Thursday, March 31, 2016 by Gregory OrtizHow well is your website working to turn casual visitors into browsers, browsers into engaged visitors and ultimately, into paying clients? If you’re like most professionals, you’re probably wondering how you can best maximize your website's potential. The good news is that even small tweaks to better optimize your website can help boost your conversion rates, increasing your profits exponentially. To get started, here are five quick tips to skyrocket your website’s optimization:
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by Syed BalkhiBuilding an email list is important for every online business. Often business owners get overwhelmed when trying to pick the best WordPress lead generation plugins. Why? Because there are hundreds of lead capture plugins available. But you don't have to worry about those. In this article, we will share the 7 best WordPress plugins to get more email subscribers and grow your email list.
OptinMonsterOptinMonster is the most powerful lead generation plugin for WordPress. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into subscribers by giving you the ability to create and A/B test beautiful lead capture forms without hiring a developer or learning how to code. You can choose from a variety of form types including: lightbox popups, floating header and footer bars, scroll triggered slide-in boxes, full screen welcome gates, after post forms, inline-content forms, and sidebar forms, OptinMonster allows you to create highly targeted optin forms based on user behavior. You can show different forms based on specific posts, categories, tags, and even the traffic referrer source. Once you have created your forms, you can integrate with all popular email marketing services including Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, and 20 others. Cost: Starting at $9 / mo. or $49 / yr
WPFormsWPForms is a drag & drop online form builder for WordPress. It allows you to create contact forms, subscription forms, payment forms, and all other type of online forms with just a few clicks. You can manage all entries from a single screen. You also have the option to connect your contact forms to your email newsletter. Lastly, you have the ability to redirect users to a thank you page where you can encourage people to join your email list. Cost: Free with paid upgrades starting at $39 / yr
PlugMatter Feature BoxPlugMatter allows you to create a beautiful optin feature boxes for your site. A feature box is a high converting email subscription box that is placed right under the header of your WordPress site, but before the main content. This allows you get maximum subscribers. PlugMatter integrates with all popular email marketing service including ConstantContact, MailChimp, AWeber, and dozen others. Cost: Starting at $37 / year
DreamGrow Scroll Triggered BoxDreamGrow Scroll Triggered Box is a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to add a slide-in optin box on your site. You can select the position of where the box displays on a page and how far the user has to scroll for them to see the slide-in box. If the user closes the box, then it stays hidden for a desired number of days. Scroll boxes are a great way to increase your subscribers. Cost: Free
SeedProd Coming Soon & Maintenance PagesSeedProd is the #1 coming soon, under construction, and maintenance mode plugin. Often people miss out on the opportunity to build email list from these key pages. When you're about to launch a new product, you should utilize the coming soon page to build your list. If your website is going through maintenance, then use the maintenance page to grow your email list and keep your subscribers updated. SeedProd works with any WordPress theme and is by far the best of it's kind. Cost: Free with paid upgrades starting at $29 / year
InstapageInstapage is a premium landing page software that helps make your marketing better. Landing pages are crucial for any lead generation campaign. While there are several WordPress specific landing page builders, often it's better to use a more comprehensive solution like Instapage that's not limited to WordPress but works well with WordPress. You can choose from over 100 landing pages to get started with and connect Instapage to all popular email marketing services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, and several others. Cost: Free to try, various pricing tiers.
Comment RedirectComment Redirect is a little known technique that you can use to grow your email list. This plugin allows you to redirect people who left a comment to a thank you page. On this page, you can encourage this already engaged user to subscribe to your email list by giving them a coupon, eBook, or another incentive. Building an email list is a long-term strategy, but the sooner you implement the better off you'll be in the future. The plugins mentioned in this article are the most popular amongst smart marketers and business owners.
Thursday, March 24, 2016 by Jeremy JensenEverything on your website should serve a purpose, from the design and navigation, to the photography. Far too often, companies fail to invest in the crucial elements that lead to business success. Sixty five percent of our entire population identifies as being a visual leaner; therefore, the majority of people who visit your site will have a strong inclination towards your visual elements. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and you have outdated or poor photography, you're website may be telling the wrong story. Here's why having professional photography on your company’s website is so important.
Create A Favorable PerceptionLike it or not, humans are incredibly conditioned to make snap judgments, sometimes only on a subconscious level. When it comes to the appearance of a business website, cleanliness and a professional appearance makes us feel like we can trust the company. As an example, think about searching for a restaurant in a town you've never been to. If the photos on their website are blurry and were clearly taken without effort, subconsciously we may think the restaurant doesn't value quality. Would you want to eat somewhere your perception is telling you is low-quality? Probably not. The same concept translates across any industry. The way people perceive your website through imagery can determine whether or not they commit to your service.
Strong Photography Creates More ConversionsLooking beyond the perception your photos create, good photography is also incredibly important on a practical level. Many of you may be running an ecommerce store, in which the only way a customer will be able to know what they're buying is by having high-quality photos that will make them feel confident in your items. If you've ever tried finding something on Craigslist that either didn't have enough photos, or you couldn't tell what was being pictured, then you've already experienced how bad photography can lead to lost customers. In order to convert the most sales, we recommend hiring a professional that can effectively capture your inventory. However, if you feel like you want to try the DIY approach, remember to do the following:
- Capture Your Items At All Angles: Since online shoppers lack the ability to hold your products in their hand, take as many photos as possible, at all angles, close up and far away
- Get Set-Up With The Right Equipment: In order to make your photos stunning, check out our post on Effective Product Photography.
