Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category·
Thursday, December 1st, 2011
For most businesses, with the exception of Santa, a customer should be life and not just for Christmas. Attracting customers and retaining them is essential in any business and having an online presence is recognised by most businesses as being crucial to building a long-lasting and profitable relationship with customers. Customers have two functions, one is to buy stuff off you and the second is to tell their friends about how bloody brilliant you are. Your website is an essential part of this process, customers will expect you to have one, and they’ll find it easier to tell their mates about you if you do. A good website will be one of your most important assets and a bad one will drain your business of its life blood quicker than a vampire in a nunnery. So what are the rules of engagement?
Flash is Not the Saviour of the Universe.
When faced with a flash intro most people will have their mouse finger ready for the moment they spy the “skip flash intro” button. Think about it, have you ever really bothered to watch one of those things? If you have, you have too much time on your hands. They’re nearly always in the way of what you are actually trying to get to. Think of them as a sort of brick wall; nobody likes bashing their head off those.
Most businesses will have a range of products on offer for different types of customer. Your homepage should be used as a signpost. The right customer in the right place will buy things; the right customer in the wrong place will normally go back to Google. Use this page to direct different customers to the different parts of your website, but keep it clear, keep it simple. Above all this last point is the most important; your homepage needs to be designed with clarity and ease of use right at the forefront of your mind.
One Size Fits One Person
If you are running PPC campaigns one landing page will not fit all customers or all keywords. Target your adverts at pages relevant to their contents. Staying relevant is essential whether that is through PPC traffic or the more organic kind. Internet users are an impatient lot, if their very specific search has led them to your main page they’ll rarely be bothered to search through the rest of your site for the term that they’ve just spent valuable seconds typing into Google. They’ll just go back and look at the next result. So if you’ve targeted “cheap Diamond Rings” link to a page with a cheap diamond ring on it, not a catalogue page or expensive diamond rings.
“Frequently Asked Questions”, Customer Service Details and Terms and Conditions are essential and should be clearly displayed throughout your site. Don’t hide this stuff, because nobody is going to trust you if you do and they’ll be wary of buying from you from the start. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be and I blame it on pale fonts used to hide the phrase ‘terms and conditions’. It’s the small print of the internet, but it doesn’t help your net-cred to hide it. The only site I’ve ever trusted that didn’t have these things very explicitly explained why it didn’t. At least they were honest.
The Sales Team
The website is your sales team. It has advantages over the traditional kind in that it doesn’t frequently roll in late with a hangover, nor is it usually found out the back having a fag. But, badly written sales copy is not dissimilar to this sort of sales team. If you aren’t a writer then hire one, because poorly written copywriting stands out like a hairy chest and a gold medallion. The words on your website are the bit that is going to cajole and persuade your customers to buy. Poor spelling and bad grammar rings alarm bells which indicate “fake” and “fraud” to your customers, if only a subliminal level. Don’t risk it.
Using some simple rules to gain the trust of your sites users will help to increase sales and traffic. Be honest, be clear, and be direct. Using copywriting services to produce your content can help to avoid costly mistakes and gain credibility.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
I will admit, it took me a while to not cringe when I thought of churches and ministries actively marketing themselves. Why is that? Well, for me, it was my view of marketing that made me not want to associate the church with it. I viewed marketing as a means of manipulation. Getting people to do what you wanted them to do. And, to some extent, that is what marketing is. But not in all circumstances.
For example, in the business world, you are in direct competition with the guy down the street. You need your marketing to work hard for you and get people buying your widgets and not the other guys. With Churches and Christian Ministries it’s different.
Most churches, need ‘marketing’ to compete, not with other churches, but with a world system that is actively trying to fill the deep needs of people with material things instead of God and relationship with other christians. They are competing for the attention of people that are very busy striving to make their lives better, be good, impress people, raise good kids, fatten their bank accounts, etc. all on their own—without God. And believe me, the marketers are pulling out all the stops to fill their needs. So, what should ministries do? Not market because it sounds like a bad word? I think that a slight change in the way we word things might help.
I think the term ‘marketing’ could be replaced with the term ‘creative communication’.
Creative communication, in my opinion, consists of all of the tools that traditional marketing uses, but uses them for a different end. The end being, not to necessarily beat the guy down the road, but to create more of a community, connect deeper with that community, expand the reach of the ministry, make a difference, create positive change in the world, and most importantly: share the gospel.
There are so many tools online today for ministries to take advantage of it’s almost stupid! In our content/information economy that is hungry for solutions, now is the best time to produce and design high quality content and experiences that connect with people in a real way. In no other time in history has it been so cost effective to have a global reach.
For example, if you wanted to have a television show for your ministry it would have cost you tens of thousands of dollars to produce, edit and distribute. Now, you can create a webcast for a fraction of the cost. What’s more is that you have a global reach, and full control of your content. This is an amazing opportunity. There are many more like that.
Today, more than ever it is possible for churches and ministries to stay relevant and reach the people that they are called to reach. All of the tools are available, if we choose to use them. Churches and ministries who market, or use creative communication to connect with people will be positioned to impact the world more effectively. And I think that is what we all want to do.
Friday, May 14th, 2010
Lots of people are on Twitter, but many people I talk to in business aren’t fully convinced yet. I understand. When I first heard about Twitter, admittedly, I thought, “What is the point of that? Can’t you do the same thing on Facebook?”. I was very cynical about the whole thing. To me, it seemed like yet another venue for self-indulgent people to post self-indulgent things. And it is, in part. Twitter has become something more. I have grown to love it, and I recommend that people, especially in business, use it. (more…)
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
So Malleck Design has been in business for 1 year now, and it’s been awesome. To celebrate we’re giving away some stuff starting with this free theme for your WordPress blog. It’s widget-ready and nice to look at. Best of all, it’s FREE! Download it here .
Saturday, April 17th, 2010
What designer doesn’t love textures! I know, just like good fonts, I can’t get enough of them. Here’s a small collection of wood textures that I hope will be useful in your own designs. Just click to download or download them all in the .zip file at the end of this post. Enjoy!