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Grow Your Small Business: 10 Easy DIY Tips

Bootstrapping a business can be a daunting and challenging task. It takes a lot of hard work, drive, and courage to grow your small business from a starting enterprise to one bringing in, even, a five or six figure income.
While some small business owners work up to 10 hours a day, owning a business means sacrificing much of your time, especially when your business is just starting.
You need to take care of multiple things, like managing customers, completing invoices, marketing and managing your website, so potential customers can find you online.
The primary goal for any business is to be profitable. It is, then, important to use all possible means to ensure your business earns more and continues to grow. For that reason, we’re going to give you some easy and effective DIY tips to grow your small business.

1. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
As a small business owner, you should be aware of the benefits of having a responsive, mobile-friendly website. As Google now prioritizes mobile websites, through mobile-first indexing, being see on phones and tablets can greatly help to increase your business’ reach.
Mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches on leading search engines. This means most users interact with the internet from their phones. If your website isn’t designed for a mobile web experience, you’ll severely miss out on your largest source of traffic.
A business website that is well optimized for mobile use will increase its rank on search engines and have more opportunity to convert. Later on in this post, we’ll show you a tip how to increase your online, mobile presence with directories and Google My Business.
2. On-site Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Any business, small or large, can compete for high rankings on search engines. This means, search engine optimization isn’t just for million-dollar enterprises. All you need is the right beginner SEO strategy, and you can start ranking alongside your competition. Follow our simple SEO checklist to get started.
Below, we’re going to tackle an advanced level SEO tactic. Make sure to read up on the basics of SEO before you continue.
For those of you who are up to speed, we’re going to look at the Google Search Console (GSC). The GSC is a powerful tool you can use to measure your on-site SEO and more. We’ll be focusing on showing you which keywords are working to drive traffic to your website.
First, you have to verify your website. Go to Google Search Console and enter the domain or URL for your website. If you choose to enter your website under the “Domain” section, your website’s domain and sub-domains will coalesce into one account. If you want to view your domain and sub-domains separately, enter them individually in the ‘URL prefix” section.

Once you’ve finished entering your domain property or URL prefix property, click continue, and you’ll receive a notification to verify.

You’ll be presented with a verification code you can copy and paste into your DNS record.
In order to access your DNS record, you will need to go to your registrar and enter the TXT record the same as you would an A Record or CNAME.
After you’ve setup Google Search Console and it verifies, you’ll begin to see your website traffic. This can take anywhere from a day to a week.
Now, you’re ready to start overhauling your SEO by looking for opportunities to create new landing pages or edit existing pages.
Since we’re interested in optimizing on-site SEO, we want to check our website’s performance. In the left side menu of GSC, you’ll see a “Performance” tab. Click it and you’ll be presented with an overview.

You’ll see four categories. These are total clicks, total impressions, average click-through-rate (CTR), and average position. These are important to understand which queries can bring you increased traffic. Don’t focus on clicks as much as impressions and positions. As a rule of thumb, clicks will follow from better impressions and higher position.
Starting with “Queries,” you can find which keywords that are bringing you direct searches. Your branded keywords will always be the most effective; however, if you expand your results, you’ll see non-branded keywords you can create landing pages for.

Here, we can see the “design agency” query has a decent position, good impressions, but little clicks. We can take this opportunity to create a landing page targeting this search query in order to increase the amount of traffic we can drive to our website.
Beside the “Queries” tab, you have “Pages.” Here, you can see your best and worst performing pages. Let’s take a look at our “SEO Checklist for Your New Website.”

We can see the clicks it receives and the position it has aren’t great; however, it receives a lot of impressions. If we click it and go to the “Queries” tab, we can see the keywords it ranks for.

Just by taking a quick look at the ranking keywords, it’s clear there’s already an opportunity to improve the page by adding the outlined keyword phrases to it. They have three to six times more impressions over other keywords. By including more of these keyword phrases and phrases related to them receiving impressions, you can increase your number of on-page views.
In addition to revamping pages, if you find a keyword phrase that receives a good amount of impressions, you can create an entire new page of content targeting the keyword.
By finding the appropriate niche market for your brand and focusing on specific keywords or phrases, even the smallest business can easily increase their ranking on search engines and compete with large brands.
3. Create a Welcome Email Series
Create a welcome email series to capture the attention, and possibly the hearts, of new visitors.
Welcome emails are going to be one of the most important emails you send to customers. According to WordStream, welcome emails, on average, have 4x the open rate and 5x the click-through rate over any promotional email.
Understanding this, you have an opportunity to create a connection with your audience immediately. Do so by sending a series of emails in the welcoming phase, when audiences are new and most receptive to your emails.
Welcome Email

The first email you send to new subscribers should introduce who you are as a business, your unique brand voice, and why customers should be excited.
The first step is to provide subscribers with your brand story. Stories are the easiest way to capture an audience’s attention. As humans, we’re programmed to understand information through narrative, so flesh out your brand’s journey, goal, and its uniqueness in the beginning paragraph.
Second, welcome subscribers. It’s as simple as introducing them as a new member to your brand’s take on its community. Branding in this regard could mean simply changing the language from “email list” to “family” or “tribe.” You’re looking to make any parallel you can between your brand’s unique voice and your email copy.
Lastly, provide users with a clear call-to-action button encouraging them to visit the page you’d most like to steer them towards.
It can be that simple. Here are more essential elements for welcome emails.
Expectation Email
Since you want subscribers to be receptive to future emails, you should create an email outlining the expectation they should have for receiving future emails.
If you set expectations, you can overcome potential resistance from the on-set. Do so by outlining the types of emails they should expect to get, while reiterating the value they have.
Depending on your business, you can provide them with helpful content, discounts, exclusive event access, free competition entries, and so on.
Purchase Reminder Email
If you gave away a discount code for an email, remind users to apply the code with follow-up purchase reminder emails.
In order to re-capture customer interest, send an email with the discount code and a CTA bringing users directly to checkout. If discounts codes can be automatically applied to checkout, even better. Limiting the amount of steps it takes to purchase can drastically improve your sales.
Remember to make these emails personal. These emails should be in the vein of “exclusively for you.”
4. Use More Specific Calls-to-Action

