Category Archives: Web tip

Web Tip – Website Love + Our Website Optimization Checklist

The best websites blend aesthetics and effectiveness. An elegant design captures visitors’ attention and increases their comfort with your business. This isn’t just our opinion – Adobe found 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if its content and layout is unattractive.



An effective website is easy to navigate and makes it simple for visitors to complete their goal (locate information, watch a video, download an asset, complete a purchase, etc.).

Too often, after a website is built, it’s ignored. The best websites, however, are consistently optimized to deliver even better results.

Don’t let your site become a stagnant destination. Instead, regularly review different pages or sections, make changes, and measure how your audience reacts. Download our Website Optimization Checklist to analyze your webpages, from the headlines to the copy, and more.

Today, we’re giving kudos to HelloFresh’s website’s balance between aesthetics and effectiveness to demonstrate many principles from the Website Optimization Checklist.

Homepage Love

HelloFresh is a healthy delivery service for busy home chefs. They deliver ingredients and recipes to the doorstep of customers, who either don’t know how to cook (but hope to learn), don’t have time to shop, or simply enjoy the ease of someone else planning their meals.

HelloFresh’s website is a knockout and exhibits many principles in our Website Optimization Checklist. Their homepage shows off checklist principles: Create Persuasive Headlines and Copy, Simplify the Design, Be Relevant, and Build Trust.
HelloFresh's website

What We Love

1. Passes the 7-second test (can tell what HelloFresh does and their value in 7 seconds or less.) Directly in the center of the page is More Than Food: Chef curated recipes based on seasonal farm fresh ingredients delivered every week to your doorstep. This message concisely says what HelloFresh does and why they are different.

2. The layout has a logical thought sequence. First, HelloFresh states the service they provide, then how the delivery process works. The next section builds credibility with a celebrity chef (more on that later), and then, menu options and appealing visuals get you excited about the service. Scrolling down further, real-life customer testimonials shared on social sites remove any second thoughts. All of this content is relevant to the audience, informing and guiding their purchase.

3. Top navigation is simple and includes links to priority information, like Our Boxes, How It Works, Our Recipes, Gift Cards, Jamie Oliver, and Blog. The main navigation isn’t cluttered and doesn’t include a link to everything the site offers.

4. The hero image features delicious-looking food, drawing the eye and supporting their offer. Images that are relevant to the audience and support a brand’s claim are so much better than stock images of generic smiling faces (this happens way to often!).

5. A prominent CTA “View our plans” in the hero image is impossible to miss and tells you exactly what to expect. Imagine if the CTA instead said “click here,” – offering you no information and certainly no reason to click to see more.

7. Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver’s partnership with, and endorsement of, HelloFresh is featured to build credibility and trust. People tend to be suspicious online – no one wants to be tricked by a fraudulent company. Adding a celebrity endorsement, badges, certifications, testimonials, guarantees, etc. eases this anxiety.

Conversion Love

HelloFresh clearly optimized their website with one goal in mind: to turn browsers into buyers.

Clicking the “View Our Plans” CTA on the homepage brings you to a landing page talking through the three box options. Clicking any of the “View Box” CTAs on that page, drives you to the “Customize Box” page, intent on initiating your conversion. The Customize Box page exemplifies Get the Conversion, Simplify the Design, Build Trust, and Keep It Relevant on our checklist.
hello fresh conversion
What We Love

1. The box description continues to make the case for converting. It highlights the farm fresh ingredients, delicious recipes, and flexible subscription. The description also reveals that the family box keeps spiciness to a minimum in order to please the entire family. This information reduces a buyer’s last minute concerns about whether their kids or any of their family’s picky eaters will like the recipes.

2. The “Select a Box” webform is super simple to follow. It asks two main questions: how many people would you like to cook for and how many meals would you like to receive a week? By asking only a few questions, the webform won’t turn off a potential customer, who may get overwhelmed by a long form or by providing personal information.

3. The webform declares shipping is “always free” – a compelling offer for anyone on the fence! Again, HelloFresh is reminding browsers how easy, cost-effective and painless their delivery service is. By stating shipping is “free” early-on, you provide all the information the potential customer needs up front, reducing anxiety that the price will increase after they click through.

4. Additional positive customer testimonials build trust and credibility.

5. The page design is simple, showing no competing or distracting elements. Extra, unrelated offers can confuse a visitor, increase bounce rates, and decrease conversions. By adding white space or blank areas throughout the site, Hello Fresh makes their offer incredibly easy to read and the CTA can’t be missed.

