Our blog

 
By Whereoware staff on Monday, January 30, 2012 2:17 PM

Each month, we'll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware.  First up is Faith Albers, one of our hard-working marketing managers. Enjoy!

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:56 AM

"What is the best time to send emails?"

"How do you know?"

The internet is peppered with blog posts all attempting to answer these same questions. One company may think the prime time for email sends is 8 am, while another may say it’s 11 pm.

So which is it?

The problem is that all of these companies have different types of audiences, so it is difficult to nail down the optimal time based upon another company’s successes.

By Whereoware staff on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 10:13 AM

By now, you know that Google Analytics can be used for many types of analyses, from pinpointing referral sources to uncovering which keywords your customers are looking for. But if you’re an ecommerce site, you may be missing out on one of the most important features – Google Analytics’ ability to take stock of revenue stats using ecommerce tracking.

Sounds great, but how?

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, December 22, 2011 4:00 PM

Even with highly organized categories and an easy-to-understand nav bar, customers may still have trouble finding products on your site. Help shoppers find what they want with internal site search…

Why?

In 2010, 90% of companies said that search was the number one means of navigation on their site and that 82% of visitors use site search to find the information they need (Google Enterprise, 2010). Perhaps the most telling testament to the importance of search, however, is the fact that 80% of visitors will abandon a site if search functionality is poor. Transform your site abandonment rates by creating an intuitive site search.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 3:45 PM

With the new year approaching, now is a great time to brush up your email creative. Try out our top five creative tweaks to get your email ready for 2012.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 2:45 PM

We’ve talked about the benefits of working social media into both your website and email campaigns. With any luck, the two efforts will play off of each other, encouraging site visitors to sign up for emails and driving email recipients to your site. But how do you know if your social media efforts are having any effect?

Some important social metrics can’t be measured by Google Analytics, such as the number of comments on your blog posts, number of followers who are sharing your content or the number of followers who like your content. The Google Analytics platform, however, is a great place to look for information on the effects of social on your website.

By Whereoware staff on Friday, December 16, 2011 10:41 AM

Your inbox is likely awash with holiday emails, but as 2012 approaches, marketers are already gearing up for their next targeted campaigns. Don’t fall behind the pack - here are some trends to watch that’ll keep you in the game.

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:16 PM

Right now, you’re reading a company blog. It may even be the thing that brought you to this site. If that’s the case, our blog has done its job. Is your blog doing its job?

If you don’t currently have a blog, you’re not alone. Only 22% of Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing blog. However, 86% of Inc. 500 companies now say they consider blogging to be a successful social media marketing tactic.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:23 PM

If you’ve gone to an ecommerce website in the last decade, there’s a good chance you’ve used a site’s internal search. Web designers have gotten wise to the fact that many customers know exactly that they’re searching for and don’t want to browse through products to find it. That’s why most sites, nowadays, have an internal search bar.

Your customers are using internal search. Why aren’t you?

By Whereoware staff on Monday, November 28, 2011 12:39 PM

Social media marketing is on fire right now. It seems like every advertisement, commercial, or email refers the customer to a Facebook or twitter page with a promise of special offers or other enticements. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because the speed of social media enables users to take advantage of viral marketing. Perhaps marketers appreciate the immediacy of the medium, which allows brands to be at the top of customers’ minds for an extended period of time. Or could it be that people like to communicate on a more personal level rather than receiving just a list of sales and dates?

By Whereoware staff on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 1:51 PM

Alt-tags can be a huge boost to SEO, but before you decide whether or not to put them on your site, you first must understand what they are and why they’re beneficial.

What are they?

An alt-tag (or “alt text”) is exactly what it sounds like – a tag entered into HTML that denotes the “alternative” text that should appear if the element in question doesn’t render properly. These elements include both images and videos. While not as visually pleasing as an actual image, alt-tags ensure that the meaning behind your picture isn’t completely lost.

By Whereoware staff on Friday, November 04, 2011 12:40 PM

 You may have noticed that Google has rolled out changes across many of their platforms recently. One area that this affects is Google Analytics. While it’s very different from the old version, these changes are largely for the better.

To access the new interface, log in to your account and click “New Version” at the top right of your screen next to your email address.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:04 AM

Before we can talk about pros and cons of using navigation bars in marketing automation, we must first clarify what they are. The nav bar is the area immediately after the preheader in an email. It usually contains multiple links to different areas of your site for navigational purposes, hence the name.