Improve Your Website's SEOImage searches on Google can be a major source of traffic for your website. According to an in-depth study of search traffic generated from image searches, results showed that up to 60% of web traffic can come directly from Internet users finding your images first. The trick to making that happen is having images which captivate potential visitors while they browse through hundreds of results. By stocking your website with only professional quality images, you'll greatly increase your odds of getting noticed. For further tips on how to properly optimize your images for the web, check out our post on optimization for the web. Does your business place a strong emphasis on photography? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 by Alex IvanovsCriticism and feedback are an organic part of business growth. Dealing with negative reviews is something that every business owner will have to learn how to cope with. Things can get quite hectic when we start to take customer feedback personally, without considering the fact that perhaps the customer is just dissatisfied with their own understanding of the product, or are confusing one feature for another. We can learn to deal with negative feedback in an effective manner, and this post will discuss six simple ways to achieve a more balanced view of reviews and the way they affect our business. Many people find businesses thanks to reviews and what other people have said, it goes without saying that many people have avoided your business because of the kind of reviews you have received, but in order to battle this, we should stay on top of our support game and try to respond to each negative review in constructive and thorough manner.
1. Where Are They Coming From?The most important thing in managing negative reviews is knowing where they originate from, which involves setting up things like Alerts, Social Media mentions, and using popular review services like Yelp and TripAdvisor to setup notifications as soon as reviews are being left about your business. No negative review should go unnoticed, and letting them sit for days at a time can seem even worse in front of potential new customers.
2. Take The Chill PillThe initial response to a bad review can be quite emotional, and dissatisfied. It makes perfect sense, especially in the situations where you know that the customer is totally wrong and has misunderstood a part of your business. It's just how it is. Take a chill pill -- preferably a moment to yourself where you just take some deep breaths -- and think about what you are going to be writing back, and whether it is going to be helpful or spiteful, because there is nothing worse than adding more gasoline to an already existing fire.
3. Let Customers Speak For YouTrying to counter each point in a negative review is going to make you look incompetent, instead let your own customers speak on behalf of your business and the services you provide. The only thing you can do is point out the mistake if there is any, and offer the customer to have a better experience the next time.
4. A Sincere ApologyOne of the best ways to deal with negative reviews without getting infuriated is by making a simple apology to the customer who feels like he had a bad experience, and offer them to come back with a promise that you will make up for whatever it was that caused them problems in the first place. Sometimes it's good to acknowledge our own mistakes and let others see that we are humble enough to let things go, even while the storm is still happening.
5. How To Make It BetterDon't get too carried away with writing long essays and explanation letters to your negative customer reviews, instead keep it nice, short, and sweet, and ask the customer himself what could be done to improve thing the next time around. And if necessary make a more private connection by reaching out to the dissatisfied customer personally.
6. The Value of ReviewsThere's definitely a lot of good in negative reviews. It lets you portray yourself as a company that takes customer support seriously, and the kind of company that isn't afraid to respond to negative reviews and try to solve matters from the place they originated from. Other customers, upon seeing the kind of care you give to your existing customers (good and bad), will naturally feel attracted to your services because of your honesty. And not to mention that sometimes we can learn a lot about the way we do things, and the way things are working out for us when we start to notice reviews of similar nature; there's always room for improvement. Do you have any tips for handling negative reviews? Please share in the comments! Would love to know what you're doing.
Thursday, March 17, 2016 by Jeremy JensenIn the last five years, infographics have become one of the most powerful marketing tools on the web. Mixing design, writing, and data analysis, infographics are a visually compelling communication medium that greatly assists your readers in understanding complex information by breaking down key points. Infographics are ideal for supplementing long-form studies, as they make the information significantly more digestible. For many of you, infographics may look like they require a lot of work and design experience, which in the past they did. Today, however, remarkable tools exist online to walk you through the infographic process step-by-step, with no design experience required. In this post we'll be going over four free tools that can help your company start producing beautiful infographics for your marketing and presentation efforts.
1. CanvaCanva makes it incredibly efficient to whip out colorful designs in as little as five minutes. Their interface is built much like a website builder, in that what you see, is what you get. Each design stems from popular formats like social media photos, blog designs, presentations formats and more. Once you have the layout in place, you can sift through different 'elements' (grids, shapes, photos, charts) to add the overall infographic flare. The interface makes it easy to align different elements, while incorporating custom text and graphics. Cost: Free, available upgrade $9.95/month
2. PiktochartPiktochart is a little different in the sense that its formats focuses a lot more on business designs. With four primary starting points (Infographic (tall&skinny), Report, Poster, and presentation for slide decks), you can create your own from scratch, or start with one of their many templates. Much like Canva, once you have a template/format in place you can begin dragging different graphical elements and text to your canvas. Cost: Free, with upgrades starting at $15/month
3. Easel.lyAlthough Easel.ly doesn't have as many free templates as the prior two options, the ones they do provide are exceptionally well designed and incredibly easy to use. Within the dashboard you have all of your design options laid out in an intuitive interface that any beginner will be able to grasp in minutes. While there aren't as many free templates as some of the other sites I've mentioned, the ones they do give you have extraordinary design value.
4. VenngageVery similar to Canva's interface, Venngage follows a three step process in which you 1. Choose a template 2. Add Charts, Visuals or Graphics 3. Customize your design with unique text and layout. What I like most, is the diversity in particular topics and categories from which templates begin. With options like: