All posts by Whereoware Admin

Web Tip: flat design – cluttered and complex is SO yesterday.

What is flat design?

The flat web design trend applauds simplicity; utilizing the sharp lines, bright colors, and bold typography popularized by minimalistic design, and shying away from fancy flourishes, gradients, drop shadows, or other artistic effects. High color contrasts, white space, and large buttons common in flat web design create a friendly user interface.

Cut through the cluttered digital space

You’ll notice tech giants Microsoft, Google, and Apple seem to be leaning more and more towards flat design in their products. This was especially obvious when Apple previewed its iOS7 UI, replete with a much flatter design than the previous versions. Why flat design? The theory is that the design’s simplicity helps users focus on your content, value proposition, and products, without being distracted by flashy design. Users can quickly figure out what actions you want them to take on your site, improving their overall experience. Less is more! Cluttered and complex is SO yesterday.

Flat Design Makes Sense in a Mobile World

The flat design trend has become increasingly popular with the surge in mobile user growth. The streamlined design technique makes it perfect for the clunky fingers of mobile users. If you are building your site using responsive design techniques, than you are in luck! Flat design often mirrors the same responsive best practices: large text for easy reading, large buttons for easy clicking, and minimalistic navigation. Both techniques design for the end user, instead of trying to impress users with unnecessary embellishments that will weigh down pages and increase load time.
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Google Analytics: exporting and emailing reports

ladymagnifying2Google Analytics can be instrumental for measuring all aspects of your online business. Its fantastic reports provide concrete figures, like the number of new visitors to your website last week or how much revenue your e-commerce site generated last month. There are times, however, when you may want to export Google Analytics reports to manipulate the material on your own or copy it into presentations. In other instances, you may want to email analytics reports and schedule recurring report emails for key stakeholders or clients.  We’ll show you how!

Getting started:

Pull up your favorite report in Google Analytics. You will notice in the main navigation bar, underneath the name of the report, two buttons to Email or Export. Both of these buttons let you share your analytics data.

Google Analytics reports can be exported into a variety of formats to suit your needs, but the most common formats are comma-separated values (CSV), which will allow you to manipulate your data in excel, or a PDF, which you could provide to a client or key stakeholders.
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Behind the glasses: Brian Ko

Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For November we get to know Brian Ko, our Online Marketing Manager and PPC/SEO Specialist, a little better.

Whereoware employeeWHO:
What’s your name? Brian Ko
Job title: Online marketing manager and PPC/SEO specialist

BACKGROUND:
Favorite food:  Anything + Sriracha = Fantastic
Hidden talents:  I can make edible food with just some premade/prepackaged frozen foods and a microwave.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by:  Aziz Ansari
Continue reading Behind the glasses: Brian Ko

Google analytics tip: SEO success when ALL keywords are ‘(Not Provided)'

Secured search: a dark history 

It was a dark, dismal day (fictionalized weather details to set the mood) on October 18, 2011, when Google announced changes to how it would share user data. In an effort to make search more secure, users searching http://google.com, who were already logged into their Google accounts, were redirected to a secure search query https://google.com. Search query data was encrypted for these logged-in Google users and no longer made available to website managers using web analytics tools. Website managers began seeing a percentage of their keyword data falling under a new ‘(Not Provided)’ category, a reflection of users redirected to the secure search site.

Uneasy website managers were reassured by Google that ‘(Not Provided)’ search data was not expected to exceed 10% of search results, but as time went by and user privacy concerns became more prevalent, the percentage of organic search keyword traffic falling into the ‘(Not Provided)’ category steadily grew. It was the beginning of the end of collecting organic search data at the keyword level. SEO superstars breathlessly waited to see what would happen next.

Secured search: the new reality

In late September 2013, Google announced that ALL searches would be secured. Searchers logged into Google are no longer the only ones redirected to the https:// version of the site. Anyone using Google to search for information is now automatically redirected to the SSL encrypted browser. Estimates suggest that the percentage of ‘(Not Provided)’ data will reach 100% by the end of the year. Marketers and website managers can no longer track organic search traffic in Google at the keyword level. Is the SEO era over?

