Email Tip – How to Build a Holiday GIF

bre-headshotToday, we welcome a guest post from our Marketing Manager and Graphic Designer Breanne Brady. Bre designs beautiful and effective emails that bring each client’s vision to life.

The email marketing competition will be fierce this holiday season. Stand out by adding a little shimmy and shake to your emails.

A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an image format that can be animated to give the illusion of motion by displaying a series of images in quick secession (like a flipbook).

Keep in mind that GIFs aren’t supported in all email clients. Newer versions of Outlook (2007, 2010, and 2013) and Windows Phone 7 won’t show the animation, but instead show the first frame of the GIF. To get around this issue, design your first frame to stand alone by including all vital information, like your call-to-action, headline, and promotion.

Follow our simple steps below to learn how to build a Holiday GIF. (Psst – get the Photoshop file here to follow along.)

How to Build a Holiday GIF

1.  First, you will create different design layers that will become individual frames. Think of each frame as a single image. Animating the frames shuffles through the images, creating the illusion of motion. Layers can be added and edited later.1-Holiday-GIF-How-To-Create-Your-Layers

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Analytics tip – 3 metrics to benchmark holiday success

For many commerce companies, the holiday shopping season can make or break their year.metrics-to-benchmark-holiday-success

According to a report by RJMetrics, November and December drive 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday months. Not all shopping days are created equal, either. The report found that the days from Black Friday through Christmas pull in 50-100% more revenue than shopping days throughout the rest of the year.

Your brand needs to maximize conversions leading up to the most wonderful time of the year. Tying marketing initiatives to trackable metrics takes the guesswork out of developing a smart digital strategy. To get you started, we’ve outlined 3 metrics to benchmark holiday success last season to help you plan a successful 2015.

Conversions + most popular shopping days

To benchmark your high level conversion numbers from last season, navigate to Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview.

The Overview graph at the top of the page displays the Ecommerce Conversion Rate. Include additional information by clicking the dropdown Select a Metric. Options include Average Order Value, Quantity, Revenue, Transactions, and Unique Purchases. We selected Revenue.

Google-Analytics-Benchmark-Holiday-Ecommerce-Conversions-2

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Email tip – holiday email inspiration

If this year follows in last year’s footsteps, big brands are gearing up to commit a cardinal email sin – over sending. Is this a huge risk?

Surprisingly, Yesmail compared marketing email sends over the 2014 and 2013 holiday season and found that email volume increased 46% in Q4, but email opens remained steady. Upping your email game in Q4 is so normal that customers either expect or accept it, because they’re still opening your emails to get the best deals.

Of course, the more emails customers receive, the harder marketers must work to grab inbox attention. We’ve collected some of our favorite email inspiration below to help you land atop the email heap this upcoming season.

Web tip – Customer Journey Toolkit

Turn browsers into buyers + prospects into loyal customers with our Customer Journey Toolkit. Receive sample Journey Infographics, a Persona Worksheet, a Customer Questionnaire, + a Journey Map Worksheet – check out the toolkit details below.

In our Customer Journey Toolkit, you’ll find:

1)    Our Journey Infographics help you visualize a typical customer journey (broken out for B2B and B2C e-commerce companies and Service Companies).

2)   Our Persona Worksheet will help you understand your customers better + identify what motivates them or turns them off.

3)   Use our Customer Questionnaire to talk to customers about how you can increase their customer satisfaction.

4)   The Journey Worksheet will help you map out opportunities to reach out to your customers when they are most responsive and via the channels they respond to best.

Behind the glasses – Anna

Anna Pleshakova, Whereoware's Online Marketing AssociateEach month, we’ll go behind the glasses with one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For August, we get to know Anna, our Online Marketing Associate, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?
Anna Pleshakova
Job title:
Online Marketing Associate

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Korean BBQ
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: Probably a hammock. It’s very versatile.
Hidden talents: I often think in three different languages at once.
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: A bazooka

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
iOS or Android: Android
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

We get to work with very different clients who have different needs, which makes our work way more interesting + diverse. Other employees are very motivating and always ready to help if you’re caught in a pickle (pun not intended, Larry). I like that WOW welcomes new ideas + listens to its employees. Work schedules are also very flexible + the rooftop parties are bomb!

Analytics tip – 5 step checklist to set up Google Analytics

Are you using Google Analytics (GA) to track lifts + conversions on your new website? Or have you added GA to an existing website to understand where your customers are coming from + how to best market your business? Are you sure it’s set up correctly?

Follow the checklist below to make sure your Google Analytics account is set up properly and ready to track stellar site visits and other metrics! Download a copy of the checklist (right) to keep handy.

Let’s start from the beginning:

□  Is GA tracking code located on all pages of your website? Don’t forget the checkout page for e-commerce sites!

□  Are you self-referring your own site? This can be caused by missing tracking code on some of your pages.

□  Do you have two instances of the same code on the same page? Two GA codes on the same page is okay, but two instances of the same code could cause issues with pageviews, time on site, and bounce rates.

Linking your other Google properties:

□  Is Google Search Console linked to your analytics account? To check in GA, go to Acquisition -> Search Engine Optimization -> Queries. Can you see data? If yes, you are all set! No? Link your properties to see how your company shows up in organic search. We have an entire post about linking Google’s Search Console with Google Analytics.

□  Do you use AdWords? You can check whether you’ve linked it to GA by going to Acquisition -> AdWords. If you see data, it’s linked. If not, it’s time to link your properties.