Pros

There are some obvious advantages to having these categories front and center in an email. Any time marketers can direct potential purchasers to their specific goals – to “kitchen goods,” for example, rather than the homepage in general – they put them that much closer to making a purchase, and lower bounce rates. Nav bars also mean that even specific emails which hold no appeal to a particular customer still have a chance of gaining click-throughs or even conversions, since they are reminded of other things offered by the same brand...

 

By Whereoware staff on Monday, October 24, 2011 1:30 PM

Digital marketing has long been cursed with attributing conversion to the last action a user took. For example, if a customer arrives at your site via organic search and then makes a purchase, most platforms (including Google Analytics) attributed this credit solely to SEO success. While this does tell you that the person ended up converting because of your SEO strategy, it doesn’t show you the complete picture.

By Whereoware staff on Monday, October 24, 2011 12:14 PM

Were you one of the many children who saved cereal box tops, hoping to mail them in for a “free” prize? Those free prizes never came free, though; you (or your parents) had to spend money on the cereal in the first place, then include $X shipping/handling…eventually, the costs added up to the point where you were essentially paying the original cost or possibly more than the value of the prize itself. But that’s not what you – or today’s modern consumer – saw. What grabbed your attention then, as now, was the concept of “free”.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:46 AM

"Hello Account #XYZ, thank you for clicking/calling/writing..."

Form emails and letters are a personal pet peeve for many people. The format is rote and clearly interchangeable among recipients. Even referencing a specific topic of interest would go a long way towards winning them over. But in the modern world how can a company possibly do this with so many clients and so little time? As paradoxical as it may seem, using automation to personalize services actually does make logical sense.

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:53 AM

“Can you hear me now?”

It’s a joke that’s funny in mobile phone ads, because with phones, there’s an easy answer: either you hear someone, or you don’t. With email, the line can be less distinct. Colors and a great layout may spur click-throughs (they “hear” you), while lines and lines of incomprehensible prose may halt any chance at revenue, but if you don’t have a call-to-action, it’s difficult for customers to know what to do next.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 4:27 PM

So you’ve gotten visitors to your site, through email marketing or SEO! Great job. But getting them there is only half of the battle- this is an ecommerce site, so the next step is to entice your customers to purchase.

A common complaint from customers of brick-and-mortar stores is that the cash registers are “too hard to find”. In those stores, however, there are at least salespeople to ask for directions or assistance! On the internet, customers are pretty much on their own, so it’s important to make the ‘cash registers’ (Shopping Cart/Checkout) as accessible as possible.

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, September 15, 2011 9:14 AM

Often times, it’s difficult to get a sense of a site’s performance when you’re flipping back and forth between stats on said performance and an image of the layout itself. Google Analytics’ “In-Page Analytics” feature, a floating overlay that shows layers helpful statistics on top of a real-time image of a page, is a handy way to view both at once.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:11 PM

When the Google search empire first began, they would just list out all the sites relevant to your search, with a small description of each page under the title. This fueled the development of SEO best practices, including that meta titles and descriptions not only accurately describe the features of a site but also that they do so succinctly, or risk being cut off mid-way (somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 characters for meta descriptions). Then as Google got smarter (as if that was possible), they listed 2-4 popular pages for the top ranking site directly under the site’s home page. These sitelinks meant that you could conveniently access pages within the site right from the search results, rather than clicking through the site to find the page you wanted.

 

By Whereoware staff on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 12:37 PM

More and more we are seeing social media and email marketing converge. It makes sense. Both channels can work together to extend your reach, create meaningful conversation with customers and increase conversions.

The three ways

  1. Include your social media channels in the header of your email. Many email platforms have made this super simple with plugins. Even if your email platform doesn’t have a plugin, it is easy to find free social media icons to add to your email header (hint: just Google free social media icons). Once you add them to your header, don’t forget to link them to your social media platforms.

     
By Whereoware staff on Friday, August 26, 2011 2:20 PM

If you are like most companies, most of your organic search comes from branded terms, aka people who have already heard of your company. You can get a lot more insight if you filter out the branded terms and see how true prospects are finding you.

The how to:

By Whereoware staff on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:10 PM

 In the last post we talked about the benefits of adding customer reviews to your website, or opening the floor to customers on your various social media platforms. Open discussion can be a great thing; however, allowing for open commentary means just that – you’re allowing customers to speak openly, regardless of whether or not you like their opinion. You can hope for the best (“[X] product never leaves my side!” “I can’t live without my [X]!”), but as the adage goes, you must always be prepared for the worst.

