Vistaprint Internet Marketing - Electronic Services
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

Websites We Love: Inspiration
Websites We Love: Painting a Picture
Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Passion
Site Statistics Update
Websites We Love: Four Years Strong

Most Popular Posts

Adding Facebook and Twitter badges/buttons to your website
Websites We Love: Inspiration
Consider These Extras to Boost Your Website Activity
Top Three Reasons to Add a Contact Form to Your Site
Websites We Love: Showcasing Your Passion

Categories

Blog
Building Links
Building Websites
Content
digital trends
Domain Names
Email Marketing
extra
Facebook
Google
group buying
keywords
mobile
mobile device
New Product
paid search
Paypal
Product Updates
Release Notes
search
Search Engine Optimization
SEO
Shopping Carts
social media
Support
Twitter
Website Builder
Website Traffic
Websites
Websites We Love
widget
widgets

Archives

June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
September 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010

powered by

Internet Marketing Blog

Websites We Love: Engaging Content

Our latest edition of Websites We Love highlights a site with engaging content...something that is important when it comes to both your visitor's experience and overall interaction with your site.

This week, we were impressed with "world record breaking" DJ Jack Hill's video content in particular. His site features video throughout the pages, including on its Homepage and Contact Us section. Congrats, Jack!

How important is great content to you? Tell us in the comments section!

4 Ways to Accommodate Search Engines and Your Visitors

Optimizing your website to improve your search ranking can also help you create a better website that your visitors will enjoy. Here are our top four ways your optimization efforts can win over search engines AND your visitors.

1. Include search terms.

Search engines
will use the search terms throughout your site as a good indication of what your website is about and rank it accordingly.

Your visitors
will see your website closer to the top of search results so it will be easier to find.

2. Add your company name to your website header.

Search engines
look at your website header as an important description of your site’s subject matter and they’ll display your site when a search is calling for that topic.

Your visitors should know exactly what your website is about at first sight. Write your company name and add your tagline to further explain your business.

3. Make updates whenever you can.

Search engines
notice frequently updated websites first, which could improve your search rankings.

Your visitors
will appreciate seeing fresh content and will be more likely to check back often to see your updates.

4. Describe your images and videos.

Search engines
will use your text to determine your relevancy to searches. The more text you add to your website, the better.

Your visitors
will like that you’re providing details and telling your story.

Enjoy the process and do a little bit at a time to make sure you cover all of your bases. And remember, your primary audience is your site visitors, so cater to their needs first.

Three Quick Tips for Better Marketing

When it comes to marketing your website or online business, it can be easy to forget about marketing it offline, too. Although traditional online methods such as email marketing and having a local search profile are both vital, think about all the potential customers you might be missing! Here, we give you three quick tips on how to build your business and create a strong brand though offline AND online marketing.

1. Keep It Consistent
When it comes to your business, consistency is one of the most important things to keep in mind, and ultimately, it strengthens your brand identity while helping customers easily identify your business. So when you want to create something new to market your biz, whether it’s as small as a postcard or as large as an email marketing campaign, start off by ask yourself the following questions:

Will my logo be easy to recognize?
Is my design template memorable?
Does my content match the theme of my business?

The answer to all of those questions should be yes, but if it’s not, don’t worry! Vistaprint offers hundreds of matching design templates so you can create marketing materials to match your business card, website, brochure and more!

2. Avoid a Marketing Rut
If you find yourself using the same advertising methods over and over again, it might be time to get creative. Using a variety of mediums can help you acquire a larger customer base and can have great returns. For instance, if you run a local business, and have been using mostly online marketing to generate in-store traffic, you might want to see if mailing postcards in your area can encourage more people to stop in. Plus, you can track its success by asking people to bring in their postcard in order to receive a discount or a free gift. There are other offline marketing products that can give you great results. Some inventive examples include leaving flyers in local shops, posting lawn signs to attract passersby and using car magnets to increase your exposure as you commute.

3. Get It Together
The more your advertising and marketing tools work together, the more success they will bring your business. Your offline materials should support your online efforts and vice-versa. Hint: Make sure your print pieces – such as business cards, postcards and brochures – contain all of your contact information. Include your website address and your business email address, and encourage prospective customers to visit your website or sign up for your e-newsletters.

