Archives for November 2015

Website Trends that Will-Date Your Site

Dated Website

Web design, like all business components, moves in trends. While you may have a perfectly serviceable , you must be flexible to give your site the credibility that comes with an up-to-date image. What are some of the latest trends in website design?

Ghost buttons have become popular. You have probably seen them, though the goal of using them is to let other things show through. They are generally boxes with colored outlines and sometimes dimensional properties. Designers use them to make the website less cluttered and to make certain icons more attractive than others. A ghost button next to a solid block button allows the visitor to choose an option, but fades next to a more important option. For instance, the ghost button may allow visitors to go to a virtual magazine page while the normal button, the more visible choice, offers a trial six-month subscription.

Feature list icons are new, too. These are icons adjacent to small blocks of text. Clicking on the icon opens a list of product or service features. This makes the page less cluttered and allows the visitor to concentrate on isolated data.

Drop-down lists and menus are popular now. The visitor sees an icon or line of text, even a single word, next to a downward-pointing arrow. Clicking on the arrow drops a list of options from which the visitor may choose. You may have seen this on sites that ask for a location. The drop-down list allows visitors to select a state or a country without having to type it in.

Galleries and slideshows are trending in website design. The development of really good, sharp graphics and images allows the photos to display even on mobile phones. They can be viewed full-screen as well. These offer businesses to have virtual showrooms, display steps in a process and even photo albums. The great thing about this trend is that it is easy to apply to your site. There are galleries and slideshow aps that can be added simply by lifting a code and putting it into place on your page.

Fixed sliding navigation is being seen more often today, too. The menu appears as small text, usually at the top of a page, and as the reader scrolls down, the menu stays at the top so that visitors can access any page at any time. The font is plain and easily-read, but still unobtrusive. The other trend in navigation is the invisible menu. The graphic on the page is a “hamburger.” This is a vertical stack of three lines that, when you click on them, drop a menu. The icon is small and easily recognizable.

All of these point to the biggest trend in designing websites: Minimalist style. Designers are losing the headings and footers, borders and other features, and using one or two theme colors with simple font to make web pages cleaner and more esthetically pleasing. The add-on apps must be attractive and functional, but the portals to these pages must be unobtrusive and allow your visitor to access your content easily.

Insightful Marketing: How To Use Data the Right Way

When it comes to Big Data, not all is created equal. Different types of data help you in different ways. And yes, there is such thing as too much data. It’s all about knowing the types of data that you need to pay attention to in order to get the results you want.

Insightful Marketing

 

Let’s look at some key types of data that will help you better market to your customers and sell more products.

Past Purchases

When looking at existing customers, being able to easily view their past purchases is a huge boon in helping you market to them in the future, especially as it relates to email marketing.

If, for example, you sell women’s clothing online and you can see that a customer bought a navy skirt, she’s likely to be interested in the matching shirt that other customers have purchased to go with the skirt. You can send a customized email campaign to nudge customers into specific additional purchases that complement what they’ve already bought.

Also, using past purchases data, you can avoid the faux pas of emailing people and urging them to buy something they’ve already bought. If you sell office supplies and a customer recently bought a large order of printer paper, you’d be wasting your time to send a promotion on paper for the coming months.

Social Media Interactions

Being able to log into your CRM and see that a customer has been tweeting a lot of your blog content is a good indicator that she’s a fan of your brand. This gives you an opportunity to connect with her on social media and beyond.

You could even give her a “thank you” offer just for being so supportive: imagine how much she’ll share the fact that you gave her 50% off any item as a thank you for tweeting your content!

Beyond what a customer is saying about your brand, there’s other valuable data to be found in social media, including interests. When you pay attention to the likes and interactions your demographic has on social media, you’re able to better target your marketing and sales.

Sales Numbers

While much of the data marketers pay attention to these days is drilled down to the individual level, there’s also value in the big picture. CRM is great for sales data: you can see which items are selling best, the types of people who buy them, and when those products sell the most.

This information is valuable to plan your marketing campaigns around. For example: if there’s a product isn’t selling well, you could bundle it with a more popular item. If an item always sells well in October, you don’t have to mark it down then.

Blog Interactions

Your blog is another valuable source of useful data. Looking at your analytics, you should be able to determine which are your most popular blog posts, and what keywords people search to land on your blog. You can find out which marketing channels send your blog the most traffic, and put more focus there.

Blog comments are also a good thing to watch. The more comments, the more people love your content and want to engage with it. Social shares indicate a given blog post’s popularity on social media.

Yes, data is extremely valuable, but you don’t have to measure every single data point possible. Focus instead on the data that matters for your company’s goals.