By Whereoware staff on Friday, August 05, 2011 8:52 AM

 Take a moment to think about why customers come to your ecommerce site. Not HOW they get there (search engine, email, direct traffic…), but what their purpose is in doing so. Are they looking to buy something? Do they want further information on a product before they purchase? Often, it’s a combination of these two goals. And you should be able to meet them both - you (naturally) have the product for sale and copy describing the item. But for many people, that information may not be enough.

By Whereoware staff on Friday, July 22, 2011 9:03 AM

Not every person has a good memory. Sometimes it’s hard to remember names or faces, or even where you put your keys in the morning. So it’s no surprise that while juggling the many pieces that go into making a successful ecommerce business, people often tend to forget what their previous moves were.

Google Analytics provides the perfect examples of this, both of the problem and a resolution. We all like seeing positive changes in our data, whether it’s an increase in visits, conversions, time on site, etc. But unless you can figure what happened at that moment in time that may have caused the change, you’ll never be able to replicate it to achieve the same results.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 12:41 PM

What you will learn:

Discover the powerful stats for abandoned cart emails that prove they work. Learn how to put the campaigns together including: timing, messaging and frequency. Plus, see some real life examples.

Cart abandonment defined:

Cart abandonment occurs when a shopper adds an item to their cart, but does not complete the purchase. According to industry experts, cart abandonment rates range anywhere from 60-70%, which coincides with data we have collected from our own clients which show an average of 69% abandonment.

Let the data speak for itself!  Download the entire guide here: Abandoned Cart Emails: the facts, the data and the how to. (.pdf, 2.87 MB).

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:13 AM

 Your customers are not a nameless, faceless mass, and it’s important to treat them as individuals. Online marketing presents a unique advantage to webmasters: based on the specific ad that directed them to your website, you have an idea of what they’re looking for even before they arrive. But to take advantage of this, you need to make sure you’re showing these customers the information they want without making them jump through hoops. This is where landing pages come in.

Many sites direct every customer to the same page, often times the home page. But this doesn’t make sense! If the customer has discovered your site in the first place by searching for “boys’ clothes,” there is little advantage in making them wade through shoes, ties, and princess dresses before they get to the item they want. It’s sad but true: the longer you make them search, the greater the chance that you’ll lose that sale.

By Whereoware staff on Friday, June 17, 2011 12:25 PM

Google Analytics allows you to track where your customers are coming from. In your account, click on the ‘Traffic Sources’ bar on the left hand side (1.), and it will show you an ‘Overview’ of traffic coming to your site. Information on the different sources is displayed prominently on the screen (2.).

Google shows that there are three different ways customers ended up on your site, but what exactly do these mean? We’ll use a coffee shop example to explain.

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:30 PM

Back in late May, members of the Whereoware marketing team got the chance to go to the 2011 Silverpop Client Summit. We’re big fans of Silverpop; their programs are easy to use and enable us to do what we do best, helping clients through marketing automation, lead generation and sales support, and even offering strategic consulting to guide them through large amounts of data.

We were already Silverpop’s largest B2B Agency Partner, and now we’re extremely pleased to announce that we’ve also been named Silverpop Agency Partner of the Year for our collaboration with Silverpop. We are extremely flattered and honored to win this award.

By Whereoware staff on Monday, June 06, 2011 3:28 PM

Simply defined, automated targeted campaigns are emails that are directed to a specific group of people and are triggered based on a set of rules or criteria. The most classic example of this is the ‘Welcome’ campaign. It is sent to those who have just registered to receive your emails and is triggered off of that registration date.

We love automated targeted campaigns because we know they work! We have completed hundreds of these campaigns for clients over the years and have found huge increases in effectiveness when compared to normal blast mailings. For instance, we’ve observed the following differences when comparing automated mailings against normal mailings...

By Whereoware staff on Thursday, June 02, 2011 3:34 PM

Images are flashy and certainly attractive. It’s rare to find a website nowadays that doesn’t use them to showcase merchandise. However, there is a very real risk that comes with relying too heavily on images when designing your website – in terms of search engine optimization, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot. After all, search engine spiders index based on text alone, and as someone once said, “spiders still can't appreciate art.” As attractive as your carefully designed images may be, any text you’ve placed “on” them will be unreadable to spiders. 