You should be using more specific language on your call-to-action buttons. Instead of using generic “Click Here” text, use language more specific to the offer. For example, if you’re offering an E-book, write “Free E-book” on the button.
By creating more specific language, encouraging clearer action, more users will engage with your buttons.
Click here can seem like it’s effective, but it doesn’t convey what the button is actually going to do for the user. Users only click when what they are engaging with is relevant to them.
If you have an engaging article on your website that had a button to read further and included a “Read More Here” button, but it links to a separate piece of content, you are, more likely than not, going to lose that customer. Rather, if you included a “Continue Reading Here,” the user isn’t confused and is very likely to continue reading, where you can have a CTA.
5. Create An Online Funnel
Every business is different and creates funnels appropriate to their business type; however, at their core, funnels are all the same.
Funnels come in all sizes; although, simply put, you have your leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, and sales. In total, a basic funnel has, at least, four stages.
Every funnel works in the same way. You have the top end of your funnel, where you collect leads of interested parties, and you have the bottom of your funnel, where leads have been qualified to make a purchase.
Each stage is about providing leads with incentive to move down the funnel into the next stage, where the process repeats until they make a purchase. Naturally, the largest part of your funnel will be the top, where you attract people. Over time, you’ll begin to weed out those who are likely to purchase and those who are not. That’s why the shape is a funnel.
Leads
At the top level, you’re going to want to attract those who are unfamiliar to your business. This can be achieved through blogging, guest-posting articles, social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and cost-per-click campaigns (CPC).
Marketing Qualified Leads

For those users you have attracted with your lead generation campaigns, you’ll be looking to create landing pages, which are web pages designed to take in emails.
You can create multiple types of landing pages designed to attract users based off their particular interests in your business.
They’ve also “landed” on your landing page because they have a problem in which it is addressing. It will contain a CTA urging users to opt-in to your email newsletter for a further solution to their problems or by providing them with valuable content, helping them with their problem in exchange for their contact information, like an E-book.
Try using opt-in forms or pop-ups in order to capture emails, as they have been proven to be most effective.
Sales Qualified Leads
At this point in the funnel, you have an email list you are going to use in order to educate your audience and provide them with valuable information, helping them to better deal with their problem.
It’s when they are in your email list, they can better understand if the problem they are facing is out of their scope as an individual. If your business has a product or service that can help them to alleviate their problem, you’ll be able to better inform them. Your goal is to provide them with enough information to allow them to decide if your product or service is a good fit.
You may also provide users with discounts and promotions, as every business does, to help increase their receptivity to buying your product or service.
With that said, be honest about what your business can do to help. Customers are intelligent and will know if they are just being offered lip service. The ones who are interested in your products will come and will buy. Just be honest and do your best to empower them with valuable, actionable content.
Sales
Once you make a sale, send the customer a receipt email and follow up with surveys over the next couple of months to get some feedback, as it is incredibly important in order to understand how to better serve your customer.
6. Set-up Google Alerts for Brand Mentions
Setting up Google Alerts for tracking all mentions of your business is important, especially for small businesses. You won’t want to miss out on how other people are talking about your brand online.
From newspaper articles to first-hand reviews, you can receive alerts delivered directly to you every time someone uses your business name on the internet.
If these mentions are coming from other businesses or bloggers, and not large newspapers, you can reach out and cultivate a beneficial relationship for future endeavours.
7. Join a Chamber of Commerce
Take advantage of small business development resources to grow your small business.
While this may be a traditional marketing strategy, joining your local Chamber of Commerce is one of the greatest ways to begin the journey of growing your business.
By joining, you’ll have access to information surrounding timely industry insights and policy information for business and affinity programs, which help to save your business time and money.
In addition to the statistical and financial resources, it provides you with networking opportunities to grow your business connections.
8. Use Small Business Development Centres
If joining your local chamber of commerce isn’t exactly appealing, try a small business development centre. Here, you can get one-on-one guidance from small business advisers, who have previously been in your position.
In addition to providing advisers, they also provide workshops, seminars and networking events to build skills.
Last but not least, you can apply for grants of varying amounts. Typically, registered small businesses can receive, on average, anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in grants.
9. List Your Small Business on Directories

If you’re a local business, the first thing you should be thinking of is how to make yourself visible in your immediate area.
Online search opens your business to be discovered by the world; however, the potential customers surrounding your business are the most likely to interact with it.
This is due to the fact most searches happen on phones. People are searching for local businesses when they are on the move, meaning they’re looking for a business they can go to immediately. For this reason, searches coming from phones have the highest purchase intent. No business wants to miss out on a potential purchase.
The best way you can take advantage of mobile users looking for your product(s) is to list your business on Google My Business (GMB), which is free. GMB is, primarily, the first query people will see when they search for a local business and help to drive more traffic to your business’ website.
Not only will GMB drive traffic to your website, but it will help to increase in-store visitations as well. According to Google, 50 per cent of all mobile users who search for a local business visit it as well; moreover, 18 per cent make a purchase.
GMB will display business information such as your business’ location, hours of operations, phone number, reviews, product images and more.
Here’s how to setup a profile: sign in to GMB. click “Manage Locations,” click “Create Location Group,” click “Create Business Account,” enter a location group/business account name and click “Done.”
Here are some tips to give you a better understanding how to leverage GMB:

You can use posts of announcements, events, promotions, new products and services, and latest exclusive information directly on your business listing. These posts can link directly to your website and eCommerce pages and potentially close sales by providing, for example, popular product items for purchase.
Reviews are, by far, the most important aspect of your profile. Make sure to ask your customers to leave a review on your GMB profile. This is important because Google will rank your business higher on its listing. The better the review, the better your position becomes.
Since reviews are important, make sure to send your customers an easy link they can use to review your business directly on your profile. By eliminating the ordinary, tedious steps involved in making a review, you can encourage more reviews to your profile and increase your visibility.
All you have to do is find your business listing or profile and click “write a review.” Copy and paste the URL and send it to your customers. If, for some reason, you’re having trouble with the process, you can also create a link using the PlaceID Lookup Tool.

Google is the largest search engine with the largest business directory; however, it isn’t the only one. All businesses should also consider listing their business on every major directory.
There are services that can help your business in this regard; although, they are paid solutions. With that said, the ones we can recommend are Yext and Moz Local.
Both of these services will create, update, and maintain your local listings across top directories. Their services will increase your business’ visibility across giant and small-to-medium sized business directories as well. If you’re looking for a holistic approach, and not just Google, working with one of these platforms can get you up and searchable in very little time.
Always keep in mind that every link to your site helps to increase your online ranking, so it’s necessary to create a free business profile in various online directories, whether it be added manually or automatically. Make sure you have a responsive website as well, so you don’t miss out on opportunities to present your business online.
10. Make a Video Marketing Campaign
Every marketer should know about DollarShaveClub.com’s viral marketing videos. They created them at lost cost and drove massive amounts of sales because of them.
In an interview with the New York Times, Michael Dubin shares his experience about going from viral video marketing into a full-fledged business.
Check out the video below to see for yourself how they captured the attention and hearts of their users.