Although we’ve just scratched the surface of this subject, if all of your customer communication is working together online and offline as one cohesive unit, you will create a professional look, be viewed as a reputable and trustworthy business and drive more traffic to your store. Even if customers can’t remember where they put your flyer, they’ll still remember you – that’s the power of a strong brand identity.

Websites We Love: Site Evolution

In this installment of Websites We Love, we asked our Internet Marketing Facebook community how they encourage their customers and/or Website visitors to get in touch with them. As usual, we received a number of awesome responses, but had to choose just ONE winner.

This week's Website We Love comes from Erica Jayne Clavin, who thinks that when it comes to customers getting in contact with her, simple is sometimes best! "I encourage visitors to fill out a simple contact form connected to my website email," she says. She also points out that a successful website is constantly evolving, and your customers dictate what's added to the site. "I also encourage them to view my other online locations, as I am currently redeveloping my website to better suit my visitors needs," she says. "If [customers] are close enough to my area, they can visit me at the salon, or join on my many volunteer activities!" Congrats, Erica!

Do you agree? How important is your site's evolution? Tell us in the comments section!

Websites We Love: Great Design


It’s week two of Websites We Love, and we received a number of great responses from our Internet Marketing Facebook Community about what they’re most proud of when it comes to their site. It was very difficult for us to choose just ONE to feature here on our blog, but we had to crown a winner! This week’s Website We Love comes from Jennifer Gates, who is most proud of her site’s design. We agree, and think the design is awesome! We’re also big fans of her super-creative business name, "Cake Placid." (It's a cake business in — you guessed it — Lake Placid, New York.) Congrats, Jennifer!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Welcome to Websites We Love

When thinking about how to showcase all the great sites our customers build, we came up with a neat idea: ask our Internet Marketing Facebook Community to share theirs! We received such a great response, we're turning it into a weekly feature. Every Wednesday, we'll highlight one awesome site here on the blog, and on our Facebook page.

As we mentioned, we received a ton of great responses, so it was very hard for us to choose just one to highlight. Our first Website We Love comes from Lisa Draisey of Parkland Bridal. Her favorite feature? The blog, where there is a ton of info for customers! We're also big fans of her clean design, great content and picture-packed testimonials section. Congrats, Lisa!

Want your site to be featured here? Keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Websites We Love announcement! In the meantime, you can check out all the great sites that were posted here and here.

Seven Simple Tips for Going Mobile

Whether it’s at work, a restaurant or the gym, it seems as though iPhonesAndroids  and iPads  are everywhere. According to Digital Buzz, that’s not very far from the truth; in fact, mobile devices are fast becoming the most popular way  to access the Web. But what is the difference between a standard website and a mobile site? The easy answer is accessibility. Imagine trying to fit everything on your home page onto your phone’s screen. Not pretty, right? It would be overcrowded, difficult to read, and even harder to navigate. Mobile sites can alleviate those usability issues, reduce load time and, perhaps most importantly, make it super-simple for users to contact you while they’re on the go. And now, you can set up a mobile site through Vistaprint!
 
 
Small Tips, Big Benefits
Setting up a mobile site isn’t as difficult as you might think, and following the tactics below can help you — and your customers — get the most out of your mobile site.
 
  • Make it useful. A customer is probably accessing your business’s site from a mobile device because he or she wants to get in touch with you…what he or she doesn’t want to do is navigate through a number of pages before finding out how to reach you. Keep the info your visitors are looking for on the home page, at their fingertips, and make sure it’s easy to read and click.
    Hint: Try adding a prominent “Contact Us”button.
  • Stick with easy navigation.Large font, big buttons and short sentences can help make your mobile site easier to navigate. Forcing visitors to work hard to view info will likely cause them to give up, and move on. A major advantage of mobile sites is that they’re formatted to mobile devices, so everything is larger, but contained within a specific width so users won’t have to scroll to find their way through your site.
    Hint: Check out your mobile site on an actual mobile device…if you find it difficult to navigate, imagine how visitors will feel!
  • Keep it simple. Remember, on a mobile device, viewers are likely interested in learning about your products, finding directions or getting in touch with you. And while you want your site to be informative, too much info will give your visitors more pages to sift through before they get to their desired destination.
    Hint: If you think you’ve added too much content, chances are you have. Think about consolidating it through the use of bullet points.
  • Speed it up. Tons of images, videos and unnecessary content can make your mobile site’s load time far too long.
    Hint: Save the flashy stuff for your main website! You don’t need to trash all the bells and whistles you love, just think mobile = minimal.
  • Proofread. Performing simple checks, such as confirming your phone number is accurate and verifying that your address is up-to-date, will pay off in the long run…and make for happier customers.
    Hint: Don’t forget to spell- and grammar-check. Knowing the difference between “you’re” and “your” can go a long way.
  • Publish your hours of operation. Although it might seem obvious, forgetting to publish and update your store hours is a common mistake. Remember, users will likely be looking at your site when they’re on the go, or when they’re looking to contact you; inaccurate hours can mean a missed business opportunity.
    Hint: Be sure to keep this info front and center, along with your phone number.
  • Get social! Adding social media buttons to your site so you can communicate with users in the social space is key.

