Blog
A collection of articles and updates

Prioritizing Your Website Optimization


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Prioritizing Your Website Optimization
With so many possibilities and so many experts telling you that every piece is “essential” or “must-have,” how can you know where to prioritize limited resources to get the most bang for your buck--and effort? Here are the areas of your website that we think are the most important.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


The Art of Promoting Your Content


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The Art of Promoting Your Content
Once you’ve taken the time to put together an amazing content marketing strategy and your team has created all the pieces for your blog and social media feeds, how will people know it’s there? When you post a new blog, how will your ideal audience find it? Promoting your content is an essential part of content marketing; here’s what you need to know to do it right.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


The Skinny on Omni-Channel Marketing


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The Skinny on Omni-Channel Marketing
A “marketing channel” refers to the various ways that customers will contact and interact with your brand. From traditional print channels like newspapers and magazines to digital channels like social media, blogs, and smartphone apps, today’s consumers flip between different forms of media without fully realizing it. What this means for you is that you not only need to be present on a variety of channels, but also that the experience for the user must be a seamless one.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing, Omnichannel Marketing, Omni-Channel


4 Reasons You Need a Professional Copywriter


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4 Reasons You Need a Professional Copywriter
So, you’re sold on the idea of content marketing and you’re ready to jump into a schedule of weekly blogging. You’ve dedicated the necessary resources to create a content marketing strategy and set some goals. You’ve done your homework and have solid buyer personas that you want to target. All that’s left is to churn out a few blog posts. Easy, right? Maybe not…

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing, Copywriting


Social Media & Content Marketing


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Social Media & Content Marketing
Social media can play a significant role in your content marketing strategy. While some may dismiss it as an unnecessary distraction, we think it’s something that every business should try before deciding it isn’t a good fit. Here’s what you need to know about including social media in your marketing.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing, Social Media


More Than Words: Types of Content that Get Results


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More Than Words: Types of Content that Get Results
Blogging is the most important component of your content marketing strategy. Your blog is where people will go to find information, and where search engines like Google will go to see who you are and what you do. On the other hand, an established, well-running blog is only the beginning of your content journey. Here’s a look at other types of content that will get results.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


The How and Why of Business Blogging


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The How and Why of Business Blogging
Your business blog is the heart of your inbound marketing operation. It is your most valuable online asset as it is a space that you have complete control over. How you define your company and values, what people should expect from your company as well as your products and services, and how search engines like Google decide to send searchers to you--all of this happens on your blog.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


Know Your Audience - Why Creating Personas is Essential


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Know Your Audience - Why Creating Personas is Essential
The idea of “knowing your audience” might seem like an obvious one. After all, you can’t advertise and market without at least a little targeting. Understanding demographics and broad audience segments may have been enough when running a TV commercial or newspaper ad--channels that tend to have a very broad reach. When it comes to content marketing, the wide-net approach isn’t going to work nearly as well. The idea behind inbound marketing is to gently lead buyers down a path, not rope them in and subject them to ads at every turn. A new approach to understanding your market is necessary.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


Setting Goals for Content Strategy


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Setting Goals for Content Strategy
In our last post, we laid out a roadmap for you to use as you create your content marketing strategy. The first step in creating that strategy was defining your goals. This post will guide you through the process of good goal-setting so you can set achievable objectives that make sense for you and your company.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


The Strategy: Your Content Marketing Roadmap


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The Strategy: Your Content Marketing Roadmap
Posting useful and engaging content on a regular basis is the cornerstone of a good content marketing campaign. Posting whatever comes to mind is better than doing nothing at all, but with a well-planned content marketing roadmap, you can create a reliable stream of website traffic as well as plenty of new leads to pursue.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


Benefit by Adding Content Marketing to your Mix


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Benefit by Adding Content Marketing to your Mix
We already know that content is the fuel that fires an inbound marketing strategy, but does content marketing and inbound work? In other words, will you get more customers? In a word: yes. Not convinced? Allow us to prove it to you.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing, Traditional Advertising


What is Content Marketing?


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What is Content Marketing?
By now you have probably heard of content marketing, or you have at least stumbled upon the term here and there. If you are not sure what content marketing means or how it can help you get results on the web, then you have come to the right place.

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Categories: Content Marketing
Tags: Content Marketing


Does Branding Really Affect Customer Behavior?