Some of you are thinking, “I can’t do that.” That’s perfectly fine. Most of us are camera shy. With that said, take what you can from DollarShaveClub and use what you’ve learned to make a video for your business. It doesn’t have to go viral to work. It just needs to solve a problem.
Here’s an example of our previous E-Learning campaign: Starting Your Online Business
This Bookmark video is a campaign we ran in order to attract those who are looking to start an online business from scratch. In the video we allude to our full E-Learning course and give them an idea if Bookmark is the best option for their online business.
Check out the video below to get an idea how you can make your marketing video.

Takeaway
Now that you have some actionable steps you can take to grow your small business, you have no excuse. Focus on your strengths first, then slowly expanded into the areas that challenge you. With time and effort, your online business will become more profitable.

7 Examples of Awesome Landing Pages That Drive Calls

We love when we see businesses include a click-to-call button or phone number on their landing page. That one element shows they’re thinking about their customers. They’re telling prospects, “you’re a person, not just a lead.” They are putting the power in their prospects hands to engage how they want.
Providing the option to call isn’t just nice for your prospects and customers. It benefits you too. You’ll drive more high-quality conversions that turn into sales. In fact, 34% of people say they will only search a minute or less on a company’s website before moving on to another company.
So we’d like to applaud those businesses and show you some of our favorite landing pages using either click-to-call buttons or great call CTAs.
1. Vivint Smart Home (Desktop)

We have always loved Vivint’s clean design, and this desktop landing page is a perfect example of why we love it so much. Above the fold, they prominently display their phone number twice—once in the header and then as the main CTA on the hero image. Then below the phone numbers and the hero image, a form is nicely tucked away, and the phone number is displayed above the form as well. Clearly, Vivint is showing they value phone calls over form submissions. They know that people who are shopping for smart home solutions tend to want to talk to a live representative before making a purchase.
2. Vivint Smart Home (Mobile)

If you choose to visit Vivint on your smartphone, there are three click-to-call options available: one in the main menu (the phone icon in the upper right), the big call button in the middle of the screen, and a popup banner on the bottom that displays an offer, “click to call” text, and an online chat option. If you scroll further down, a form is also available. Vivint understands that it’s easier for their mobile customers to click to call rather than fill out a mobile form, and they do a great job of making it easy to connect with them over the phone.
3. Frontier Communications (Mobile)
The call-driven experience starts in the mobile search results for Frontier Communications with a call-only ad search result and another paid search ad with a click-to-call button. This is a great way to serve people who are searching on their mobile devices because it makes it easy to call before they even hit the website.

And after clicking through the search ad, you get a mobile call-friendly landing page with two different click-to-call options and a value-driven offer. This makes it easy for a mobile customer who might not have internet service at home (think if you just moved to a new area and were searching for internet service) to call and get a new package set up.
4. 3 Day Blinds (Desktop)

Even though 3 Day Blinds doesn’t make a huge deal about the phone numbers on their landing page, we like that they give their customers a few options. In the header, they provide an appointment number and a service number, so even before you dial, you know you’re going to be talking to the right person. And the CTA on top of the form still encourages customers to call: “Please provide the following information or call 877-238-0795.” 3 Day Blinds understands the power of giving customers the choice to interact with their brand however they prefer.
5. LendingTree (Desktop)

There are only two things in LendingTree’s Header: their logo and their phone number. What’s great about the phone number is that it’s even more prominent than the logo and it is on every page as you go through the inquiry process. If you’re going to put your phone number on a landing page, make it bold.
6. Empire Today (Mobile)
Even though you can’t get their phone number out of your head thanks to their jingle, they still include their phone number on their landing pages. And since Empire’s phone number is such a huge part of their branding, it’s even incorporated into their logo at the top of the page. But since you can’t click that phone number, they give you a nice click to call button just below the CTA. But again, you can just sing their jingle to remember the number: Eight-hundred five-eight-eight two-three-hundred EMPIIIIIRE today!

7. Southwest (Desktop)

Say what you will about Southwest Airlines, but they make it very easy for their customers to contact them over the phone. The first option given on this landing page is “Call Us” and then their phone number is listed below. But if you want a more specific phone number, you can click on “more contact numbers” and choose from 10+ phone numbers to make sure you’re connected with the right person.
Think About the Call When Designing Landing Pages
When we think about landing pages, we usually picture an online form. And while there is still value in a completed form, there is way more value in an inbound call. So the next time you design a new landing page, make sure you include a click to call button for your mobile users or a prominent phone number for your desktop customers. They’ll appreciate it, and you may just see a better response on your landing pages.
Get the Call Tracking Study Guide for Marketers to learn how to get marketing optimization data from all those incoming calls!

6 Questions That Heatmap Analytics Can Answer About Your Website

Your website analytics are essential to understanding how your site is performing, and user experience is a crucial part of that. While your performance analytics will give you a lot of the “what,” heatmaps can help answer the “why,” helping you drill down into improving user experience.
A heatmap is a visual representation of user behavior. A heatmap analytics platform will load a JavaScript file in your visitors’ browsers, and then the heatmaps show aggregations of all the recorded data. It displays as a screenshot of an individual page with a range of colors overlaying different areas of the page to represent engagement. Like any other heatmap, red signifies a higher frequency, and blue or purple signifies a lower density of activity.
There are a few different kinds of website heatmaps. One is a click heatmap, which shows where users are clicking on your website and how often. The denser spots of red are where users have clicked the most.

Move heatmaps record and display users’ mouse movement on your page. These heatmaps are particularly insightful because there is a high correlation between mouse movement and eye movement.

Thirdly is a scroll heatmap, which visually represents how far visitors are scrolling down a page. Red indicates that all visitors have seen that section of the page, and the gradient turns cooler as less users scroll down the page. Scroll heatmaps also show the percentage of visitors that scrolled to each point on the page.

