Category Archives: Web tip

2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E-commerce Toolkits

2016 Holiday ToolkitsThe moment you’ve all been waiting for… the 2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E-commerce Toolkits are here!

What’s in your toolkit?

1. 2016 E-commerce calendar for 2016 chock full of holiday campaign ideas

2. Holiday Email Inspiration

3. Stats from last year’s sales season, so you can benchmark your performance

4. A bunch of other marketing resources, like email templates, how-to’s, and mobile tips.

5. A recording from our Holiday Readiness webinar, in case you missed it.

Web tip – VR and AR in Marketing

Anna Pleshakova WherowareThis week, we welcome a guest post from our Online Marketing Manager Anna Pleshakova. Anna is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients and helping them navigate emerging digital trends.

When you hear about virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), you may picture a futuristic, Matrix-type world, or think of video games, like the popular AR game Pokemon Go.

Today, we’ll help you understand the differences between AR and VR, and get you thinking about how you can use both technologies to give your audience a unique brand experience.

VR/AR 101

VR and AR in MarketingVirtual reality is defined as a “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment, that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” That’s a mouthful, but think: wearing a VR helmet to transport yourself into another world – be that a different geolocation or a fictional video game world – the possibilities are endless!

Augmented reality is defined as “technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” Think: Pokemon Go using your mobile phone’s camera functionality to superimpose a Pokemon inside your living room.

VR is a more immersive experience than AR. Wearing a VR device, the viewer sees a 360-degree view of content displayed on the screen and can interact with it. AR, on the other hand, incorporates the world around you and adds additional elements.

How Marketers can use VR and AR

Film used to be the most immersive storytelling medium, but even with the high-end TVs, you’re still only watching the screen. VR and AR offer marketers an exciting opportunity to create fully immersive, interactive customer experiences.

You’re probably thinking, “great, but using VR devices requires advanced developer or technical skills, right?” Absolutely not!

In our day and age, both VR and AR are easier to use then you think. For example: with a simple and cheap device like Google Cardboard, you can have a VR experience by inserting your phone into a cardboard viewer, which has two lenses. You hold the viewer over your eyes and explore various virtual reality apps.

6 Reasons to Adopt VR and AR + Brand Success Stories

1. Personalization: both the customer and marketer upload their own content to create a unique form of media, appealing to the customer’s interests.

Retailer Top Shop’s Catwalk Experience, developed by Inition, was a chance to get a sneak peek into London’s Fashion Week. Viewers “sit in the audience” at Topshop’s flagship store and get to see models wearing their favorite brand’s collection walking down the catwalk.

2. Novelty: an early adopter of one of technology’s “latest things” will gain the first movers’ advantage.

Michelle Obama’s VR video (created by the Verge) shows a 360 view of everything the first lady accomplished, now that Barack Obama’s time in office is coming to an end. It presents facts, figures, and stats – the very first VR infographic! This approach to looking at the infographic eliminates distractions and allows viewers to focus on the content.

3. Socialization: customers can save and share their content with others, potentially resulting in viral customer/brand experiences.

Mcdonald's Happy GogglesThe iconic fast-food chain McDonald’s Sweden recently created a virtual reality viewer made from a happy meal box. (Remember we told you VR technology does not have to be complicated?) “Happy Goggles” function similarly to Google Cardboard and allow you to insert your mobile device into the happy meal “headset.” Customers can then share this experience with others via social media – a big win for McDonald’s!

4. Accessibility: customers can use both technologies if they’re not 100% tech-savvy or know how to create their own multimedia products.

Hiking boot brand Merrell’s TrailScape is an immersive VR hiking simulator at their Sundance festival stand. Participants can walk/climb up or down a mountain and must overcome obstacles throughout their journey. The customer just puts on the VR gear, walks around Merrell’s set, and they’re transported to the mountaintop– no technology knowledge required!

Merrell's Trailscape

5. Excitement: inject a playful, fun element into any product or service.

Hotel chain Marriott’s “Teleporter” by Relevent is a VR booth whisking a viewer away on virtual travel all over the globe. Simultaneously, it subtly informs the potential customer that there’s always a Marriott to stay in, wherever you go. This takes a regular photo and/or information booth to a whole new and unexpected level by adding an Oculus Rift DK2 headset and headphones.

6. Mobile friendly: many VR headsets use phones to project the viewer’s content of choice. Behaviors consumers do everyday, like taking a photo, are used to deliver a more immersive experience.

Text100 described an example: “someone browsing a magazine for a watch, can take a small, customized branded insert, place it on his or her wrist and use an in-app camera to actually show exactly what that watch will look like when worn.”

Give AR and VR a Try

It’s important for marketers to stay ahead of technology and try new approaches to engage customers. Though we don’t think you should chase every new trend, VR and AR offer marketers an opportunity to create customer experiences that are impossible with other mediums.

We’ll keep watching to see how inventive brands get creative with both technologies. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the future and potential of VR and AR in the comments!

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 (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