    Hint: No need to add every social site on the Internet — Facebook and Twitter is a good place to start.
 
Don’t forget to check out our website, where in just a few steps, you can now set up your own mobile site!

Digital Marketing Dictionary

We get it — when it comes to getting listed online, the process can be overwhelming. The first step is understanding what terms such as “local search” and “organic search” mean, and how they relate to your site.


Key Terms

Local Search
: The basic definition revolves around geography. Results are displayed when a potential customer searches online for a product or service within a specific geographic location. For example, if you type “landscaping, Boston” into Google, Yahoo orYelp, it will return Local Search results for landscaping businesses in Boston.

Social Media: According to Merriam-Webster, Social Media includes “forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).” Whether or not you use Social Media in your personal life, utilizing it as a marketing tool for your business can have big benefits. Popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy to engage with existing customers and connect with new ones.

Organic Search: The original type of results in a search engine that include a list of websites. Major search engines such as Google evaluate websites based on credibility and relevancy so that searchers find the best matches for their search.

Search Engine Optimization: Otherwise known as SEO, it is the process of optimizing your website so it shows up in organic search. One specific way to do this is to think about various keywords that you use within your content.

Keywords: Think for a moment about what words you type in to your preferred search engine when you’re looking for something specific. For instance, if you were searching online for a restaurant that served a particular dish, but you couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant, you would likely type in keywords such as your location, the dish’s name, or perhaps even the main elements of the dish.

Paid Search: Results are advertisements or "sponsored links" in search engines that businesses can purchase from sites such as Google. Paid Search is a useful form of online marketing for some businesses because one can see results immediately, however, unlike other more gradual types of online marketing, it does cost money.
 
Over the next few months, we’ll be posting specific content about how you can utilize these key digital marketing terms. Can’t wait for the post? Keep in mind that we have an extensive Online Guide that can be found on your dashboard!

Group Buying 101

This post originally appeared on Vistaprint's Micro Business Perspectives Blog.

Here is a general overview of group buying and how small businesses are using it.

If you type “group buying” into Google, you’ll get over 44,500,000 results. The most recognized player however, is probably Groupon, a Chicago-based company that has enjoyed explosive growth over the past few years. The business model is simple: Groupon typically keeps half of the money generated from the deal, and the other half goes to the featured retailer. If, for instance, a $160 dinner is offered for $80 on the site, Groupon and the restaurant split the $80. As we mentioned, Groupon is just one of many group buying sites. Others in the space include LivingSocial, Google Offers and Gilt.
 
 
What about my business?

The big question, of course, is how does (or doesn’t) group buying fit into the world of a micro business owner? The first step might be looking at a few pros and cons. Although there are a number of advantages to consider when it comes to group buying, the biggest is likely the opportunity to generate buzz and in the end, reach a deep pool of new consumers you might not have been able to before. According to a Financial Times piece, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason thinks his company is the perfect way for small businesses to do just that: “We’re hands down the best way to get customers through the door,” he says. “Which for small businesses is the difference between success and failure.” And while customer procurement is undoubtedly vital, small business owners also have to weigh a number of important risk factors like potential financial impact, and whether or not they’ll be able to honor the deal if it takes off.
 
ToMuse takes a hard look at whether or not group buying is cost effective, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that it really depends on the offer. And as for delivering on the deal, one cautionary tale comes in the form of a cupcake. Rachel Brown, who runs a small bakery outside of London, featured what she thought was a simple deal on Groupon (a 75 percent discount on a dozen cupcakes) that would maybe generate a few hundred orders. Instead, she was flooded, finally cutting the orders off at a staggering 8,500 — which, for the record, is a lot of cupcakes. According to the Daily Mail, her business took a massive hit. “Because [Brown’s] deal had been so generous and the demand so huge, she made a loss on every order – wiping out her profits for the entire year,” the publication reports.