Many heatmap tools also have the ability to collect session recordings. A session recording is a real-time screen recording of visitor sessions on your website, showing their mouse and scroll movement, where they click, and what pages they visit. The recordings can support your findings from your heatmaps and serve as clear examples of visitor interaction and behavior.
Heatmaps are valuable because they answer the “why” of your performance analytics—such as why you have a high bounce rate, or low time on page. They take website testing to the next level, with data from real users that are often unfamiliar with your site, and display it in a visual, quantitative way. There are many insights you can glean from heatmaps about user experience on your website, the client journey, and holes in website content or structure. Here are 6 questions that heatmaps can answer about your website.
1. Is your site’s structure and navigation working?
When you look at your click heatmaps, which menu items get the most clicks? Which ones aren’t clicked at all? This gives you insight into how intuitive your navigation structure is, which pages are most popular and which pages are being ignored. If a certain menu item is receiving minimal clicks, that page may not be important to your visitors, or perhaps the language is confusing. Consider removing it or moving it to be child page. Your main navigation items are valuable real estate on your site, and something else that you’d like to draw attention to could take its place!
2. Where do users stop reading your content and drop off the page?
Use scroll heatmaps to see how far users are scrolling down your pages. Is there any correlation between drop-off percentage and the type of content on the page? Or location of content? If you have a big drop in scroll percentage over a short amount of scroll space, you might have a content issue. The copy could be confusing, boring or too long, or it may not be what the visitor was looking for when they clicked on the page.
This is an example of where A/B testing can be really helpful. Run heatmaps on your original page to capture a benchmark of data, and then test your edits to see how visitor scrolling and click frequency changes.
3. How effective are your calls-to-action?
Insights from both your scroll and click heatmaps can be valuable in guiding your call-to-action design, copy and placement. Do visitors find them compelling enough to click? Do they even see them? The click heatmap measures the effectiveness of your CTAs, and the scroll and movement heatmaps can help inform why they may not be getting as many clicks. If there’s little mouse movement, or if the scroll heatmap shows most users aren’t reaching the point of the page where the CTA is, then it could be an issue with placement or design. Heatmaps also prove helpful when A/B testing your calls-to-action.
4. Where are there glitches or places that users are mistakenly clicking?
Heatmaps are all about user experience, and there’s no substitute for watching real users navigate your site. Heatmaps show you places users are clicking on your site that aren’t actually links or interactive content. Sometimes this is a development bug – an expand-collapse section may be broken, or a button misaligned. Other times, part of a page design may be misleading and look like a link or button when it’s not, causing users to click until they realize it’s not what they expected. This leads to user frustration, high bounce rates, and low conversion rates. Noticing it in a heatmap enables you to fix bugs and make adjustments that you may not have known you needed to do otherwise.
5. Where are the areas of opportunity?
As you begin to analyze your heatmaps, you’ll notice areas of opportunity on your website. If a page receives a high frequency of clicks but isn’t listed on your main navigation menu, it may be a good idea to add it. And if there is high frequency of movement over some interactive elements on a page, you may want to assure you’ve placed calls to action or relevant content there to take advantage of the highly-trafficked area. Pay attention to which related posts and featured content are receiving the most clicks, and switch out the ones with minimal engagement. The visual nature of heatmaps really highlights what areas of your site are “hot” and where you should seize the opportunity to strategically edit your layout, structure and content hierarchy to match your users’ behavior.
6. How well is your site optimized for mobile?
Each page you run a heatmap for will create different heatmaps for each device type (desktop, tablet and mobile). Because 80% of B2B buyers use mobile at work, we can’t deny its importance in the client journey. How are visitors interacting differently with your website on different devices? Are they scrolling through and reading the same length of content that they are on desktop? With smaller screens and larger text, it’s typical for content on mobile pages to be optimized to be shorter and easier to consume. But if you find that your visitors are finding the content compelling enough to scroll through the page, don’t change it!
Also look at where people are clicking. A mobile click heatmap will show “taps,” which also include where users are scrolling (by tapping and dragging) or zooming in. There could be a high frequency of taps on a headline because it resembles a button on mobile and users think they can click on it. Or some buttons may be too small for fingers, and therefore there are a lot of taps surrounding it. Screen recordings are helpful here so that you can actually watch user behavior and see any issues they’re having with the mobile interface.
Pair heatmaps with other analytics for best insight
Heatmap analytics offer a wealth of insight into your user behavior, but your findings are most valuable when paired with other quantitative performance analytics such as Google Analytics. If you know you have a low conversion rate on your landing page, your click heatmap may show that the call-to-action is inconveniently placed on the page. Or on another page, you may see that most users are scrolling all the way to the bottom, but the average time on page is really low. This could mean that users are skimming the page but not finding the content they were looking for, so you may need to revisit your copy or structure the content in a more readable way.
It’s easy to get caught up in assumptions and gut feelings about what’s best for your website, but heatmaps will better inform your decisions and teach you about your website visitors. You’ve spent quite a bit of time on the strategy, design and development side of your site—now it’s time to walk in the shoes of your visitors!

Key Elements for Creating Product Pages

When creating a product page for your business, it is important to follow some guidelines to make your page successful. There are some important key elements that you should use when creating product pages that help your business gain new customers and keep current ones coming back. This article will walk you through some key elements that should be part of your product page.
Clean and Responsive Design
Having a clean and responsive design will help engage your customers and point them to the most important parts of your page: clear CTAs, product descriptions, and professional photos. When a customer lands on one of your product pages, they should first see a clear CTA. Make sure you have a clear CTA that aligns with your brand and will help lead your customers to become buyers. The CTAs should be placed above your product descriptions and next to your photos so that it is clear which product you are selling. You can see an example of an awesome product page layout here from one of my favorite online stores LIFE IS GOOD.

You also may want to have some interactive elements like videos and infographics to show off your products. Responsive design is important for product pages because many people shop on their mobile phones. Make sure your product pages are put through a quality assurance process so that they look good on the most popular mobile devices and browsers.
Clear Product Descriptions
Make sure you have clear product descriptions that make your customers want to buy or learn more about your products. You should think like a journalist and write engaging copy and descriptions for all of your products. Make sure that descriptions explain all aspects of the product. It helps to also contain links to reference materials and product documentation.
Semantic Product Categories
Make sure your product categories are named semantically. For example, if you sell pants in your online clothing store, the product pages should first have a top-level clothing category: http://www.your-store.com/clothing/pants. You could also go further if you sell different types of pants: http://www.your-store.com/clothing/pants/dress-pants.
Having all of your products in separately broken down categories will help your website gain new traffic by way of good SEO and also give customers a rough idea of what types of products you offer. Well-written SEO makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and help your website have indexed pages that make sense semantically.
Key Elements to Include in Your Product Page
Here are three examples of product page qualities to include in your page, from one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce:
1. Keep your product page focused on the product and consistent with your brand.
Make sure your product pages follow your brand guidelines and the photos and descriptions match the rest of your website. Sometimes we think our product pages should be different in order to stand out from the rest of our website, but having your product pages branded the same as your website boosts your customers’ confidence.
2. Boost your customers’ loyalty and confidence.
Your customers’ loyalty is one of your business’s most important assets. You can boost their loyalty and confidence by displaying ratings and comments for each product. This will help them trust your products and your brand. It will also help you learn what issues customers may be having with your products, enabling you to improve them.
3. Inspire customers to be promoters of your brand.
When customers are browsing your product pages, make sure to have engaging copy that makes them want to share your product with their friends. Include easy ways for them to share your products on social channels. Embedding social sharing within each product is an easy way for your products to be promotable online.
Your Product Pages Are the Most Important Pages on Your Website
Selling your products on your website is as simple as following the guidelines above for creating product pages and making sure they are engaging. In the long run, these will help your business gain customers and retain current ones.