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Does Branding Really Affect Customer Behavior?
With all this talk about branding, one question remains: is it worth it? Is all this investment of time and resources going to pan out into actual paying customers? While it’s always good business to have a positive, cohesive image that keeps customers and employees emotionally connected with your business, if all that positivity doesn’t translate into dollars, it’s not worth much.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Customer Decision, Trust


Branding is Not Just for Customers: Bringing Employees on Board


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Branding is Not Just for Customers: Bringing Employees on Board

Branding is about more than just getting your current and potential customers familiar with what your company is all about. It is also about getting all of your employees on the same page, too. When your entire team not only knows what your core values are, but also believes in your ability to deliver on those promises, then they become happier employees and better advocates for your brand. Here are a few ways that you can make sure your branding carries over internally.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding


Colors, Graphics, and Typography: How Consistent Design Elements Build Trust


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Colors, Graphics, and Typography: How Consistent Design Elements Build Trust
So far, when it comes to defining your brand, being consistent has been the common thread that ties it all together. Your visual design elements are no different. Typography, colors, graphics, and photography all need to be consistent to build a solid, recognizable brand that people trust. Let’s take a look at each of these elements to better understand their importance and how you can achieve a uniform appearance.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Typography, Color, Graphics, Photography


Your Brand’s Voice and Personality: The Key to Real Connections


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Your Brand’s Voice and Personality: The Key to Real Connections
While people don’t mind interacting with machines in many situations, when it comes to choosing where to spend their money they often prefer the feeling that they are interacting with real people. How can your company convey that human quality when the actual interaction is happening with a machine? The answer lies in your brand’s voice and personality.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand Personality, Voice, Tone


Creating a Logo Design that Symbolizes Your Brand


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Creating a Logo Design that Symbolizes Your Brand
If you think about the most recognizable brands, what usually comes to mind isn’t the products and services themselves, but the branding and, more specifically, the logo associated with the brand. When developing a logo for your brand, you want an image that will visually represent everything that your company and your products stand for. Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing your brand’s logo.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Logo Design, Graphic Design


Branding Book: Your Brand Story


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Branding Book: Your Brand Story
Throughout human history, we have used storytelling as a way to keep ourselves entertained, to keep history, and to pass culture and traditions to the next generation. In fact, storytelling is so important to humans that our brains are wired to tell and receive stories. Your brand story will serve as a complete picture of who you are, why your company or products came to be, and what value people will find when working with your company.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand Story


Branding Book: Your Value Proposition and Differentiators


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Branding Book: Your Value Proposition and Differentiators
By now, you have begun the journey of defining your brand and digging into what your company stands for. In this post, we will help you with your value proposition and differentiators—two components of your branding book that serve to convince consumers and employees that your products and services are not only better than the rest, but also that they will add value and solve problems.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Value Proposition, Differentiators


Branding Book: What are Your Brand’s Core Purpose and Values


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Branding Book: What are Your Brand’s Core Purpose and Values
The first part of your branding book should serve to define and communicate what your brand’s core purpose and values are. In this post, we’re going to cover the Mission, Core Values, and Brand Promise. Each of these components should be used to help employees, customers, and the public understand why they should align themselves with your brand.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand Book, Mission Statement, Core Values, Brand Promise,


What is a Branding Book?


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What is a Branding Book?
In our last three posts, we talked about what branding is and why it’s an essential part of your marketing strategy. We also covered the basics of conducting a brand audit and solidifying your company’s core values, voice, and overall look including logo, colors, and other elements.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Branding Book, Mission, Vision, Values, Tagline


What is a Brand Audit (And How to Get One Started)


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What is a Brand Audit (And How to Get One Started)
Whether your company has yet to clearly define its branding or it’s time to update old ideas, a brand audit is an important step in lining up your marketing and advertising strategy. During a brand audit, your team will take the time to comb through what defines you as a company and then create (or recreate) an identity and messaging to support that definition.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand Audit, Brand Identity


The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing Strategy


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The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing Strategy

From the smallest local businesses to major national companies, branding is an integral part of a successful marketing and advertising strategy. Without a consistent, recognizable brand, your company blends in with the rest of the competition, and you simply become a provider in your industry. Here’s what you need to know about branding and why your business can’t skip this essential component.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand, Market Strategy


Top 5 Branding Challenges


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Top 5 Branding Challenges

Creating a recognizable and relatable brand is an essential part of any marketing strategy. Your company’s or product’s branding is like a public image or persona, and getting it right means giving your consumers a shortcut to your brand’s identity. In a single glance, your branding will communicate the values and characteristics of your products and services while nudging consumers to align themselves personally with your company.

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Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding


How Social Media can improve your marketing plan


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How Social Media can improve your marketing plan

Social media involves a lot more than just posting and tweeting. Social Media channels provide great ways to build relationships and engage with audiences on a direct level. You can enhance your brand by building social proof and staying current, helping you generate sales leads to grow your business. Social media is an important tool for improving your marketing plan.

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Categories: Social Media Marketing
Tags: Social Media, Marketing


9 Social Media Best Practices


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9 Social Media Best Practices

As a 21st century business owner, you need to understand the importance of Social Media and how it will affect your business.  Social Media establishes your online reputation and taking the time to do it correctly will pay off in a big way.  Here are the top best practices to ensure your social media activities are a success.

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Categories: Social Media Marketing
Tags: Social Media


Web Design for your Online Target Audience


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Web Design for your Online Target Audience

Once you have decided to create or update your company’s website, the next major step is to consider your target audience.  You need to understand your customers and why they buy your products and services.  It is tempting to design a website that you like, but this isn’t the best approach.  First, you will need to create personas for your target audience and create a profile of their interests.  Then apply the information you gathered to your web design.  Finally, you should assess the effectiveness and make adjustments as necessary.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Web Design, Target Audience


Signs your website needs to be updated


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Signs your website needs to be updated

Throughout our SEO journey, we’ve learned the importance of high quality content for search engines and people.  While aspects of your website remain static for years, your content can not.  A website is a living, breathing document that requires updates to survive.  Let’s take a look at the freshness of your site by examining both content and site design.

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Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Web Design & Development
Tags: Website Design, Website Content, SEO


Should I use Wordpress for my business website?


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Should I use Wordpress for my business website?

There is no denying that Wordpress is a popular tool to create websites and manage content.  Approximately 26% of websites on the internet were constructed using Wordpress.  But, does being popular mean it’s the best choice for your small to medium sized business?  Wordpress may work well for some, but could end up causing you, and your web designer, a lot of frustration in the long run.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Wordpress, Small Business


Does my small business really need a website?


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Does my small business really need a website?

Well... it depends.  To answer this question, you must take a look at your future business goals.  Do you plan on growing your business?  Do you plan on advertising products or services?  Do you want to keep your existing customers?  Are you thinking about selling your business?  Do you want more customers? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you need a website.  One of the only reasons you won’t need a website, is if you are planning on shutting down the company.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Small Business


9 Important Questions to Ask Web Designers


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9 Important Questions to Ask Web Designers

We all know that making business decisions can be stressful.  This is especially true when selecting a new web designer.  You’re putting a piece of your business in their hands, so it’s important that you trust them.  Think of it as job interview.  Asking the right questions will not only help alleviate your anxiety, but will create a great working relationship with the web designer you select.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Web Designer


A Word About Color


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A Word About Color

Choosing the right color scheme for your website involves more than just selecting your favorite colors or using your company’s standard color scheme. The experience that visitors have on your website could vary tremendously just from a few color changes, and our conversion rates could skyrocket just by changing the color of a single button on your website.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at the psychology of color and how it affects the success of your website design.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: color, web design, psychology of color


5 Things We Need to Know About You


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5 Things We Need to Know About You

The most important aspect of a good web design is communication. Web designers and developers are good at what they do, but they cannot know what is important to you or your business unless you tell them. Of course, giving them the information they need can be difficult if you’re not sure what the process is.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags:


5 Reasons to Avoid DIY Website Design


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5 Reasons to Avoid DIY Website Design

Tackling projects yourself is often a great way to save a few bucks and maybe learn a few new things along the way. When it comes to web design, however, doing it yourself could end up costing you in the long run. Web design is about much more than impressive graphics and pretty colors; it is the hub of your company’s presence online and should be working hard to deliver qualified leads to your sales team. In case that is not convincing enough, here are five more reasons to hire a professional web designer.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags:


What is Local SEO?


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What is Local SEO?

For many small businesses, being found by local residents or other nearby businesses is essential to their success. If you think about businesses such as heating and cooling companies, or small bakeries, the search terms they are ranking for probably include a city, zip code, or the word “nearby.”

Google does a good job of figuring out where you are and when to include you in a list of local lineups, especially when the competition is not so hot. However, when you have a lot of local competition, you will want to know how to optimize your website and your business listings for local searchers.

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Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
Tags: SEO, Search Engine Optimization




Deciphering Some Technical SEO Best Practices, Part 2


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Deciphering Some Technical SEO Best Practices, Part 2

On our journey through the SEO jungle, we are looking at the various ways that you can directly have an impact on how well you rank in a list of Google search results. So far, we have covered what quality content is and we talked about some of the technical aspects of search engine optimization that you should know about—specifically on-page optimization factors. Today, we are going to go through a few more on-page factors that Google is looking for when it is scanning your web pages.

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Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design & Development
Tags: on page factors, blog formatting


Deciphering Some Technical SEO Best Practices, Part 1


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Deciphering Some Technical SEO Best Practices, Part 1

In our last post, we talked about how important it is to make sure your content is high quality. Google has its own customers—people using search engines—that it must answer to. By tailoring your content to Google and its customers, you can increase the likelihood that Google will return your content near the top of the list of search engine results. We also mentioned that there are a few technical bits to know about to give Google the right shortcuts to understand what your page is about, and that’s what we will detail in the next two posts.

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SEO: The Very Basics for Beginners


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SEO: The Very Basics for Beginners

Promoting your site and your content are important ways to drive traffic to your website. However, up to 64 percent of web traffic comes from organic search, or when someone types a few words into a search engine like Google and chooses one of the unpaid links in the results. One recent survey gives 90 percent of all organic search credit to Google so today we will be talking about the best practices for getting your links to the top of Google’s results pages.

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Categories: Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design & Development
Tags: Search Engine Optimization


The Case for Responsive Design


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The Case for Responsive Design

Mobile web users are here to stay, and they are not satisfied with scrolling, scrunching, and resizing the screens of your desktop-optimized website. A separate version of your site that is optimized only for mobile users is one solution, but that means keeping up with two websites all the time. Native apps are another solution, but people are only willing to download and install so many apps on their devices.

This is where responsive design comes in.

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Categories: Web Design & Development
Tags: Responsive Design


Email Marketing During the Holidays


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Email Marketing During the Holidays

With most of the country baking in a heatwave, it can seem a bit ridiculous to think about holiday sales. However, we are down to our last 100 or so days until Christmas, so it’s time to start planning your end-of-year strategies. Even if you are not in the retail industry, we can all leverage the season to give our businesses a boost.



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Categories: Email Marketing
Tags: Holiday


5 Things You’re Doing Wrong in Your Email Newsletters


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5 Things You’re Doing Wrong in Your Email Newsletters

An email newsletter is a great opportunity to keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds while giving them valuable information that will hopefully lead to a conversion. On the other hand, no matter how much your customers love you, there is only so much patience they are going to have for poorly constructed newsletters. Here are five mistakes you may be making, and what you should do to fix them.


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Categories: Email Marketing
Tags: Newsletters, Email


Open Sesame! Perfecting Subject Lines for Better Open Rates


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Open Sesame! Perfecting Subject Lines for Better Open Rates

There are almost 2 billion emails sent every single day. Depending on which study you read, every individual receives between 40 and 100 emails per day with those who receive emails at work falling at the higher end of the scale.

In other words, if you are trying to send marketing emails, you have a lot of competition for your recipients’ attention. The first hurdle you must overcome is getting your messages opened. It does not matter how hard you have worked on the content inside the message if nobody sees it. Here’s what you need to know to write email marketing subject lines that get clicked.



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Categories: Email Marketing
Tags: Subject Line, Email


Alive and Kicking: Email Marketing in 2015


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Alive and Kicking: Email Marketing in 2015

For some people, email marketing brings to mind spammy messages peddling various pills and contraptions that often have nothing of value to offer the recipient. Today’s email marketing is savvy, creative, and focused on the customer. Most of all, people want to receive it.

That’s right, according to a 2012 study, 77 percent of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages by email. The next runner up is direct mail, and only nine percent of consumers prefer it. Email is crushing the competition, and for good reason.


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Categories: Email Marketing
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