6. The header and footer both promote a $15 off discount for subscribing to HelloFresh’s email address, offering further incentive to purchase.

Try the Website Optimization Checklist for yourself

HelloFresh’s is just one of so many effective websites nailing the balance between nice-to-look-at and nice-to-explore. A website that looks cool, but frustrates users, is worse than a plain site driving conversions, but a stagnant website is the worst of all!

Get our Website Optimization Checklist (above) to systematically analyze pages on your site and pinpoint small updates to improve users’ experience. This checklist can be used time and again to make incremental, impactful improvements.

Website + Email Optimization Checklists

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our workshop: Quick Wins for Website + Email Success today in the DC Metro Area! As promised, both the website + email checklists are available for download below.

Website Checklist:
Our Website Checklist highlights the most important aspects your website needs to be a lead generation machine. From set up to trust building to relevant and fresh content, our checklist sets you up for success. See the Website Quick Wins slides.



Email Checklist:
Our Email Optimization checklist walks through tried and true techniques for crafting and sending emails that capture inbox attention, convince your audience of your message, and close the sale, conversion, etc. Follow along with our checklist to feel confident every time you hit send. See the Email Quick Wins slides.


Marketing tip – Simplifying the IBM Marketing Cloud Roadmap



We had a great turnout for our June 22nd webinar: Simplifying the IBM Marketing Cloud Roadmap. (See the recorded presentation below.)

Our intention was to make the IBM Marketing Cloud (IMC) simple by walking through use cases for each tool. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? The thing is, IBM has been developing the IMC for some time now – adding new tools, revamping existing products, and integrating them together in awesome ways. All the moving parts are tricky to track.

Once you get the names straight, the powerful capabilities of the IMC are hard to beat. Together, they offer big and small-picture insights into customers’ activity and behavior across channels, so marketers can reach out at the right moment, via the right channel, and with a compelling message customers can’t resist.

Today, we’ll give you a quick recap of how each tool is used by busy marketers to supercharge their campaigns. Download our handout, above, to see estimates of the cost, availability, and level of effort to install each tool.

Continue reading Marketing tip – Simplifying the IBM Marketing Cloud Roadmap

Web Tip – 5 Things Every Lead Gen Site Should Have

Regardless of whether you sell products or services, your website should be a lead generation machine, helping you capture new leads and customers. This is especially important for companies with longer sales cycles. When a prospective customer browses your website and then leaves, if you’d captured their email address, you would have the opportunity to re-engage them, nurture them with valuable resources, and guide their journey through your sales cycle.

1. Email sign up form

Your site needs an easy to find newsletter sign up form (preferably located at the top of the page -think F-layout).

Not to toot our own horn, but our newsletter sign-up icon is at the top of the page + expands when clicked on. Plus it’s short + to the point – just enter your email.

WOW- email sign up

2. Valuable content for download

Do you have a blog or website where you share valuable resources + information?

Gated assets, meaning a form must be filled out to access the content, effectively capture leads + easily adds them to your lead nurture stream, to keep your company top of mind.

While gated assets are great – just make sure that not all your content is gated, as to not deter those interested in learning more. The example below is from bit.ly (free URL shortener) for a demo of their Bitly Enterprise service (again, the form is short + to the point):

Bitly - Gated Demo

3. Testimonials from clients/users

Testimonials authenticate claims about your services/products + provide a human touch to a sometimes cold sales pitch. Highlight customers who have had a positive experience with your service + the impact it has had on them or their business. The example below is from Zola (a modern wedding registry service):

Zola - Testimonial

4. Optimized Landing Pages/Forms/CTA

There is a lot to optimizing your landing pages and forms + we have written about it previously here and here. But, here’s a quick recap:
Meaningful headlines. Think about where your users are coming from to get to the landing page. What were they promised when they clicked? Was it from an email that promised a discount? Make sure your landing page headline makes sense and delivers on your promises (free demo, service discount, etc).
Short + to the point forms– reduce friction for your leads by only asking them for pertinent information (name, email, company name, phone number – you don’t also need to know their mother’s maiden name and favorite color).
Never submit. Not only are your forms succinct, does the button at the end of your form tell your customer what to do or does it just say the catch-all “SUBMIT” – use action words instead: Get the Case Study, Get Started, Watch Demo. The example below is from Mint (online budgeting tool):

Mint - Sign Up Button

5. Easy to find contact information

Can interested leads easily find how to get in touch with you? Do you have a clear “Contact Us” page or is your contact information available in your header? Don’t lose potential customers because they didn’t know how to reach you! Include physical address, phone number, email, social media accounts (if you have them!), plus an optimized contact us form! This is an example from Floral & Bloom (a floral and event designer):

FloralBloom Contact

We hope these 5 simple tips help your website become a lead gen machine!