Stunning Memorial Day Email Designs to Inspire You

Memorial Day is one of the most important U.S. holidays that celebrates fallen soldiers and honors the sacrifices of the military personnel. Besides, it also marks the commencement of summer.
This year, Memorial Day falls on the 27th of May and it is sure to garner a good number of customers. In view of this trend, it is, of course, an important day for all the email marketers out there. It is an opportunity to entice the customers to splurge and complete the purchase.
It still isn’t too late to plan the email campaign for Memorial Day and to make things easy for you, we bring to you some email inspirations that you can learn from.
The Home Depot Garden Club
Subject Line: Coupon Inside + Light Up Your Memorial Day
The email opens with an interesting GIF that displays all the products that the subscribers may like to buy for their garden. It is followed by the offers on different items like garage storage, work wear, ceiling fans, and outdoor power. The only disadvantage of this email is that it looks cluttered with too many distractions and no white space.

E-ZUP
Subject Line: Countdown to Memorial Day Weekend Special!
The email has a simple design that instantly puts forth the message of “PRE MEMORIAL DAY SALE”. The hero image showcases the product on sale and attracts the target audience to buy it. There is a single CTA without any unnecessary elements to distract the subscriber. The image is followed by an engaging copy that talks more about the offer.
The footer includes the social media links which is a good practice to encourage user interaction on other platforms except email.

alice + olivia by stacey bendet
Subject Line: Happy Memorial Day from a+o
The imagery conveys a warm Memorial Day wish to the reader and reflects summer vibes. The typography instantly grabs the attention of the readers and lets them know what the email is about. The next section showcases the offer along with the CTA.

Paper Direct
Subject Line: Celebrate Memorial Day with Free Shipping on themed stationery!
Paper Direct sends a beautiful email that adheres well to the text to image ratio. The offer is highlighted right at the outset of the email, below the menu. It promotes the different products through separate sections and related CTAs. There is ample whitespace that imparts a neat and clean look to the email.

Mattress Firm
Subject Line: Take a peak: It’s our Memorial Day Preview Sale!
Though the hero image is quite attractive, the message may not get conveyed if the images are turned off in the email clients. It is a good idea to highlight the product feedback in the email to garner more conversions.
It would have been better to include social sharing icons in the email footer.

How Facebook’s New Focus on Groups Could Change Your Marketing

geralt / Pixabay
By now you’ve seen the Facebook refresh. The place where we spend the most time connecting with friends and family, sharing memes or arguing about politics and sports teams has turned its focus to Groups.
At Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg devoted much of his keynote to emphasizing that the company really cares about privacy. Facebook has taken quite a hit in this arena in the last few years. Yet instead of rolling out privacy updates, Zuckerberg rolled out this new group-centric feel.
What Does it Mean?!
What does this mean for users? What about marketers?
It’s no secret that business pages have taken a serious hit over the years, losing engagement with organic posts. Facebook is a pay-to-play platform for brands. Where marketers have expressed frustration, they may now be singing praises in their analytics.

Users will notice the new Groups tab and a Group-recommending tool. Plus, the app will recommend groups in more places, like when you’re watching a show with a group of its own. They’re also promising new technology that will aim to make such suggestions feel relevant rather than random.
If your business has a Facebook group with an active base, you’ll likely find valuable real estate in user feeds.
For instance, at Impulse Creative we have our Sprocket Talk group where HubSpot users learn a ton about the platform, discover tips and tricks and connect with the community.
In about 18 months, we’ve seen organic growth to almost 750 members in this niche audience, with lots of engagement. And in the last week since this Facebook update, we’ve seen a 25% spike in new members.
I asked George B. Thomas, group founder and main moderator, about the experience. “One of my favorite things is that for us, the group has become a conduit between HubSpot users and HubSpot employees. When I see a question and know one of our members is a HubSpot person who can answer it, I’ll tag them and they jump in. It’s almost like a personal level of customer support.”
The Sprocket Talk community is also very helpful and supportive to each other. It’s become a place to ask questions and the community gives feedback. If you can build this for your business, how valuable would you be to your community?
One great tip George offered is this: “Remember that this is a close-knit group of people more interested in your business, your cause, or your brand than in your sales offers. They trust you more because of the connection and you’ve built reciprocity– a key component to true marketing!”
Break Time – WTH??
Perhaps the weirdest update: The Dating feature (did you know Facebook had a Dating feature?!) now has a “Secret Crush” option. This lets users express an anonymous interest in up to nine friends who have opted into Facebook Dating. The announcement reportedly elicited a giggle/groan from the F8 audience. Anonymous “romantic” inclinations certainly seem out of sync with a new emphasis on privacy.
While we all know, thanks to Hollywood’s rendition of the Facebook story, that the founding of the platform focused on the hook-up culture of college students, but hasn’t the platform grown beyond this silliness? Facebook is supposed to grow with its audience, not keep us mired in our immature obsessions like secret crushes.
What Should You Do?
Focus on your community. Start a relevant group that serves your audience well. Start by knowing your buyer persona, what they need, what they want and how they discover new information. A Facebook Group could get you in newsfeeds at greater numbers than we’ve seen in years.
Engage. If you have a Group, keep engaging with your community. Or if it’s been a minute, go engage right now. Start a conversation. You can ask a question, launch a poll, highlight a new member… make it easy to start a conversation. When it’s simple to leave a comment or engage, people are more likely to do so. Bring them a valuable community and they’ll stick around!
Find new ways… Go live. Try video. However, you can further engage that community, the better the experience will be.
Promote. Add your Group to your business page. This will drive users to your community. Alsi, put a CTA in email signatures, offering “Have you joined our Facebook community?” or “Join our Facebook Group for exclusive content and connections” … then deliver on the promise. Add calls to action on your website promoting the Facebook community. Now, instead of just “Follow us on Facebook,” you can invite people to join your Facebook community.
Be social. As a personal brand, join more groups and interact with them. Just like inbound marketing has always touted, be sure you’re not spamming and selling. Engage, serve, educate, entertain… just don’t be creepy.
Using Facebook Groups to connect with the right audience may prove to be your strategic move in 2019: sending traffic to your website to convert and building your brand faster than you’ve experienced in social media lately.
And if you’re doing it, let us know. We love to spread the knowledge around the community.
The Bottom Line
When Zuckerberg introduced the fifth major version of Facebook code-named FB5, he called it “the biggest change to the Facebook app and website” they’ve made in five years. It certainly appears that way, with changes encompassing both the mobile apps and the browser experience.
As we’ve laid out, beyond the stripped-down look, FB5 emphasizes Facebook’s Groups feature, which is currently used by 400 million people. At the conference, Zuckerberg said, “Groups are at the heart of your experience.” Is he right? Time will tell.
So while most people will notice the big blue bar is gone, replaced with a more subtle look and more white space, this change to focusing on the Groups experience will affect most of us more noticeably in the months to come.
Wondering what you’re supposed to do now? We’re here to help.

