great advertising platforms. Let’s discuss the potential benefits of Google ads to real estate investors.

  • Fast promotion

Two types of things are out there that will surely improve the visibility of business like SEO and Google AdWords. If you don’t want to face any complicated problems, then it would be better to make the use of Google Adwords that will surely generate a lot of traffic and will improve the leads. It is a little bit faster than others. Like, if you are considering SEO, then it is mandatory for you to create a particular campaign that will attract a lot of traffic and will improve the revenue of a business.  Make contact with a professional who will surely create a genuine AdWords account that will improve the revenue and profit of the business. Ultimately, it is a particular technique where you will able to pay attention to the two keywords at a single time. It has become an effective strategy that will increase the visibility of the website.

  • Awareness of brand

Try to consider PPC management for real estate investors that will increase the wariness of the brand. It is a reliable option because it will attract a lot of traffic and will surely improve the conversion rate of the business. It is an efficient way to express ideas regarding your brand.  According to professionals, if you are working genuinely, then it will surely improve brand awareness by 6.6% without any problem. Overall, it is one of the great and reliable strategies that is improving the visibility and revenue of the website without any problem. Therefore, you should create a fantastic campaign for PPC management.

  • Connect with viewers

It is beneficial for those who want to attract a lot of new viewers on the official website. After creating a new website, you should create a particular campaign that would be beneficial. You should always create such a thing twice or thrice in a month that will improve the revenue of the business.

Moving further, while creating a particular campaign you have to pay close attention to the important things like budget, PPC, budget and other important things. You should analyze the ROI of the website carefully.