In the end, not all businesses are the same, and the decision comes down to you as a small business owner asking the right questions, such as: Is the risk worth the potential gain? Can I afford to offer such a deep discount? Am I prepared to honor the terms of the offer if there’s no limit? We’ve only scratched the surface of group buying, but hopefully you’ve gained a little insight.

Tell us in the comments section: Do you think you’ll consider group buying or will you stick to more traditional methods?

Image: Groupon

Adding Social Media Widgets

One question we get a lot is,“How can
I add social media buttons to my
Vistaprint website or email marketing campaign?” And the answer is: It’s easy! (Not to mention a great way for customers to share your content with their contacts, and grow your business.)

The Basics
So what are social media
widgets, anyway? If you’ve ever browsed the Web (which we are assuming you have) chances are, you’ve come across these handy applications on a number of occasions, and you might have even used them. Widgets are buttons that can be added to your website, email marketing campaign, blog or social media page; you can use widgets from social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to engage your site’s visitors, to increase brand awareness and attract more customers. You can checkout examples on sites such as Boston.com, and even right here on our blog to see how these versatile buttons are typically used.
 
How do I add them to my site?
Incorporating widgets is a simple process, with just a few steps once you’re logged in:
 

1. Go to your “Extras” menu in the Site Builder.
2. Click the “Add Social Media” icon.
3. Select the type of social media you’d like to add to your website. You can choose among “Like” and “Share” buttons from Facebook, Twitter extras like “Follow” and “Tweet” or a host of other social media widgets.
4. Once you choose the widget you want, set up the options for the given widget, and add it to your Website or Email Marketing Campaign!
 

Hopefully this quick how-to inspires you to get social with your site or campaign! Do you think you’ll be socializing your site or campaign anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section!

New updates for Vistaprint Websites

Over the past few months you have given our team great feedback on our suite of Internet Marketing products and how we can improve them. We truly appreciate this feedback and it allows us to our products updated and fresh.  We have recently rolled out two improvements to the photo functionality from this feedback and wanted to give you an overview of the changes.

Light-Boxes

Updating the light-boxes for single images was the first improvement we made. When a visitor to your site clicks on any of your images to “view larger,” they’ll see a light-box that highlights your picture.  Below is a screenshot of the new light-boxes in action:
Filmstrip

The other new addition that has been made is to our “filmstrip” image gallery extra.  The new features include: updated thumbnails, enlarge your “filmstrip”, and the ability to browse through existing albums. Below is a screenshot of the updated filmstrip functionality:
These new features are available for you to use now. Be sure to take a look at them and let us know what you think.

Consider These Extras to Boost Your Website Activity

 
 
I wanted to look at Vistaprint’s website users’ favorite features to keep visitors engaged.  In addition to the text and general info that you share on your site, here are tools I’d suggest using based on what’s succeeded for other businesses like yours: 

Get the word out with Social Media
 
Make it easy for visitors to spread the word about your business to their friends by adding social media links to your website.  We have lots of options to get you connected. 
 
A “Like” button allows visitors to interact with your site, or a “Share” button enables users to share your website on their Facebook Wall and Newsfeed.
 
If you make updates through Facebook or Twitter for your business, I’d suggest adding the Facebook or Twitter Feed.  This option automatically adds your posts to your website, keeping your content fresh and updated which search engines like Google® tend to reward with higher rankings.  
 
Here you can find more information if you’re just starting out with Social Media: Social Media and Your Business.
 
Don’t Just Say It, Show It with an Image

We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and it’s something all website owners should consider. Businesses can showcase their entire product lines, special events and staff.  Add just one photo or entire photo galleries with captions.
 
Add a Little Action with Videos
 
Videos can really spice up your site and intrigue your site visitors to learn more about you or your business. You may consider a product demonstration or customer testimonials to personalize online visits.  If you have a personal website, post clips of your wedding, baby milestones, celebrations or just funny videos you want to share with friends and family.
 
Pin-Point Yourself with a Map
 
Visualizing where customers can find you reminds clientele that you are local and easy to reach.   The maps feature also offers a link for Driving Directions to your location so customers can get to you quickly.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gather Visitor Information with a Form

Forms provide a convenient way for customers to contact you 24/7.  I’ve also seen many Vistaprint customers customize forms for things like quote requests and job postings with their own titles and dropdown or radio buttons.  See the Connect with Customers with Forms  article for more on how to maximize your forms.
 