5 Practical Ways to Increase Conversions on Your Website

Why do we buy stuff?
The psychology of selling hasn’t changed – it is embedded in human behavior and our habits.
We buy stuff because it relieves a pain in our life, it appeals to our sense of belonging and it makes us excited. We make that final purchase decision because for some reason we can’t wait anymore – it is an urgent and important matter that needs to be attended to right away.
These elements of human behavior contribute to the verbal and visual makeup of our websites.
Another layer has been added to these traditional concepts, however, based on findings of neuroscience and the fact that selling is no longer face-to-face. It relies, instead, on stimulation of the viewers senses and the parts of the brain that are activated.
Effective calls-to-action (CTA’s) will combine both traditional selling strategies and the information that neuroscience provides.
So let’s take a look at 5 practical ways that psychology and selling combine to increase conversions on your website.
Placement psychology
Your CTA button(s) must have a prominent place on the page – they have to stand out to a visitor.
What will happen when the visitor pushes that button and what are the benefits?
This text does not all have to be on the button, but it should be close by.
Take a look at the CTA used by Spotify:

The benefit is clear – “music for everyone,” and “it’s all the music you’ll ever need.”
When the visitor pushes the button, they will “play songs instantly.” And the “Free” button gets the consumer a free trial.
The buttons are simple, but the text around them explains what will happen when one of them is pushed.
Color psychology
Here’s where some neuroscience comes in.
MRI’s have shown which parts of our brain are stimulated by which colors, and different colors have very specific appeals – to men and to women.
Women, for example, prefer green, blue, purple and pink; men prefer blue, green, and black. And each color also represents certain appeals.
While this may not be a “deal breaker,” why not use button colors that speak to the people you are targeting?
Here’s a simple chart you can use as you decide on the color of your CTA button.

Emotional psychology
This is where traditional sales psychology comes into play – where pain must be relieved, where a sense of belonging can be established, where emotional appeals can be made, and where a sense of urgency can be instilled.
Your buttons and the simple text around your buttons, for example, will have such statements as, “Only 18 hours left to take advantage of this special price,” “Only a limited supply remaining,” “Join thousands of otherwise shoppers,” or “Get your free trial now.”
Look how well Twitter appeals to the emotion of excitement:

There’s a huge crowd of excited people. Now, there excitement has come from a concert, not from joining Twitter, but that doesn’t matter!
Really good CTA’s can appeal to lots of emotions at the same time, and Basecamp is a prime example:

So simple and sleek, and yet look what they have done!
The pain is chaos, and they are going to relieve that pain; there’s a free trial, and notice how they portray the “feeling” that they are giving something to the consumer with the “It’s on us” phrase.
And here’s the sense of belonging – “4869 companies signed up in just a week” – there is a desire to do what other companies are doing.
And, finally, the sense of urgency is established with, “You need to get a project done.” All of those emotional appeals in a very compact CTA.
Visual psychology
There are three facets of visual psychology:
Use buttons with curved rather than square corners. Neuroscientists tell us that curved corners take our eyes and our attention inward, while square corners take them outward.
Viewers attach more importance to buttons that are larger, so if you have a CTA that is most important, make that button the largest.
Put your “benefit” on the button and make it “front and center” on our page.
Take a look at the results of the A/B testing on two CTA’s:

Here two elements were changed – the curved button and the color, but the result was pretty great, in terms of increased conversions.
SmartCustomWriting.com, an online custom writing service has done a couple of things:

First, while they have square corners, they have covered them with an animated figure and an “X” to close the CTA.
Second the “draw” is the discount and so it is much bigger than the “order now” button in the upper right corner.
And, unless the viewer closes it out, the two discount buttons stay front and center even as the viewer scrolls down the page.
Once a visitor clicks on either of those buttons, here is what appears:

The two discount buttons still appear, but now the bigger button is rounded, in bright orange (a good color for action) and the visitor is directed to place their order and get the discount!
Verbal psychology
The CTA button MUST be specific and get the message across – people are not into long text.
Use a command to get the user to do what you want. “Buy now,” “Watch,” and “Download” are typical commands, but they are very general and common.
Take a look at the A/B testing in the following:

Source: conversionXL.com
The change was to get more specific, still keeping the message simple, and the viewer now is asked to find their gym location.
The CTA command is unique and has resulted in 68% more conversions – not bad!
Well, there you have it – 5 very easy and very practical things you can do right now to increase your own conversion rates!

How To Make Your Content Marketing More Newsworthy!

Many of us started our content marketing careers delivering newspapers in our local communities. What a great lesson in sales, customer service, marketing, and being social!
In the days before social media, social selling and content marketing, people consumed content via newspapers. And, some of that native behavior still exists! However, your self-promotional use of Twitter is likely missing the mark because it is just not newsworthy.

Brands need to activate their content and awareness messaging – to make it more like a newsfeed and less like a promotional feed. By making your content more newsworthy, your customers will increase their likelihood to read it, count on it, and act on it – especially those who do not have a long relationship with you. Think less about the features and benefits of your products services and more about the news. Show that you understand your audience’s industry, category and company challenges. This approach will help you win their trust.
Remember you have to show your ability to deliver the news before they pay for the newspaper.
Reading The News Is A Native Behavior. Reading The Ads Is Not.
My paper route customers had a news reading ritual:
Delivery. Expect delivery of the paper every day.
Headline Scan. Scan the paper for meaningful headlines to learn something without having to read any further.
Read What Was Relevant and Interesting. Dive deeper into the content to get to the heart of the story – expanded from headline.
These are content consumption behaviors today’s consumers still practice – only now they do it with Twitter.
5 Reasons To Make Your Marketing Messaging More Newsworthy
I am not sure to whom we can attribute the phrase, “The news and nothing but the news” – however, it appears to have been foreshadowing for what your consumers want on Twitter.
It’s All About The Headline. 80% get their news by scrolling through their timelines – while 67% by browsing the timelines of others. This native scrolling behavior indicates the need to break through the clutter. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
More News Consumption. 60% of Twitter users say they get more news now than before they joined the service – indicating our audience is using Twitter for news content. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
Easier News Consumption. 79% of Twitter users say staying on top of the news was easier compared to 62% of non-Twitter users – indicating your audience consumes news on Twitter to consume and probably does not engage as much as you think. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
Active News Consumption. 86% of Twitter users use the service for the news – 75% using it daily – suggesting the need to be relevant and active with your content creation (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
Taking The Relationship To The Next Level. 92% click through, at least sometimes, to read the news – showing you that great newsworthy headlines will help you advance your customer relationship (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
The Big Question You Should Ask About Twitter, Consumption And Content Marketing
“Should I be using Twitter as a way to position my awareness messaging as a news feed?” Well, the above research provides one very clear takeaway for your content marketing strategy – make sure your messaging is more newsworthy … and distribute it on Twitter!
How To Make Your Brand’s Twitter Feed More Newsworthy
Even though your company is not a collection of journalists or a news publication, you can take a page out of their playbook with these simple tips:
1. Headlines. Write your tweets in 70- to 100-character capitalized headlines to capture your readers’ attention.
2. Facts And Lists. Feature facts and lists to convey your understanding of your audience’s business. You need to make your readers’ life a little better because you got them to think about things a little differently – or you taught them something. Have an informative approach to your messaging and you’ll be building your relationship in no time!
3. Pictures. The old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ also applies to content marketing and Twitter. Try to include a custom-made and newsworthy graphic in 75% of your messaging to help break through the clutter and capture the hearts, minds, and most importantly the eyes of your readers.
4. Call To Action (CTA) Connected To The ‘Story’. You need to deliver the news. However, you also need to give your audience a clear next step to ‘learn more’. Accomplish this ‘click’ with a ‘Read More:’, [WHITE PAPER] or similar CTA.
5. User Experience. Make sure to link your tweet to an informative landing page or blog post that naturally ‘fits’ the headline in your tweet. Think of this experience as a story supporting the newspaper headline.
So, how can your brand use content or content marketing to secure the attention of your readers? Give your audience the news and nothing but the news and they will start to pay for it with their social and relationship currency.