Marketing Tip – Abandonment 101

As much as we’d like to think that everyone who goes to a site searches, adds items to the cart, and purchases – that’s just not always the case. Customers abandon the process either at the stage of searching, browsing, adding items to cart, or finishing a process (here’s looking at all you service companies).

Let’s take a closer look at the types of abandonment + emails to re-engage:

Search Abandonment:

Visitor uses the search feature on your website to look for “Birthday Outfits” the page returns all the products that match that description. The visitor doesn’t click on a specific product, but instead closes out of your website – abandoning the search.

Send a follow up email targeting search abandoners featuring the same products that the search term returned.

mudpie search abandon

Continue reading Marketing Tip – Abandonment 101

Web Tip – B2B personalization in action

Did you miss our recent webinar with Episerver, Getting B2B Personalization Right: A Buyer-First Blueprint? (We embedded the video below, so you don’t miss a thing.)

B2B-Personalization-Delights-CustomersWe’re just OBSESSED with personalization. We admit it – we’re head over heels for the stuff.

Whereoware has been in the personalization business for more than 10 years, long before it became a trendy buzzword. We’ve proven how personalization can help resolve brands two biggest challenges: making customers happy, so they’re forever brand loyal; making business operations more transparent, consistent, and effective.

Today, we recap why we’re pretty much addicted to making B2B business more personal and relevant.

Continue reading Web Tip – B2B personalization in action

Web tip – April Fool’s Day Hits

We admit it – we’re a bunch of giant kids, but we totally geek out on April Fool’s Day. For generations, this underrated holiday encouraged outright lies between loved ones, mayonnaise and toothpaste replacements in cream filling, saran wrapped toilet seats, rubber-banded faucets, and endless other hoaxes and hijinks.

Today, we applaud big- and small-name brands who get into the holiday spirit, and try their hands pranking beloved customers. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites.

(In case you missed our April Fool’s prank –  Check out Whereoware’s “redesigned homepage”– #comicsans4life! We redirected our homepage to our “redesign” and asked for feedback on our new look. Everyone who submitted feedback was entered into a raffle to win a gift card for themselves and $2,000 for the charity of their choice. The promotion ended at COB April 1.)

April Fool’s Day emails + landing pages we love

With their nonstop sales, free shipping, and Kohl’s Cash, Kohl’s is the destination for crazy deals you can brag about to your friends. Well, the endless deals came to an abrupt stop last April 1st. (We love the GIF. Click to see the full email).

Kohl's April Fool's Day

Continue reading Web tip – April Fool’s Day Hits

Web Tip – 6 Tips for Writing for the Web

Alyson Hunter Whereoware's Internal Marketing ManagerToday, we hear firsthand from one of the voices behind-the-blog: Internal Marketing Manager Alyson Hunter. Alyson is responsible for our content marketing strategy and writes our blog, case studies, newsletters, website copy, and other content pieces. 

Writing for the web means short attention spans and heavy competition.

Typically, your audience is scanning articles and deciding within seconds whether it’s worth their time to keep reading. Meanwhile, a video of a cat wearing a shark costume, while riding a Roomba and chasing a duckling is competing for their attention.

Can you rival a cat riding a Roomba? I can’t!

Cat on Roomba
Whether you’re writing a blog post or updating website copy, writing for an online audience takes different finesse than writing for print. Ignore what your ninth grade English teacher told you (well, some of it), and try out my 6 tips for writing for the web.

Continue reading Web Tip – 6 Tips for Writing for the Web

Web tip – Sullivans’ personalized B2B e-commerce website

Sullivans Personalized Website



WHO

Sullivans is a B2B wholesaler of floral products, seasonal décor, and home décor.

CHALLENGE

Sullivans was ready to redesign their website to be mobile-friendly and easier to update to reflect promotions and merchandising.

They had in-depth understanding of their retailer audience, and the products each cared about. They wanted their new website to deliver a personalized shopping experience, so retailers shopping specific product lines would always see content reflective of their inventory needs.

SOLUTION

In November 2015, Whereoware designed and built Sullivans a new responsive website. The personalized B2B e-commerce website places the right product in front of the right customer at the right time to make shopping easy and intuitive for retailers. The site is easy to update and delivers an exceptional user experience from every device.

Check out the case study (above) to see Sullivans’ new website in action!

Marketing tip – why customers ignore you

Why are your customers ignoring you?Today’s reality check – your intentions are great, but your websites and emails are turning off customers. See, the problem is they’re all about you and forgive us for being harsh, but nobody cares.

Visitors land on your website or open your emails because they have a problem to solve. Maybe they‘re seeking a pick-me-up and your merchandise caught their eye or they have a work issue that your software can fix. Whether you’re an e-commerce or service company, customers and prospects seek you out because you offer something they value.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, 89% of companies will compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. Are you delivering a memorable customer experience when you trumpet the awards you’ve won or the cutting-edge tool you offer? Probably not.

At the beginning stages of nurturing prospect relationships and turning them into customers, the most prominent message should be how you can make your customers lives easier, happier, or more stress-free.

Go customer-first in 2016

If customer experience is the modern businesses’ competitive tipping point, and each customer is different, how do you flip the conversation to resonate with them all?

It’s true that you probably cannot understand and reach every single customer, but you can group your customers into categories (called personas) representing about 80% of your customer base. (Our persona worksheet makes this step easier.)

Personalized with shopping cart dataYou’ll then develop messaging around common customer actions. By reminding customers of actions they’ve taken, you get really close to speaking to each customer individually.

For example, Sole Society’s abandoned cart email includes a picture of the boot left in the customer’s cart, reminding them of their previous interest and enticing them to complete their purchase (right).

When you’re coming up with your personas, the most important thing is to note what kind of actionable behaviors they’ll take, so you can identify them.

For example, when your “busy mom” persona arrives on your website, how will you know this visitor is the busy mom? Perhaps it’s because she looks at products in your “baby six months and under” category, or reads the article “how supermoms get more done in less time” on your blog.

By anticipating these types of actions in your persona research, you’ll know how to identify each persona. From there, you’ll figure out the keywords, phrases, and tone that resonate with each audience.

You’ll soon realize the types of promotions and messages that motivate them or turns them off. You’ll find gaps in their activity, where you could offer them an incentive or a resource to make them more comfortable and engaged with your brand. You can identify opportunities to add value to their life.

Personalized using location dataHow to get customer-first

Personalizing interactions with your customers is easier than you think, and you likely have the customer data handy. Examples of data sources include customers’:

  • Purchase history
  • Webpages visited (products/pages viewed)
  • Registration at an event
  • Content downloads
  • Submitted webforms
  • Mobile app interactions
  • In-store actions
  • Abandoned carts
  • Browse abandonment
  • Location
  • Source of opt-in (an event, your website, etc.)

This list of data sources is far from comprehensive, but should get you thinking about ways to connect with customers. You can combine data sources for even greater personalization power.

Make sure you leverage data from all of your channels, not just your website or emails. Integrate your mobile app and automation tool, for example, to personalize mailings based on behaviors taken in the app. If your sales team meets with your customers, make sure their insights can be fed back into your database, so your follow up emails aren’t disjointed or repetitive.

We live in an omni channel world. When we effectively harness data from all of our channels, we can understand our customers better, be more relevant, and ultimately develop deeper relationships.

But what if I don’t have the data?

Capturing Data example - Mod ClothAt risk of sounding like a broken record, capturing customer data is vital to knowing who your customers are and what they care about, so you can provide relevant content to meet those needs.

Customers are more willing to part with their personal information if the perceived value outweighs the perceived cost. This balance is maintained by collecting information slowly instead of all at once, and offering value in return, like an entry in a contest, a white paper, a free consultation, etc.

Progressive forms are one of our favorite ways to slowly build a comprehensive profile of your customers, without turning them off and losing the chance to collect more information in the future. They work by initially requesting a few fields of information that is perceived as less sensitive on the first interaction with a customer, like email and first name, and then requesting more information at later interactions.

Opportunities to capture customer information:

  • Newsletter sign-up form
  • Opt-in form to receive a case study, flier, or other type of collateral piece
  • Sign-up form to receive exclusive deals or discounts
  • Surveys or contests
  • Engagement and capture on social networks
  • Offline – captured by employees in-store, at point of sale; or at networking events and conferences

Customer-first, not company-first

Flip your conversations with customers to be about them, not about you. Take an interest in your customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences, and behavior to create irresistible customer experiences.