Sell Your Products with PayPal®
 
Purchases are the lifeline to any business, so why not let your customers buy or donate through your website with PayPal®?  If you’re new to PayPal please check out our September post: Start Taking Payments Through PayPal in Less Than 30 Minutes.
 
Set the Tone with Music
 
Music can help to convey the tone of your website. You may want to play your company jingle to reinforce your marketing message, a non-profit organization or social awareness campaign may choose a poignant song to evoke emotion, or you may want to simply play all of your favorites on your different web pages. There’s only one rule when it comes to song selection – make sure it complements the content of your website.
 
These favorites can be added from the “Extras” button on your Site Builder’s toolbar.  Please let us know what your favorite Extras are, or other features you’re interested in.

Website Help Is Here!


Have you ever felt overwhelmed before sitting down to build your first website?  Do you stare at your computer for hours hoping that it will build itself?  Do you constantly ask yourself: “Where should I start?” 

I know how hard it can be to get your first website off the ground, especially if you’re new to internet marketing.  We’ve all wrestled with major decisions from “What’s the purpose of my site?” to “What type of design to use,” to “What kinds of pages should I include?”  Don’t we all wish that someone would sit next to us and help get that site published?

Everyone looking for guidance is in luck!  We recently introduced an integrated Website Setup Wizard and Checklist that will make it easier than ever for you to make an awesome site so you can announce your business to the world.


Website Wizard

So you just signed up for your free trial and you think “wow, what do I do now?”  As soon as you get to your dashboard, you will be able to get all the help you need by clicking “Help Me Get Started” on the left of the following screen:


This Setup Wizard will put you through a path that really helps address everything you need to get your site started.  We will get your name and message on your site and we will even recommend a website design that matches your other marketing materials or industry, which means everything can stay consistently branded.  If you’re having difficulty picking a website package, we have an interactive package selector to help.  We’ll ask you some questions that focus in on the website package that really suits your needs. You’ll also be able to set up all the pages you want, your website URL, and the email associated with your site. 

If something comes up while you’re going through the Setup Wizard, you can save at any point.  Next time you come back to your dashboard, you’ll be able get back in to where you left off from the dashboard message center.  Once you’re finished with the Setup Wizard, all you have to do is edit your content in the Website Builder and publish your site!      

Website Checklist

The Setup Wizard is great for those of you just starting up your site, but why stop there?  The Setup Wizard provides the essentials, but our new Website Checklist really helps grow your site.  Your personal checklist can be accessed from both your website dashboard and builder:

Dashboard:

Builder:

The checklist will really help you bring your site to the next level.  This interactive checklist will help you monitor your site and will give you guidance about what to add to your site - like maps, social media widgets and images.  The checklist will also help you easily edit your website keywords and add a guest book to connect with your customers.  It’ll even show the date you completed an item so you can reference it going forward!  This new feature will really help you get the most out of your site.


We really hope that the new Website Setup Wizard and Checklist help to get your site to the next level.  These tools are here to help you continue to grow your business online.  Looking forward to hearing your comments and thanks for your continued support. 

Search Engine Optimization and Google Webmaster Tools

 
 
A few weeks ago, I posted some information about a new tool we added to the website builder: a Meta Tag editor.  This may be new to many of you and you might be asking yourself some questions like, what are meta tags, what is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?  Or, how does this work with the Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)? 
 
What are meta tags?

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header of a webpage.  These tags are never seen by visitors to your site.  Instead, their main purpose is to provide search engines with information about your website.  This helps search engines recognize and rank your website.  
 
What is Google Site Verification and how do I set it up?
 
Google Site Verification is basically a way for Google to know that you own your site.  They will provide you with a meta tag to put in the header of your site so they can pick it up through their search engine, helping improve your visibility.  Once enabled, Google Site Verification and Google Webmaster Tools allow you to understand how people are accessing your site and what they are searching for.  Follow these easy steps to setup Google Site Verification for your website:
 
1. First, you’ll have to set up an account with Google.  If you already have something like Gmail, you’re all set.
2. Go to Google Webmaster Tools and sign in using your Google account.
3. Once you’re signed in to the tools, click “Add a site.”
4. Enter your website URL and press continue.
 
