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Archive Monthly Archives: August 2016

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Website design help for non-designers

Websites come in all sizes and shapes to meet the needs and wants of their owners. We have been designing websites since 2004 using content management systems (CMS) – basically tools that combine databases and editors similar to Word that allow non-technical users to make changes to their website. Many of our clients have us make all

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of their changes, but just as many prefer to make at least some of the changes themselves​​​​


Because the look of your site is important and CMS editors will allow you to make changes that may not be a perfect fit with the style of your site, we felt it was time to offer a few suggestions on design for non-designers. Here are 6 things you should keep in mind while working on your website:



1. Typography Fundamentals – Typography plays a big role in creating visual hierarchy and contrast. One quick tip is to use multiples sizes. Here is a good rule of thumb, but feel free to play with these rules a bit. Pick your lowest font size first and go from there. If your smallest is 12px, which is the body copy, then use 24px for the heading and 48px or 72px for the title. Also, try not to use more than two typefaces. Stick with one if you aren’t sure what to pair it with. Here’s a great website that helps you pair fonts that look good together. You should also minimize your use of font weights to two or less. For example, use bold for headlines and light or regular for copy. The more font weights you use, the more chaotic it gets for the reader to interpret.



2. White Space – We’ve all heard of it, but are we really using it appropriately? Giving elements breathing room makes a world of difference. Spacing in between the lines is also very important. Not too much, but not too tight either.



3. Keep It Simple.  We’ve all heard the saying “Less is more!” When in doubt – subtract. That’s the best design advice I’ve ever gotten. Make it easy on your audience. Don’t let your page get too cluttered.



4. Color Theory – Picking colors is not an easy task. Generally speaking, stick to the colors your site used originally. But if you must add additional colors to your page content, there are tools that will help you create shades of a color or find complementary colors.



5. Photography – Selecting photos and graphics can be one of the most difficult and time consuming jobs. There are many resources for photographs which we can discuss in another mail, but Photos and graphics should color-coordinate with your site colors when possible and the subject matter should be relevant. Also, be sure to size your images properly for the Web. Please refer to our past message on sizing your photos for the web.



6. Consistency – It’s important to keep your design elements consistent. For example, if you’re using one style of button on one part of the page, make sure you use the same style on the rest of the page or document. If you’re using photography in the header of the page, make sure you keep it consistent with the rest of the graphic elements.

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Email marketing pop-quiz

We’ve had a lot of inquiries about email marketing lately and how to use it profitably. If done correctly, email marketing has the potential to be a rock star in any organization.


Experienced email marketers know that in order to get the biggest returns, they must leverage techniques that engage recipients on a personal level and provide individualized experiences.


In fact, when MailChimp (a popular email marketing platform) sampled some of its users it found that campaigns which were segmented (e.g., by clicks, opens or bounces) performed markedly better than their non-segmented counterparts.  Digging deeper, campaigns that were segmented by “signup type” saw 88.73% more clicks than non-segmented emails. MailChimp advises marketers to create signup forms with checkboxes, radio buttons or drop-down menus so subscribers can indicate their interests before receiving messages. This remarkable increase in engagement wasn’t isolated to just signup type, as segmenting by attributes like “zip code” or “job title” provided marketers a 14.43% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.


Whether you’re currently plugged into your email data to improve engagement rates or not, this Pop Quiz will test your knowledge about email marketing.


1. TRUE OR FALSE: Integration of a direct buy (i.e. buy now) button in email campaigns consistently provides an increase in sales. This is TRUE

2. What percentage of marketers believe smaller, segmented data provides better insight for future development of marketing strategy and execution?

  • 75% <—- Correct!
  • 25%
  • 10%
  • 90%

3. What do digital marketers think their biggest email marketing challenge is in 2016?

  • Increasing open rates
  • Acquiring new subscribers <—– Correct!
  • Competing against other emails
  • Making emails responsive

4. What message do 40% of online retailers make sure they send as their first email to new subscribers?

  • A percent-off promo code
  • A request for demographic information
  • A “thank you for subscribing” message <—– Correct!
  • They wait to email until a purchase has been made

5.  In relation to email deliverability, “SPF” stands for…

  • Shortest path first
  • Sender policy framework <—– Correct!
  • Suns pheels freaking-hot-today (but daaaaaang! it’s hot out there)
  • Single point of failure

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