Happy Halloween Picture

The most effective marketing strategies are ones that capture your audience’s attention. And the best way to do that is to show that your company has personality.

That’s why when holidays like Halloween roll around, it is always a good idea to show your spirit (see what we did there).

This year we saw some great examples to spook your imagination for doing some last minute efforts today, or get you ready for next year!

Your Email

Sending out a Halloween-themed email can be a subtle, yet effective, way to impact open and click-rates for this time of year. While some may believe your inbox may be cluttered with similar messages, dare to be different to drive your customers to be curious about your message. Instead of just saying “Happy Halloween,” try some cheesy Halloween subject lines where your audience can’t help but laugh at (and click) your email! The best message I received this year came from Ann Taylor LOFT.

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Email Checklist Vector

In our last post about email marketing, we talked about how a subject line is the perfect component of your email to test for higher open rates. And while we gave some valuable subject line tips, we thought you could use a quick checklist to compare against when writing.

Lo and behold, the 10-Step Email Subject Line Checklist:

1. What’s the length?
Subject lines with fewer than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more (Constant Contact). Keeping your subject line shorter ensures your whole message will be seen on a variety of devices. Most inboxes only display 30 to 40 characters, and that number shrinks on mobile.

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Email Marketing Keyboard Image

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, you should already be familiar with the concept of Email Marketing. In the past, we have shared what makes a good subject line, how to get quality leads, and how to find the right Email Service Provider (ESP). But today, we are going to dive a little deeper.

I recently talked about the fundamentals of A/B testing on the Pagemodo blog. Granted, I was speaking about Facebook posts, but the same concept of A/B testing can be best explained in this excerpt:

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Email Marketing Icons

Email marketing represents the chance for small businesses of all types to accomplish many goals, from a boost in conversion percentages and repeat customers, to the ability to generate qualified referrals and maximize sales opportunities. Email is a cost-effective, time-efficient way to expand your reach and grow your business – but without a thriving communications list to market to, you’ll likely be left whistling in the wind.

If your business is eager to start capitalizing on the many benefits of email marketing, or if you are searching for ways to gain traction with your current campaign, consider these five fundamental strategies to fill your list with quality leads.

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McDonalds Tweets Back at Taco Bell

The Inbox Diaries is a new series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense: McDonald’s vs. Taco Bell
When Taco Bell launched its breakfast menu on March 27th, it fired the first shot in the Fast Food Breakfast War against the industry leader, McDonald’s. After watching the launch commercial in which Taco Bell showed dozens of real men named Ronald McDonald chowing down on Waffle Tacos, the world waited with baited breath to see how McDonald’s would respond. For a brand whose mascot is a clown, I found the two-pronged response to be nicely understated. First, McDonald’s announced that for the next 2 weeks they will be giving away their much-praised McCafe coffee free during breakfast hours. This costs the company almost nothing, but provides an incentive for diners to choose their brand while all the hype around Taco Bell fades to the background.  They also shared a classy but pointed tweet that patronizes Taco Bell to just the right extent:

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netflix720

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

In business, we are bombarded by the importance of “Big Data”. How we must strive to collect, analyze, and use it to make strategic business decisions. Amazon paved the way with predicting our purchase desires in the email inbox, and now we see it in production in a relative newcomer, Netflix.

Netflix, for those who may not be up to date on this whole “Internet” thing, is an on-demand Internet streaming service available with your $7.99 subscription and addiction to any TV series or movie. It even helped coined the term binge-watching – “The practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single television show” – Wikipedia.com.

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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.

FLAT DESIGN
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.

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The holidays are almost here, which for many means visiting with family and friends, eating until you feel like a stuffed turkey, major holiday sales — and a major barrage of holiday sale emails to go with them.   From November (and earlier) until Christmas Day, every retailer big and small will be emailing their customers multiple times with a variety of products and exclusive offers.

According to holiday projections by eMarketer, 2013 e-commerce spending will increase 15.1% this holiday season, and it’s a safe bet that email will play a big role in reaching out to big spenders.   No surprise there, since email is an easy and inexpensive way to reach many people at once.

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It’s that time of year, two weeks before Halloween, when your inbox starts serving up some real subject line gems. Nothing seems to inspire marketers to unleash their cheesy side quite like Halloween, and in honor of their efforts, we’re sharing some of the best (and worst) puns that have popped up in the Webs marketing team’s inboxes lately.

But as much fun as we like to poke at cheesy lines, the truth is they can be very effective. They can be attention grabbing, shareable (clearly), and highly memorable. So when you’re creating your own Halloween email offers this year, perhaps it may be better to embrace the cheese than fear it. If there’s any time of year when it’s appropriate to show your creativity, this may be it. But for the sake of all our inboxes, please pun responsibly.

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In the modern world of business, the reality is that most customers are shopping with credit cards, not cash or checks. This means that owners of brick-and-mortar small businesses have one more element to prepare for in their business plans: how to accept credit card payments.

The good news is, as mobile technology has advanced and the number of small businesses nationwide has grown by leaps and bounds, a number of great options have emerged. One of the most exciting right now is LevelUp, a Boston-based startup.

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