Those of you who follow envisionit media on Facebook know that we had an agency-wide potluck lunch a couple weeks ago. We all like to eat, a lot of us love to cook, and we happen to enjoy spending time together. So a late summer, mid-week food fest seemed like a lovely way to combine all of these things. There was quite a spread–enchiladas, pasta salad, sloppy joes, bruschetta, watermelon salad, mac & cheese, fried chicken, something called bread salad, and some subtly-sneak-seconds desserts. We’re still full. For a Friday treat, we thought we’d share a few of the potluck recipes. Click the thumbnail below to download the envisionit media potluck pdf! Happy weekend!
Last week we shared news of the upcoming release of Facebook Timeline—a major update to the site that promises to summarize your entire life since birth. Instead of the old layout that stacks your profile updates, burying old but important news, the redesign staggers your Facebook activity in more of a scrapbook style, encouraging users to explore and share momentous occasions of their life. It’s a major change and one that has caused much uproar on Facebook–as all Facebook changes tend to do. Many users are threatening to close their Facebook accounts or–worse, yet (sarcasm noted?)–to defect to Google+.
Being marketers, our immediate questions here at envisionit media had more to do with the impact on business and brand pages (the specifics of which are yet to be released by Facebook). But before we can thoroughly explore those possibilities, I thought it best to experience Facebook Timeline for myself and figure out just how many Facebook users we might be losing.
The pure aesthetic changes are enough to draw you right in–you can now choose a strong main image that appears at the top of the page, behind your profile picture. This is called the “cover” and I already see myself swapping that out a lot based on my mood, recent events or trips I’m excited about, important occasions, or just to add some humor to my page. I think I’ll now also keep my profile picture pretty consistent–that is my personal brand, after all.
Businesses often look at email open rates to determine an initial measure of success of the campaign. And it makes sense. After all, if an email isn’t opened, the intended message will never be received. With that in mind, here are five tips to ensure your clients get open rates they can be excited about.
Write a strong, brief, and descriptive headline.
Simply using a headline like, “Big news from ABC Company” will not work. The subject line needs to be well thought-out.
Try to incorporate some incentive for the recipient to open the message. Action words like “discover” and “learn” can work, as well as using numbers, such as “5 Ways to Increase Email Open Rates.” In every case, try to give the recipient a brief introduction to the content of the email so they know what to expect. Not only can this help increase open rates but when the reader is interested from the beginning, the chances are better that they read the email in full, and even click on a link. Remember that the “from” field can be used to introduce the sender’s name, so it is not always necessary to repeat the company name in the subject line.
Clean and maintain your list.
Often overlooked but vitally important to open rates is the health of the email recipient list.Before scheduling any email campaign, take a close look at the list to find addresses that routinely or recently “bounce.” These are likely addresses that are no longer active, were never real to begin with, or include a misspelled name. Remove these from the list.Most email service providers (ESPs) will let you sort your list by the last date a contact opened an email. If a contact has not opened an email from you in the last several months (assuming regular emails have been sent), remove them. They are no longer interested in your services or the email is still “alive” but no longer active.
By keeping the email list clean and maintained, you ensure that messages are being sent to those who have a legitimate chance of opening it – therefore, increasing open rates.
If you aren’t familiar with F8, its Facebook’s annual developer conference where they announce any big changes they’ve scheduled for release this year. Well, they just held F8 today, and they announced some MAJOR changes rolling out in the next couple weeks that will surely change the Facebook experience as we know it.
Over the past week Facebook has released some changes you’ve probably already noticed, like the ability to sort friends into groups, a real time ticker, and the subscribe button. If you thought those were big changes you’re in for a treat when we tell you about the new “Timeline” feature they are rolling out.
The new “Timeline” is a revamped version of your Facebook profile that provides everything you’ve done since your “birth” into the Facebook universe. The timeline is a real-time stream that showcases all of your events, posts, and pictures all with a stylish new redesign. It will also connect to any apps you may have on Facebook like Netflix, Spotify, and Nike +.
Take a look at this video to learn a little more about the new Timeline:
You can find even more info about the new Facebook timeline here.
As of right now we can’t be too sure of what this holds for Marketing efforts in the future, but stay tuned for more info on how to best utilize the new changes to Facebook once these features get rolled out to the masses!
Need a killer 3D cake the size of your mom? No problem. If you want a dozen cakeballs for an afternoon snack, they’ve got you covered. Morning meeting in need of a fancy breakfast spread? Wholesale baked goodness for your own business? Bleeding Heart Bakery is the place for you. On top of providing an expansive and impressive variety of cakes, pastries, and treats in amazing all-natural flavor combinations, their new West Town location offers up a different take on your traditional brunch menu items with lots of turned-upside-down favorites for your taste buds!
As a bakery specializing in innovative originals, traditional favorites, and pastries with a punk rock twist, it was important that this spirit came across online. So we made sure to have some fun with the BHB site, bringing in their personality while enticing visitors with their impressive menu items and delectably intriguing treats. The new site also features an easy-to-use online ordering system that allows customers to select how they want to receive their favorite treats at home: pickup at the new location, Chicagoland home delivery, and shipping nationwide. No more waiting in line!
Since opening the shop in 2003, owners Vinny and Michelle have been delivering high quality, organic cakes and pastries with kick ass flair. Their recent business adventure included partnering with The Fifty/50 Group business owners Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr to open up the new West Town location of The Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café, right next door to The Fifty/50 Group’s new restaurant Roots Handmade Pizza.
And cakeballs? Our preferred afternoon snack, any day of the week.
