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

Email Marketing

Websites We Love: Confidence

what one word summed up how their sites made them feel. After more than a month of featuring Websites We Love, it comes as no surprise that we received a number of amazing comments--and links to sites! But we had to pick just one...

The winning site this week comes from Diesel Overhead Doors Inc., who say that their site makes them feel confident. And we can see why! The welcome page grabbed our attention, and we were also impressed with the extensive picture gallery, informative maintenance section and easy-to-use
e-mail marketing sign-up box. Congrats on a site well-done!

What about you? How does your site make YOU feel? Tell us in the comments section!

Top Three Reasons to Add a Contact Form to Your Site

When it comes to your Website, adding simple features that translate to big benefits is always smart…and contact forms are pretty high on the list of valuable add-ons. These handy tools gather pertinent info from your visitors, are super-versatile, and can vary based on your specific needs. Typical fields can include “name,” “address,” “phone number” and “comments,” but again, they can vary depending on the form’s functionality. Although there are a number of reasons these forms are useful, keep reading to see our top three.

1. Feedback

If you’re a business owner, it’s no secret that customer opinion is essential; contact forms are a perfect means for gathering this vital feedback in a non-obtrusive manner. For instance, if you were interested in soliciting specific comments about a new service or product, you could use the contact form to ask pertinent questions, and receive reactions directly via email.

2. Customer Connections
Beyond asking for feedback, contact forms are a good way for customers to not only reach you, but also establish a relationship with you. Whether it’s a quick question about a specific product, or a more detailed inquiry about a new service or biz feature, a simple form can provide customers with an easy way to reach out.

3. Contacts
It might seem obvious, but one of the most vital reasons to consider adding a contact form is so you can build — what else — your contact list! A form is an easy way to ask visitors for basic information, such as their name and email address. With all the contacts you gather, you’ll be able to send targeted emails to stay in touch, announce new products or sales, and much more.

Do you have a contact form on YOUR site? If so, do you think it’s important? Tell us in the comments section!
 
 

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.

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!

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.

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

Growing Your Customer List

 
 
Oftentimes we’re asked how small businesses can best gather email addresses and other personal information from customers if they have a physical storefront, or aren’t getting a lot of traffic yet to their website. 

The answer is simple, put out a sign-up sheet in your store or wherever you do business that will encourage customers to add their email and receive information from you.  A good way to get customers to sign up is to give them an incentive.  Call out that this email list will allow them to get special offers and deals, or offer them 5% off their immediate purchase (as they’re checking out) just by signing up. You worked hard to get people to come to your store and interact with you, make sure you’re able to continue to talk to and market to them in the future.  
 
Position the forms next to your register, place them on your counter, or hang them on the door- and they’re the lightest item you’ll bring with you to fairs or events.   Upload your new contacts into your Email Marketing list for templated emails to keep folks involved with what you’re doing and returning to your website for future business with updates, newsletters, and promotions. 

Look for the forms in your Email Marketing Dashboard, under Market Yourself or Build Your List.   Once you’ve created yours, save it to your dashboard for later use, print in PDF format, or download to save to your home computer.  Check out the one I started customizing below.  Also, try our web forms for your Vistaprint or non-Vistaprint website.  Enjoy the new FREE form feature!

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