AdWords-keyword-data-enabled-google-analytics

Track it down:

□  Don’t forget to track external traffic—non-Google ads, emails, and landing pages — by appending UTM parameters to URLs. See how it’s done here.

□  AdWords user? Enable auto-tagging, so campaign data shows up correctly in GA.

How are you setting + reaching goals?

□  E-commerce sites: monetary values, like conversions, will show engagement on your site and the Google AdWords generating the most value. You’ll need to verify that your developer installed e-commerce code on your site, and you enabled e-commerce in GA. To enable e-commerce in GA go to Admin -> View -> E-commerce settings and confirm it’s turned on. Once enabled, you’ll see revenue data in your reports. The simplest way to check is to go to Conversions -> E-commerce -> Overview.

E-commerce-enabled-google-analytics

□  Set goals on non-e-commerce sites to see whitepaper downloads, Contact Us form completions, and video views. Every website needs a measurable purpose – make sure you’re tracking yours.

Enabling extras:

□  Is site search enabled? Are you wondering what keywords people are typing into your site search bar or whether visitors are looking for terms that don’t apply to your business? Do you need to make content or navigation clearer? Then, you need to enable site search. Go to Admin -> View -> View Settings,” then at the bottom, enable Site Search Tracking. Don’t forget to add your query parameter (when you perform a search on your site, the parameter is the part right before = keyword). For example, in this URL: http://mud-pie.com/search/?q=baby, “q” is the search query parameter.

□  Are demographics enabled? Do you want to know age, gender, and interest data to better understand your visitors? Enable demographics in Admin-> Properties -> Property Settings. Simply select on for “enable demographics and interest reports.”

Demongraphics-data-enabled-google-analytics

Now What?

Once your site is completely set up with Google Analytics tracking and UTM parameters appending to external URLs, you can rely on reporting metrics to show where customers are coming from and how to best invest in your online presence.

 

Behind the glasses – David

Behind the glasses - DavidEach month, we’ll go behind the glasses with one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For July, we get to know David, our Front End Developer, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name?
David Dinkins
Job title:
Front End Developer

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Chipotle
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Denzel
Hidden talents: Creative writing (I was an English major).
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: Something that doesn’t need bullets — like a mallet.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Instagram
iOS or Android: iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The rooftop deck!

Whereoware embraces geeks + supports Code.org

Whereoware partied hard on Monday, July 13th – Embrace Your Geekness Day! This little-known holiday is all about showing off your geeky sides, and Whereoware has plenty of those. We’ve got your sneek peek below, but you can check out ALL our geeky pics and secrets (you don’t want to miss this! )

Whereoware celebrates Embrace Your Geekness Day

Whereoware rarely needs a reason to dress up in Star Trek gear + rock our geek glasses. We took the celebration a step farther by encouraging our friends, clients, Twitter followers, and Facebook folks to join in the fun + send us their own geek selfies.  For every geek selfie and social share received, we donated $15 to Code.org.

Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.

Whereoware was happy to celebrate and support future geeks on Embrace Your Geekness Day. Thank you to everyone who helped us make this day a success + raise money for a great cause. We’re already planning our costumes for next year!

Web tip – get in their head, map the customer journey

Before you map the customer journey, you’ll flesh out  audience personas, identify goals, talk to your customers, and collaborate with teams across your organization to gain a holistic understanding of your customers’ typical path to purchase. You’re ready to take pen to paper (or more likely, mouse to screen) to map out the customer journey, delighting customers at each step.

Map the customer journey

You’ll start by creating a journey for one of your personas. Remember, you’re treating customers as individually as possible, not developing a one-size-fits-all plan. Your journey will be highly repeatable, but tailored and tweaked for your different personas and their needs, motivations, and challenges.

Identify stages to lead the customer to the end goal

With your end goal in mind, develop the stages of customer interaction. Customers approach buying decisions similarly, most of the time. They are introduced to your brand or product category, research your products and competitors, purchase the product, experience it, and decide if they’ll purchase from you again. Each of these stages is an opportunity to educate, excite, sooth, and propel the customer to the next step in their journey.

You developed a detailed understanding of your customers’ typical buying stages from your persona research, but if you are unclear, walking through Discovery, Research, Conversion, and Post Sale is a safe bet. Design the journey as a flow chart, with Discovery on the left hand side and Post Sale on the right. As you get into the thick of things, the journey may tangent off and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to stay linear.

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Web tip – are you wasting your website’s data?

Treat website visitors as individualsWebsites are more than digital storefronts; they are oftentimes the face and heart of a brand. (A face that customers judge in seconds.)

Websites must feel trustworthy, capture consumer insights, nurture customer relationships, and leave a fantastic impression. How can you leverage your website to better serve your customers?

Personalize customers’ online experience

Brands taking care to understand their customers’ behavior and digital journey across all channels can fine-tune their site to deliver on its promise. They can provide customers more relevant website content, target promotions and products toward individual needs, and take lead nurturing and prospecting to an unparalleled level.

By personalizing online experiences, we engage customers on a far more intimate level and dramatically increase the likelihood they’ll convert. Personalization hinges on identifying website visitors and capturing customer insights in an actionable database.

Identifying website visitors

People arrive on your site for various reasons and with different goals. You cannot deliver customers personalized content, products, or promotions  if you cannot differentiate their needs from everyone else’s.

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