             
5. On the next page, choose “Add a meta tag to your site’s home page.”  Google will provide you with a meta tag.  
 
6. Open up your Vistaprint Website Builder in a separate window and choose the “Add Meta Tags” extra. Paste the meta tag Google provided you here.
7. Publish your website.
8. Once published, go back to the Google Webmaster screen and click “Verify.”
9. Once verified, you’ll be directed to your Google Webmaster dashboard, where you can access information about your site.

How does this work with Search Engine Optimization?
 
Google Webmaster’s dashboard provides specific information about your site, including significant keywords and search queries.  Basically, they’re telling you what keywords you have on your site and how people are finding you.  These are great pieces of information but don’t give you full details about your website optimization.  Using SEO with what you’ve learned from Google Webmaster can really benefit your site. 
 
SEO provides you with a report card that has specific rankings for each area of your site, including website name, links, images, and each individual page.  In addition, SEO shows how optimized your website is for specific search terms and keywords on your site (for more information, refer to our Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) post).  With the keyword and search term information from Google, you can receive a real time score about how well your site is doing with SEO.  Google may be saying what keywords are significant, but it may not mean each individual portion of your site is fully optimized for these.  That’s where SEO comes into play; it tells you where to optimize and provides fixes/tips on how to do it.  Using both of these tools together will help grow your site and company’s visibility through search engines.
 
We hope you like this new addition, please feel free to share any experiences you have and any questions you have.
 

Learning from email marketing results to optimize your campaigns

 
 
Are you seeing results from your email marketing campaigns? If so how are you using the information to enhance your campaigns to make it more successful?

After you’ve sent your first few campaigns, it’s important to look back at your results to determine which email is generating the most interest.
 
Some of the key things you want to look at are:
 
Open Rate: The number of people who opened the email. 
 
The amount of times the email has been opened will give you a good understanding of how impactful your subject lines are and if there is any difference in when you send the email, including different days and different times.

Why is the subject line important, you ask? Subject lines are the titles of your email, the first thing your customer is going to see in their inbox.  It’s what is going to compel them to open your email rather than put it in the trash unread.  People also check there emails at separate times of the day, and will most likely to open emails at the top of their inbox. After a few campaigns and depending on the amount of people you are emailing, you will get a good idea of the difference in open rates with emails sent at varying times of the day.
 
Click Rate: The number of clicks received in each email.
 
The click rate will give you insight into the type of content your customer likes to see in the emails. If you’re sending out emails to the same group of people on a regular basis, you can do some testing by changing up the style and format each email, then compare the results. For instance, some customers might like a newsletter updating them on your business, while others might want to see a straight offer. Change up your emails so you can get a read on what you should be sending and when.
 
Purchase Rate: The number of people who ordered a product after seeing the email.
 
This one is a little harder to get too, as it requires you to have some identifying factor in the email that you can track back to an order. A good example or fix here is offering a special coupon/discount in the email which you track to see how many customers purchase, using the coupon. The purchase rate is important, as it can give you an idea of your return (amount of money earned) per email campaign. From there you will be able to calculate which campaigns prove to be the best value for you. This also may be a combination of a few different types of emails spread out over time, as the same type of email may not work every time.
 
Unsubscribe: The number of people who unsubscribe from receiving your emails.

With interesting content and sending the emails to the right people, the unsubscribe rate should be very low; however you should expect to see a small amount of people unsubscribe. If you see an alarming rate from one email campaign you will be able to use that information to assess what caused people to unsubscribe. To keep the rate low, track the amount times you’re emailing your customers and be sure to keep the content engaging.

To understand what is working and what is not, be sure to look back and asses your email results on a regular basis. These metrics should guide your next campaign strategy, so you can improve with each new email campaign you send. Each metric can also be looked at on its own if you want to do some specific testing. For example, if your emails structure is the same most of the time, you may want to focus on your subject lines, which you can bring more focus to the open rates.
 
How have you been looking at the results of your campaign? Is there anything I have missed?
 
Hope this information was helpful for you in terms of thinking about your next campaign. 
 
To learn more about how to understand your campaign results, you can read this helpful article entitled Reading Your Campaign Statistics.

