Today’s post comes from our email designer, Ryan Sawyer.

For the final Webs blog post before the start of the new year, I wanted to talk about some design trends that have emerged in 2013. Looking toward the year ahead, consider how these 3 growing trends in the email industry can give your emails a fresh and modern look for 2014.

As Bob Dylan said, “The times, they are a-changin’.” Gone are the days of glossy buttons, drop shadows, heavy gradients, textured backgrounds, and realistic-looking graphics. GONE, I SAY! A new school of design has wormed its way into our collective hearts, and that is Flat Design. Decorative design elements used to compete with content for the user’s attention. Nowadays, content is king, and flat design is its knight in shining armor. Or maybe it’s the castle that King Content lives in…You get the idea.


Today’s article is a guest post from Greg Ciotti of Help Scout.

Great customer support should always be available, even when you are not.

In other words, sometimes the best thing you can do for your customers is to simply get out of the way.

This is a trend we’ve seen take over in 2013, and I’m confident that next year will see continuing adoption and recognition of the sincere usefulness of self-service.

Why? So many aspects of business and commerce are moving online, and with this 24-hour customer base (that spans the world over), it’s impossible for small companies to have live options for support all the time.


Today’s article comes from Alex Mitchell, our Lead Analyst, who somehow became the marketing team’s leading expert on Snapchat. 

Unless you’ve been ignoring mainstream media for the past 6 months or don’t have tweens living in your house, you probably have heard of Snapchat, the latest tech fad that has gained massive popularity in a very short time.

Snapchat allows users to send pictures to friends with the unique twist that they are only viewable for a short period of time (typically 1 — 10 seconds) before they disappear.


Today’s article comes from Deanna Zaucha, Webs Retention Marketing Coordinator. 

Three years ago, Instagram stepped out on the social scene and quickly became a mobile sensation of capturing, filtering, and sharing a world of food, pets,  and sunsets. And in just the past year, it has become a platform for brands to find new ways to engage with their customers in the introduction of video.

If you recall, Facebook saw the promise in Instagram last year, and according to TechCrunch, turned a “Budding Rival Into Its Standalone Photo App.”  With a big-wig brand like Facebook acquiring such an impressionable, young brand like Instagram, I was quick to think about the implications: “Oh great, here comes more marketers trying to send me ‘targeted’ messages in a place where I thought I was safe.”  (Just forget for a moment I am one of those pesky marketers…)


It’s been a year of innovation here at Webs. Thanks to our intrepid engineers, we’ve been able to bring some really exciting new products to our users to help them make the most of their sites and build their businesses. In case you missed any of the updates along the way, we’re counting them down today!

February 2013: User Interface Redesign
The day we launched a redesign of the Webs interface for users was really exciting for everyone here. Our research and development teams spent a lot of time listening to users and figuring out ways to improve their experience. With this redesign came a new look and feel, and a dashboard checklist to help users make sure they were getting the most out of Webs’ tools.


Looking back at 2013, a lot changed in the world of social media, specifically in the area of advertising. Facebook was no exception, rolling out sweeping changes once again to its advertising offerings in September.

In an effort to help small business owners get their arms around all the different ad sizes and types, our friends at Pagemodo created an infographic explaining the various offerings and their uses. It’s definitely worth checking out – and bookmarking – if you plan to make a resolution to give Facebook advertising a try in 2014.


Every month or so we feature an exemplary website created by a Webs user, and talk about what makes their site effective (view all of our examples sites here). So today, in case you missed any along the way, we’re going to take a look back at some highlights. As you go through the examples below, think about how they might apply to a website you currently have, or one that you might be building in the year to come.

1. A Great Online Store: Beachcat Sail Company
There is a lot going for this ecommerce website. First, it’s very attractive and looks professional. While this is a plus for every website, it’s even more important if you’re going to be asking people to give you their money. Beachcat also does a great job of introducing their product, giving solid reasons why it’s a superior choice, and answering any questions a shopper might come up with along the way. Check them out to get some great web store ideas (or a custom sailboat, if you’re in that market).


Last week, American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released some exciting stats on this year’s Small Business Saturday (November 30th). Here are 5 things you should take away from the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey:

1. More people know about Small Business Saturday than ever.
The marketing and awareness campaigns on traditional and social media have been successful in spreading the word. Consumer awareness of the event has grown from 67% in 2013 to 71% in 2013.


Earlier this week we talked about which factors people use to gauge their success as a small business owner. Today we’re going to look at a great to measure the success of the business itself. It’s called the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

If you’ve not heard of it before, the NPS of a business is measured with one simple question posed to its customers: “how likely would you be to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” The respondents’ answers fall on a scale of 1 to 10, and are then grouped into 3 categories – Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), and Detractors (6 or below). To make it simple, you disregard the Passives, and then subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, and that number is your NPS. Sometimes expressed as a percentage, sometimes as a score.



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