It happens all the time. Really, it does. You know, those times when you watch that short flash animation over and over again on a website. Or think about how many of those “how-to” videos you watch in order to use something you just bought, try a new recipe, or just because it makes you laugh.
That’s the power of implementing motion graphics to “move” your brand. It has a way of capturing our attention. It pulls you in and takes you along for the ride.
Motion design has a way of telling a great story like no other medium. Through the combination of movement, stunning visuals, and music, you can connect with your consumer on a very personal level. And in doing so, you will strengthen your brand and your message. For example, a well done web video on a company’s homepage can set the tone of their brand and quickly build interest within the viewer. These first few seconds a viewer spends on your page is vital and more often than not will decide whether they will stay or continue on to somewhere else.
Motion design is memorable. Yes, that song you’ve been humming all day is from that TV advertisement you watched before you left home. You were drawn into it for that brief moment and it stirred up emotions that made an impact on your day. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Beyond television, more and more we are realizing that the general public is getting a lot of their information and recommendations from online sources such as YouTube. For example, a company that makes a specific product could create their own “how-to” videos and connect with their consumers. Or a company that provides services could create a video series in which they educate their consumers and eventually become known as the “leading expert” in their profession.
Our coffee lovers, gift-givers, and design and digital enthusiasts out there will all be thrilled about the launch of CustomCoffees.com! Conceived by Chicago restaurant network The Hispanic Hospitality Group, Custom Coffees is the first online service allowing consumers to design custom coffee blends and package labels.
Knowing that we faced a challenge of needing to appeal to new coffee seekers (those just starting to dabble in coffee-drinking or buying gifts for coffee-lovers) as well as the epicurean elite, envisionit media worked with the Custom Coffees team to define an algorithm that would guide coffee novices through the coffee customization process, but also appeal to the sensibilities of experienced coffee buffs and allow them to breeze past these steps.
The customized algorithm will interpret users’ coffee preferences based on a 4-characteristic rating scale (acidity, body, flavor, and roast) and recommend the ideal “base” bean. It then allows you to complement that base with additional coffee bean varietals, then choose a grind and design a custom label. Throughout it all there are helpful expert-driven tips that guide the first-time users through their custom choices.
With their dual audience in mind, Custom Coffees also knew that coffee education—and coffee enthusiasm—would be important components of the site. So envisionit created a Connoisseur Tips section where those so inclined can learn about Coffee Varietals, Blending Tips, Grind Types, and more. A warm, natural, coffee tone was also established for the site to further celebrate all things coffee. And in order to enrich the coffee experience, a variety of premium coffee accessories are available for purchase, while specialty tea blends balance out the product offerings.
Did you update your site to HTML5, while updating your meta data to reflect the new SEO keyword research done in AdWords, that will best help the webpages PR and PPC quality score so the keywords appear above the fold in the SERPS. Did you have trouble understanding all of those interactive marketing acronyms and terms used in the above sentence? Most people do and that is why we are here to help you have a better understanding of the world of web marketing!
Web Marketing: Internet marketing, also known as digital marketing, online marketing, search marketing or e-marketing, and is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
HTML5: Hypertext Markup Language version 5 or in simpler terms, the way your website is most likely built or going to be built in the near future
Meta data: data that provides information about the other data managed within an application or environment or in simpler terms, background data on a webpage that helps the search engines figure out what your webpage is about.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing): is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): can be referred to as organic, natural, or algorithmic rankings and it is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines or in simpler terms, the optimizing of a webpage by changing known factors that best help said web page rank higher in Google.
Keyword Research: is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.
As we close in on a year since launching the new ROOF on theWit website, we’re happy to announce that our hard work is being recognized by some of the top industry professionals. Last week we received two awards: the Summit International Marketing Effectiveness Award and the Best Leisure Website WebAward.
The WebAward signified our ability to not only deliver a best in class website design, but a site that communicated the overall goals and objectives of the ROOF team. After the site was launched, our web marketing team took over that vision, and worked with theWit to create and implement marketing programs that drove overall awareness, traffic, and conversions to the site using various digital channels. Again, we were able to create a best in class marketing program that has sustained ROOF through the cold winter months and prepped them for the best summer yet!
Congrats to everyone at EIM that worked on ROOF this past year, and congrats to our friends at theWit, as it was a collaborative effort that allowed us to achieve these successes.
How are you choosing your domain name? Is it part of your marketing strategy? A short, memorable domain name will let people remember your product or service, but a short dictionary word domain name will also help your SEO positions.
Although many good names may have already been registered, you can still find good names available on secondary market websites such as Sedo and SnapNames.
The Value of Short Domain Names
It isn’t hard to understand why short domain names are valuable. A generic dictionary word domain name may cost thousands of dollars—or even millions. According to DN Journal, Social.com was sold for $2.6 million in the past July. However, don’t be discouraged! A recent study by SnapNames says that a vast majority of the domain names are bought and sold between the $500 to $5,000 range.
What’s a fair price for a domain name?
Generally, the more words in the domain name, the less it is worth. But a common two-word name is worth more than a rarely used single word name. A domain name without dashes or numbers is often worth more because typical users do not use dashes when they search. (Google, too, ignores dashes when you search.) Names ending in “.com” are also more popular than “.net” names because most people equate “.com” to the Internet.
Buy your Ideal Domain
Even when a domain name is listed for $10,000, you may still be able to buy it for significantly less. Like everything else, domain name prices can be negotiated. You can find out the domain owner’s information by looking up its registration records from DomainTools. One word of advice: don’t assume the domain owner is “squatting” on a domain name. Many domain name owners are very organized and have a large portfolio. A few of them are even public traded domain investment companies.