Social Media Engagement Survey-25% Discount with Free Shipping

 
 
In September 2010, we launched a Social Media Initiative with the goal/intent of engaging with you, our valued customers, to provide insight and learning materials to help you get started with growing your business online. Over that time we have interacted and had great conversations with many of you on our Blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Now, six months into the initiative, we would love to hear your thoughts on our use of social media. We would really appreciate your support if you could spend the next three to five minutes to answer a few questions in this survey. There is also a little prize at the end of a 25% Vistaprint site wide discount with 7 day free shipping! Start Survey by clicking here now! 
 
We really appreciate any feedback you have, feel free to also make any comments in the comments section below.

What’s new with your Vistaprint Internet Marketing Tools?

 
 
Hello folks,

Thanks for your continued support and following.  We really appreciate the engagement from all of you.  Your comments have been extremely important in keeping our products updated and fresh.  With some feedback we’ve received, we’d like to announce a few changes that you’ll see as you enter the builder to continue to work on your website.
 
One change you’ll see is an updated feature for PayPal.  For those of you that sell online, you can now offer discounted prices.
 
Use the following steps to start discounting your products:
     1. Access PayPal from the Extras dialogue
     2. Choose “Add a PayPal Shopping Cart”
     3. Enter the price of your product and a discounted amount
 
     4. Click next and check out the discounted price
 
If you’re selling something on your site, like a book, and normally charge $10.00 but want to discount it by $2.00, the product would appear like this:
You can update both new and existing products with this new feature.  If you don’t have a PayPal account, here’s some more information on how to set it up.  No matter how you update, this is a great way to show your customers that they can receive great products or services at a discounted price from your business!
 
Another feature we’ve added to our website extras is a Meta Tag editor.  You can access this through the Extras dialogue as well.
 
 
Meta Tags are HTML snippets that go inside the head element of your website.  To get your Google Site Verification meta tag, you must add your site to your Google account through Webmaster Tools.  By adding the code to your website, you are essentially verifying that you are the owner of your website
   
Lastly, we’ve created an Email Marketing survey to gather more feedback.  If you want to take the survey, you can access it from your Email Marketing dashboard.  There are some great questions in there and we’re really interested to hear what you think.  If you have a few minutes to take the survey, that would be awesome!

We hope that these new features make your website even better than it already is.  Also, we are continuously updating our products, so stay tuned for more articles in the coming weeks. Please feel free to share any feedback you have or thoughts for new features that you would like to see. 

Looking forward to your comments and thank you, for helping us make the tools better for you!

What types of emails should you be sending your customers?

 
 
Email Marketing is a proven method of communicating with customers, generating qualified website traffic, and keeping your business on top of mind. It is a great way to create brand loyalty and retaining customers who matter the most, the ones you already have.

Now, for the tricky part, what should you focus on when writing your email campaigns and newsletters.
The first step in developing a successful email strategy is determining your email mix. Before you get started with writing and designing your campaigns, it’s helpful to think through the different reasons you plan to contact your customers.
Here are a few examples of the type of emails you may want to send to your customers. 
 
Email Newsletters
One of the primary purposes of an email newsletter is to build upon the relationship you already have with your customers and keep them engaged with your business. Often these emails are not product related, but more focused on providing insight into a recent update to your business like a new employee, trade shows you attended, awards you received or sharing any interesting industry news. For example, if there is a craft fair coming up that you will be attending, it would be suitable to let your customer know through an email.  Once you have attended the fair you can add some information about how the fair went to your next newsletter. 
Catalog & Product Emails
Catalog and Product emails are relatively straight forward and self-explanatory. Essentially it is an email listing out some, if not all of, your products to encourage your customers to come back and purchase with you again. The best approach here can vary by product, however it is recommended to focus on just a few of your products to give them prominence. This can be done by simply listing out your products with some images and some brief text to get customers excited to click through to your website. 
 
Quick Announcements
Similar to a postcard, these are simple, brief announcements that can be focused on providing a quick update or even focused on showcasing one product. Often the email is very easy for the recipient to scan through and understand and has a very clear “Call to action” for what the customer should do next.
 

Having a mix of informative newsletters and promotional content will show your customers that your business is interested in keeping them up to date and abreast of any special deals for which they may want to take advantage. Having a diversified communication strategy will help keep your messages fresh, maintain your reader’s interest and discourage them from unsubscribing from your mailings because of repetitive content.

Using these examples, think about the types of things you want to communicate with to your customers about and on a regular basis work out a plan for what and when you want to send the emails out. Most email readers will only scan an email quickly before deciding to read on or delete, so it’s important to have a clear goal before contacting your customers.
 