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:19 PM

If you’ve allowed your analytics to account for every single visit, your results are likely skewed. But why on earth would you want to exclude data from potential customers? Here’s the thing: not every visit is from a customer, or even an ‘interested’ party! What about other employees of your company, and you yourself? If you’re continually allowing Google Analytics to track the number of times your internal company computers have made visits to the sites, you’re falsely skewing your results.

You’re in luck, though – Google engineers have thought ahead and given you a way to prevent these sorts of miscalculations. While the default setting on Google Analytics is to count all incoming traffic regardless of source, you have the ability to set filters for your account.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 11:58 AM

In email marketing, as in telemarketing, there is a key difference between persistence and pestering. One can garner customers, whereas the other will get you on a Black List in a hot second. But how do you know where to draw the line?

By Whereoware staff on Friday, May 27, 2011 3:16 PM

Industry best practices recommend focusing each page on a single keyword, rather than trying to optimize for several at once. This helps with search engine optimization (SEO) and makes it easy for consumers to find targeted information.

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:03 AM

“Brevity is the soul of wit,” wrote Shakespeare, and this principle of communication has held true for centuries. In email marketing, too, brevity can pay off big time. A recent study found that marketing posts on Facebook that are less than 80 characters create 27% more engagement than their longer counterparts. In email subject lines, this concision is equally important if not more so, given that many email providers crop subject lines after a certain number of characters.

The character limits

Various studies have found that the major email providers tend to cluster between a 40 and 50 character limit for their subject lines:

  • AOL: 38
  • Hotmail: about 45 for their initial line (using word wrap)
  • Yahoo!: 47
  • Gmail: 130
  • Thunderbird: 130
  • Outlook: 255 characters

 

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 9:26 AM

Picture this: it's a Monday morning, and you're going about your usual business of monitoring activity on the company website. You comb through the information on Google Analytics. The landing and exit pages are trending in a predictable pattern, your AdWords campaigns are doing well, and most factors appear to be normal. However, the Google Analytics pageview graph shows an inexplicable bump in last week’s data…an increase in homepage visits.

A co-worker suggests that this may be a fluke occurrence, with consumers making purchases in anticipation of the weekend's activities. However, neither of you can recall this type of increase in weeks past – was it there, but less pronounced? The only way to tell if this is anything out of the ordinary is to compare this week's numbers to those from previous weeks. Google Analytics has a handy built-in feature which will allow you to compare data between any time periods.

Comparing dates, step by step...

By Whereoware staff on Tuesday, April 05, 2011 2:25 PM

Imagine going to a grocery store and being forced to sign up for the chain’s Super Saver Card before you purchase your items. Don’t want to give your personal information? Too bad. You’ll have to find another retailer.

This scenario seems laughable in a brick-and-mortar store; however, it happens on e-commerce websites every day. By requiring customers to register accounts and login each time they want to make a purchase, many websites ignore key human characteristics: impatience and cautiousness. One of the biggest issues with requiring a password for checkout is that it invites a moment of pause, bringing with it the inevitable questions:

By Whereoware staff on Friday, March 25, 2011 12:18 PM

It seems almost everyone has Facebook and Twitter links on their website these days, but how effective are they? If you only have a pretty little icon in the bottom corner of your website, you probably aren’t directing as much traffic to your social network profile as you think you are.

Users are humans after all, so while they respond well to visual objects, they process language commands even better. Try wording your social links with actionable terms like this, “Follow ABC Inc. on Twitter.” Get even more click-throughs with something like this, “You should follow ABC Inc. on Twitter now!” You’ll be surprised to see how many more followers, or fans, you collect!

By Whereoware staff on Friday, March 25, 2011 11:42 AM

Image-only emails look beautiful. You have full control over your branding and messaging and frankly, they are easier to design. The drawbacks, however, are too serious to ignore:

By Whereoware staff on Friday, March 25, 2011 11:31 AM

Every time we turn around someone is asking us about mobile. It is obviously in the forefront of many people’s mind and rightly so. Mobile traffic is growing at light speed. According to study by Cisco, it is estimated that global mobile web traffic grew 159% in 2010. That is 4.2 times faster than standard broadband traffic. The study predicts by 2015, smartphones and tablets will make up just over 30% of the mobile market.

So we know that optimizing your site for mobile is important, but how important is it to you right now? Google Analytics makes it super easy for you to find that out. You can see the number of people using mobile devices to access your website, where they are coming from and what they are doing on your site, allowing you to make decisions based on actual usage, instead of guessing.

By Whereoware staff on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:57 PM

We are going to be releasing all of our thoughts into the wild! Look out for great articles, tips and techie goodness soon!