Email Marketing Newsletters: Your Design Checklist

Are you ready to design the best email newsletter ever?
Your email marketing newsletter design is hands-down the most important element of your campaign. Without an effective and compelling design, your recipients won’t engage and maybe will even unsubscribe or *horror* mark you as spam.
I want to help you make the most out of all your hard work and show you just how important each design step is.
Previously, I had discussed the importance of maintaining a clean and segmented email marketing list. You don’t want to waste all that work, do you?
After reading this article, or while you’re scanning away, take a moment to leave a comment with your thoughts. Your input matters, and I’m sure I’ve missed some valuable points.
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1) Subject line
Are you happy with your subject line? Are you sure it’s going to be effective?
Your subject line is one of the most important elements of your email, if not the most important of all. It is the leading factor for whether your email gets opened or not.
When people look at your email in their inbox, what do they see that’ll compel them to click and read more? Does your subject line hook them, interest them, or build upon their curiosity?
Your subject line needs to draw their attention without giving away the gist of your email. You want them to open it and ultimately take action in one way or another.

Take the time to develop your subject line properly. Give it a lot of thought. When you do, you just might see a big difference.
Real-Life Scenario:
While with a local nonprofit, I tried to experiment with different subject line methods that I had learned about while studying marketing. It was a challenge to create something that hooked the recipient while also maintaining the strict professionalism of my employer. Once I finally had a line we could all agree upon, I sent out a series of emails without making almost any changes to it. The open rate and attendee participation suffered as a result.
While your follow-up email subject lines should be similar to your first one, it could be of benefit to try mixing it up a bit. You can add “Reminder” or something of the sort to connect the two emails, but I recommend using different wording for each email subject line.
When you send an email out with the subject line “Come visit us at XYZ conference in XYZ” (for example), be creative when sending out the next email. Catch the recipients’ attention over again with a reminder subject line that is just as compelling as the first email.
Resources:
Crazy Egg has an article titled: 12 Tips to Boost Email Click-Through Rates plus 23 Strategic Subject Lines. In addition to providing proven strategies for getting people to open your email and act on your content, Crazy Egg gives you examples of some of the most effective subject lines out there.
Impact Branding & Design published an article on subject lines titled: 6 Easy Subject Line Hacks to Boost Your Email Open Rates Right Now. It is filled with great advice to help increase your open rates and decrease your chances of getting marked as spam.
2) Preheader
This part of an email marketing newsletter design is largely overlooked. It’s the subtext that appears at the very top of your email. It’s also the short snippet of text that appears next to your email’s subject line.

Take advantage of this valuable real estate by making your preheader intriguing or informative. It’ll help improve your open rates where your subject line may have failed to do so.
Real-Life Scenario:
While I’ve been writing this article, I’ve gone through my own inbox to see what shows up in the preheader for some of the subscription emails I have there. I use Gmail, and here are some good and not-so-good examples of some preheaders I’ve found (subject line – preheader):
Subject line – subject line repeated
Subject line – read in browser link
Subject line – social media CTAs
Subject line – “Here are a few articles we thought you’d enjoy”
Subject line – “Your weekly roundup of the latest posts…”
And so on…
I definitely prefer preheaders that say something that’ll further compel me to click on the email. I don’t feel compelled to click when I see the first 3 preheader examples from above, especially #3.
In those cases, what’s in it for me? How is a repeat subject line making good use of this valuable space? How are your social media ads going to encourage me to open your email? If anything, it could end up hurting you in the end.
If I see preheaders used for self-promotion, you’d better have an incredibly convincing subject line.
Resources:
In an article I found from the Salesforce blog, the writer explained what a preheader is and why it’s so important. Although it’s a brief article, it is very informative if you’re questioning the value of preheader text.
Your preheader text is an essential part of your newsletter design, and this article tells you why.
ClickZ has a blog article titled: Eight Tips for Effective E-mail Preheaders, which goes into detail about the ways you can create preheaders that work.
One of the key points in this article is that your preheader should not be a repeat of your subject line. Unfortunately, I see 9/10 of my subscription emails taking that approach.
Take a look at this article to find 8 of the most helpful tips for effectively using the preheader space.
3) Imagery
Your newsletter should not be black and white, but it also should not be overwhelmed with color and imagery.

You need to find a balance between text and imagery in order to draw your recipient in and keep their attention.
Real-Life Scenario:
When I first started receiving email newsletters from my favorite blogs, I noticed the wide variety of techniques each blog chose for their email’s appearance.
Some of the most influential bloggers out there send me emails with snippets of their new article(s) in text only. I never read it. I simply skip all the text and go to the article link.
If I get an email with colorful imagery, I pay more attention to the purpose of the email. I read far more when the text is grouped with images because I, along with many other people, prefer to see imagery that explains the content than just text alone.
If you’re going to stick with black & white, text-only emails, don’t waste your time. Speaking from experience, email recipients don’t have time to read the heavy, visually unappealing content you send. In the end, you’re much better off taking the little extra time to add imagery, or at least color, to your email.
Resources:
Constant Contact provides an article titled: Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes When Adding Images to Your Email Marketing, which lists the mistakes you can make as well as advice on how to prevent them in future campaigns.
Number 6 in this article is my personal favorite because it’s a mistake I see a lot, and it’s a mistake I’ve made in the past myself.
Another great resource is the article by AWeber: Don’t Use Another Image In Your Emails Without Reading This First. The article includes a very good point that I haven’t talked about yet:
Your emails need imagery, yes, but even with it, you can’t neglect your text content. Imagery shouldn’t replace or overwhelm your main content. They need to work together for best results.
4) Links
Although I’ve been saying each design component is important, I pretty much have to say it every time. Each part of your design has a purpose that can’t be ignored, and links are a must-use.

You need to add links to your emails so that recipients click-through to your target location. Most importantly, you need these links to be convincing.
If you simply say “click here” or use other generic text, you’re neglecting a great opportunity for an increased click-through rate (CTR). Even worse, if you simply add the URL as your link spelled out, your email looks amateur at best.
Don’t use too many links because it’ll confuse both you and the reader as to what your real goal is. Have a focused call-to-action (CTA) in your email that stands out much more than any other links. This will increase your CTR and give you an easier time measuring the success of your campaign.
On another note, here are a few other tips for using links in your emails:
If using a shortened URL link, take advantage of it and track it.
Test the link to make sure it goes where it’s supposed to go.
Give each link enough room so that recipients don’t have issues trying to select them on a mobile device.
Real-Life Scenario:
When I was working with a nonprofit, I was often in charge of their email marketing, and as a result, I had the experiences and opportunities to learn what works and what doesn’t with link placement, design and use.
One of the mistakes I made was not having a focused CTA. I added several links, all of which were the same size, color… And they were all grouped together in one space.
It was a mess, and I quickly learned my lesson. My next email campaign worked much better as I had added a CTA that stood out from the rest of the content and links. The space I had created for links in the past – I gave each link more space and limited the number of links I added.
Resources:
I found an article by Marketo titled: 10 Best Practices for Using Links in Emails. It goes more in depth than I have on this subject, so I recommend taking a look at what it has to offer you.
One of the points in the article really stands out to me. Your links should always be relevant to the content of your email. You don’t want to confuse or distract your recipients, so stay focused on the theme or purpose of your email.
5) Copywriting
The last part of your design that I discuss is the way in which you add and finalize your copy.

When you select the text you want to use, you need to be especially concise and choosy in what you include.
People aren’t going to read huge blocks of text, so make sure you cut it up into separate sections when you can.
Stay relevant to what you want people to know and do at the end. It needs to relate to your final call-to-action.
Also, have an editor (or 2 or 3) go over your copy to check for spelling, grammar, simplicity, and accuracy. Have them give you a critique of whether they understand and can follow what you’re trying to say.
Real-Life Scenario:
When I receive newsletters in my email, I consistently choose to open almost all of them because I know I signed up to receive them for a reason. However, when I look at the opened email, I sometimes get disappointed in what I see.
I’ve seen emails that were clearly not proofread or thought-through. I’ve even seen emails that simply don’t make sense, and I have no idea what the sender wanted me to do.
The worst I’ve seen was an email that had text that didn’t even relate whatsoever to the subject line. It was clear that the sender did not check what topic s/he wanted to share.
Resources:
The writers at Writtent provided an article titled: The 11 Key Elements of Amazing Copywriting, which gives you a detailed description of what you need to have and do for successful copywriting.
Although the article is not directly focused on email marketing, it can all be used for that purpose.
Another resource to check out is from GetResponse: The “4Ps” of Persuasive Email Copywriting. It gives you a different appreciation for proper email copy by describing 4 “Ps” for effectiveness.
The article focuses on your copy from beginning to end, using persuasion as its main point.
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Summary
There are other elements to your email marketing newsletter design, but I’ve gone into detail about the points I find most important:
Subject line
Preheader
Imagery
Links
Copywriting
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5 Startup Hangouts in Chicago That Aren’t Coworking Spaces

Where do you go if you want to meet other entrepreneurs in a casual, spontaneous, this-might-actually-lead-to-a-real-relationship way? Why, one of Chicago’s startup hangouts.
You could go to a coworking space – and Chicago has many – but it’s a bit pricey if you are happily working from home (or some of these other unique places). You could go to networking events every night, but that’s a lot of time to spend away from work. This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation. Read more here.
We asked Chicagoans to share their favorite places to meet entrepreneurs, and they cited some spots you’re already spending time in already – namely, the city’s trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants. If you’ve got a choice of where to eat or imbibe some alcohol, why not choose these startup hangouts and kill two birds with one stone?
1. Purple Pig

A well-reviewed restaurant specializing in charcuterie, cheese, and wine.
Address: 500 North Michigan Avenue (closest CTA stop: Grand-Red)
Why work there: “Board games, purple drink (actual drink that tastes like Koolaid and gets you drunker faster than you can code), and a performance space means I meet more ‘startuppers’ there than nearly anywhere else I’ve been in the city,” says Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge.
2. Gilt Bar

A swanky, dark bar that’s so convinced its food speaks for itself that its entire homepage is nothing but (mouthwatering) photos. Located right near Merchandise Mart, which makes it convenient for entrepreneurs working out of 1871, Matter Chicago, and other coworking spaces there.
Address: 230 West Kinzie street (closest CTA stop: Merchandise Mart)
Why work there: “It’s a fancy-ish, dimly lit, French-feel of a bar/restaurant with a basement bar called The Library that all the ad kids and more well-off startup people like,” says Khan.
3. Starbucks

Duh, it’s Starbucks – the original coworking space. Choose the Chicago & Franklin location or the Merchandise Mart location to get the highest density of entrepreneurs for your buck (or your 4 bucks).
Address: 750 North Franklin Street (closest CTA stop: Chicago-Brown); 470 Merchandise Mart #111 (closest CTA stop: Merchandise Mart)
Why work there: “[The Chicago & Franklin Starbucks] is a frequent stomping ground for entrepreneurs to grab their cup of coffee as well as have meetings,” says Kevin Ludden, head of creative and brand for Figo Pet Insurance.
4. Rossi’s

A liquor store with a dive bar on site.
Address: 412 North State Street (closest CTA stop: Grand-Red)
Why work there: “Lots of journos, journos-turned PR and/or marketing, tons of startup folks,” says Khan.
5. Green Street Smoked Meats

By the same people as Gilt Bar, Green Street Smoked Meats serves Texas-style barbecue in a cool venue that looks like a warehouse.
Address: 112 North Green Street (closest CTA stop: Morgan-Lake)
Why work here: “I’ve met more people that work at Google and Groupon here than every other place in the city combined. Best potato salad ever, great BBQ, and relatively cheap drinks (specially on half-off wine night),” says Khan.
Did we leave any popular startup hangouts off our list? Share it below in the comments section.
Image credits: Flickr / Edsel Little (Purple Pig); Gilt Bar; Starbucks; Rossi’s; Green Street Smoked Meats