By starting out with this approach your campaigns will be successful and keep your customers reading too!
 
Vistaprint offers internet marketing services for small businesses, with Email Marketing being one of them, if you interested you can find out more by about Email Marketing by clicking here

Long Tail Keywords and Your SEO Campaign

 
Search engine marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing for companies.  Experts predict that spend on search engine marketing will double in the U.S from $13 billion to $26 billion by 2014 (WordStream.com).  Tons of companies are expected to continue to use this form of marketing to reach out to potential customers.  In this growing competitive space, targeting the correct keywords is the foundation of your SEO campaign.    
 
Everyone in the market today is trying to compete for similar keywords.  Barbers are competing for “barbershop,” landscapers are fighting for “landscaping”, and florists are using “flowers,” you get the idea.  These keywords are great and useful to target, but it’ll be difficult for you to show up on Page 1 if a bunch of other companies in your industry are also targeting the same keywords.
 
For small businesses, researching keywords related to your company is important to make your business standout through SEO.  Through your research, keywords
that are beneficial to your company have a combination of these qualities:
 
  • Describe of your business 
  • Consistently searched by potential customers through search engines a lot
  • Have small number of search results in search engines
 
These keywords are known as “long tailed keywords” and account for 70% of the world’s searches through search engines.  So, as opposed to just targeting individual keywords that comprise 30% of searches, target specific groups of words using the characteristics to strengthen your SEO campaign. For example if you’re a residential landscaper, in addition to targeting the word landscaping, you may also target long tail expressions like “landscaper for local homes” or “landscaping for homeowners.”
 
Many companies are turning towards search engines to grow their businesses and there is no indication of this trend slowing down.  With a number of companies competing for similar keywords, it is important to research long tailed keywords that your customers are searching for.  Positioning your SEO campaign around long tailed keywords is important to the success of search engine marketing. 
 
Have you thought about "long tail keywords" before? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on SEO and the strategies you use or are thinking about using.
 
Happy New Year and all the best for an awesome 2011!

Vistaprint Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)

 
 
 
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so it ranks high in search engines and you attract more visitors and customers to your site. When you have the right tools, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simpler than your think. Vistaprint’s Search Engine Optimizer is a tool for your Vistaprint website that will walk you through the process of SEO so regardless of your SEO knowledge or experience, you can start showing up in search results. The tool includes a detailed report of your site, quick fixes, a writing wizard, a search assistant, and a blog.
 
 
SEO Report: To start, we’ll analyze your website and provide you with an overall search score. The report will individually score specific elements of your site so you can quickly and easily see what’s working well and what needs attention. To improve your overall optimized score, focus on improving areas in your report that are red and yellow, eventually making them green. 
Once all your report card is showing green, you’ll have an optimized site!
 
 
 
Quick Fixes: Within your report, you’ll be able to make improvements on the spot that can elevate your score in seconds using the Quick Fixes.  If there’s an area of your report card that isn’t green, use the quick fixes to correct them. Just click to fix, right there in the Optimizer! There are no quick fixes for the Search Terms or Site Contents, so if these sections need work use the Search Assistant to help.
 
 
 
 
The Writing Wizard: If you’re not sure what to say to your visitors, you can use the Writing Wizard to add professionally written content to your site in minutes. When using the writing wizard, select one of the options for “what you’re writing about” and the industry that best describes your business, and we’ll provide you with a variety of text options. Select the yellow fields and replace them with information about your business, then add the text to your site. Use the text as-is or for inspiration.
 
 
The Search Assistant: When it comes time to work on the Search Terms and Site Contents of your site, you won’t be alone. The Search Assistant will be right there with you. It’ll keep tabs on your overall score, word count and search term usage while giving you easy access to other features. Open the Search Assistant while writing text on your site, and it will tell you which Search Terms you need to add.
 
 
 
 
A Blog: Search engines favor active websites with relevant content, which is exactly what a blog provides. Plus, it’s a great way to interact with your customers and develop relationships. You’ll get up and running in minutes and it’ll match your website design for a professional, consistent look.
 
 
 
 
To make sure your website isn’t overlooked in search results, use the Search Engine Optimizer to improve your site for search engines. In the end, your improved search placement will make it easier for people to find you, drive more business your way, and it could even move your website ahead of your competitors.  
 

Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint