Feb 27, 2009 by Marissa Berger
At MB/I, a lot of our competition is not the other web development firms you would expect. We actually compete a lot with the friends and family members who know a little code and with the template-based solutions out there. This is because of cost. Small business owners look for less expensive options. The problem is that they typically don’t look at the big picture.
In our experience, the alternative “solutions” we end up hearing about are very problematic. They take months to complete and launch the site. And I’m not exaggerating. There are currently 2-3 businesses (no to mention all …
Feb 26, 2009 by Marissa Berger
As web developers we immediately get asked: 1. can you do what I need? and 2. how much is it going to cost? The first question is easy to answer. The second is not. Why? The cost of a website depends on what’s going to go in it and what it’s going to do. And there are a lot of variables involved in finding this out. We have to ask a lot of questions from each prospect in order to put an accurate estimate together.
We prefer to turn this question around and ask the prospect: what is your budget? We …
Feb 25, 2009 by Marissa Berger
We design and send out emails and newsletters for our clients on an on-going basis. We use Constant Contact. I got asked today if Constant Contact allows for a custom template. The answer is yes. That’s exactly what we build for our clients… and for our own email-based communications. You can see samples of our own newsletters by clicking here.
How to set up a custom template in Constant Contact?
When you are on the templates page ready to make a choice, scroll down all the way to the bottom and choose custom. This allows you to copy and paste …
Feb 24, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Whether you are thinking about developing a brand new site for your business, or considering updating your existing site, you need a plan. The success of your website, short-term and long-term, will depend on it. There are two parts to this plan. The first part revolves around functionality. The second part revolves around marketing.
Part 1: What is your site to do?
Don’t make the mistake of immediately thinking about deadlines and budgets. First, you have to decide what your website needs to do. Bring in your web developer at this stage. Explain your business, your internal processes, and your existing customer …
Feb 23, 2009 by Marissa Berger
We do a lot of maintenance work for our clients at MB/I. Maintenance is key in keeping a site fresh and up-to-date. Depending on the site and the client, maintenance costs can become substantial. Here are a few tips for keeping these costs down:
- Group your requests so you’re not sending several separate emails during the same day or even week. Each time your web developer gets one email from you, he has to locate your project, open the right file, make the edits, upload the revised file to the server, test his work, and move on to his next task. …
Feb 22, 2009 by Marissa Berger
This posting is based 100% in our experience with our own emails and newsletters. We started sending out emails to our contacts in the summer of 2008. The first emails that we sent out were all about one topic per email. We picked something timely we thought our clients and prospects needed to know and invited them to contact us if they wanted this “something” to be implemented on their sites.
These emails had a click through rate anywhere from 1.3% to 2.4%… low given that the statistics show:
- B2B newsletters range from 5 to 15 percent
- B2C promotional emails’ range from about …
Feb 20, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Most business send out newsletters via email or “ezines” on a regular basis. It’s a great and relatively inexpensive way to keep in touch with clients. An “A+” newsletter should:
- Get you repeat business from your existing clients;
- Remind those clients to refer you to people they know; and
- Prompt them to forward the issue so you can get new business.
It’s a lot to accomplish in one email.
Why do some newsletters success and others fail? I think the level of success depends on:
- The type of product or service. Impulse-buy products do very well. All the newsletter needs to do is show us hard-to-resist …
Feb 19, 2009 by Marissa Berger
You did your homework of understanding your audience when planning your site. You looked at the demographics and at the needs of each audience that might end up browsing your pages: existing clients, prospects, partners, and internal staff. You organized your content to match those needs and came up with a suitable navigation menu. You even paid attention to their screen resolutions and most used browser versions. Is that it?
How about finding out your audience’s online behavior? What sites are these users browsing when they are NOT on your site?
Why would you want to know? Knowing where these visitors “hang …
Feb 19, 2009 by korder
Ten ways to be a more effective sender and receiver
Plan and block your daily time to manage email. Three times a day is efficient for the average worker. Do not let email run your workday. Set your synching to receive emails less frequently.
Follow the two-minute rule. If you’ve blocked the time to handle emails, handle ALL emails that can be done in 2 minutes or less right now. Handling emails more than once is unproductive and a big time waster. Longer responses go on your task list when you are scheduling time to get them done.
If the content and …
Feb 17, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Most people understand the saying “You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression”. However, it’s not applied to websites so much… and it should. Users get more and more sophisticated with time and have certain expectations of your website. You might be an expert at what you do, but are you communicating that on your site? Better yet, are you showing without telling?
That is the key. You want to show your expertise without having to tell users how great you are. This is done through a combination of engaging design, up-to-date good content, and good programming to …