Never fear! All (SEO best practices) is not lost

In the face of secure search complications, you can still succeed at SEO by leveraging remaining data sources and taking a big-picture approach to site optimization. Combinations of potentially untapped data can be used to assess and improve your search performance.
Continue reading Google analytics tip: SEO success when ALL keywords are ‘(Not Provided)'

Creative Co-Op Wins a MarketingSherpa Email Excellence Award

Creative Co-Op was recently named a national award winner of the MarketingSherpa Email Awards for its innovative Closeout marketing campaign developed in conjunction with digital agency Whereoware. Using marketing automation and personalization technology, Whereoware developed a B2B closeout email campaign that moves excess inventory, minimizes profit loss, and protects the brand. This campaign was one of the company’s highest revenue-producing programs, producing an 808% ROI in the first month and continuing to deliver traffic and sales month after month.

The marketing automation campaign matches individual retailers with specific items they previously purchased, giving them first choice when these items move to closeout. The timeliness, as well as a focus on personalized product recommendations, led to a 255% month-over-month increase in closeout items sold in the first month of the campaign. The Closeout campaign continues to be a success for both Creative Co-Op and its retailers. In addition to the big lift in closeout sales, 84% of items purchased from the campaign were non-closeout items purchased with the special items.

The winners will be honored at the 11th Annual MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, taking place February 17-20 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Check out other MarketingSherpa award winners and their innovative marketing campaigns.

To read more about the structure and successes of Creative Co-Op’s Closeout campaign, get the two-page case study.

About Creative Co-Op

Creative Co-Op designs, imports, and distributes home decorative accessories, gift, and seasonal categories for retailers around the world. The company was founded in 2001 and has extensive experience in offshore sourcing focused on design, workmanship, finishing and timely delivery. Creative Co-Op is based in Memphis, Tennessee and has permanent showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Memphis. Additional information may be found at the company’s website, www.creativecoop.com.

About Whereoware

Whereoware is a web strategy, design, development and marketing company with experience implementing a large scope of marketing tactics and development services including: sales force automation, pay-per-click, SEO, mobile development, and CRM portals.

Whereoware has been serving manufacturers in the Gift, Home and Lighting Industries for over 10 years. Founded by Gift and Home Industry veterans, Whereoware has unique insights into the complex operational and marketing challenges within the industry. It turns that expertise into smart solutions for today’s manufacturers.

Marketing automation tip: energize email with background images

Customers’ inboxes are bursting at the seams. We are all fighting – kicking, biting, and clawing, it seems – to get to the top of the inbox heap and entice customers to open our emails, click to our websites, and purchase our products or services. Are your email’s killer content and graphics fading into a lackluster background? A simple, strategic background image may be just the je ne sais quoi you need to shake things up and compel your customers to read, instead of delete, your email.

Enhancing readability and combatting image blocking. 

Effective emails balance live text and design elements to attract customers’ attention, ensure messaging is easy to read, and combat image blocking. (Need a reminder? Brush up on Whereoware’s email effectiveness checklist, complete with explanations and definitions.)

Many email clients and reader preferences turn images off by default, requiring the reader to “click to display images.” It’s impossible to stand out from the crowd with a blank email! Emails must be visually appealing when images are displayed, but also readable when images are disabled.

Coton-Colors

Continue reading Marketing automation tip: energize email with background images

Web tip: Responsive vs. Mobile-Only Web Design

Angry-Toddler-w-Phone_bIn December 2012, Pete Cashmore, founder of online news site Mashable, declared 2013 the Year of Responsive Design. What did he mean? In short, mobile was taking over.

Fast forward a year, and according to a Pew Research Center study, nearly one in five smartphone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone. Are you providing a positive user experience on every device? As Cashmore predicted, your customers expect to browse the web on their phones and tablets just as easily as they do on a desktop computer. The question is, how can you deliver a seamless user experience from any device?

Mobile options: responsive vs. mobile-only

Mobile-friendly websites are designed predominantly in two ways: completely separate from your primary website (a mobile-only site) or built by incorporating responsive design principles into your primary site’s design (responsive design). Continue reading.

Behind the glasses: Joe Harris

Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For October, we get to know Joe Harris, our Vice President and Partner, a little better.

Joe Harris Behind the GlassesWHO:
What’s your name? Joe Harris
Job title: Vice President and Partner

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food:  A big, juicy hamburger and fries
Hidden talents:  I can pick things up rather easily with my toes. Oh, and my kids love me, so I must be an OK father.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by:  Daniel Day Lewis
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why:  My cell phone, of course! Assuming I have service. If I don’t, than it would have to be Wilson.
Continue reading Behind the glasses: Joe Harris

Marketing automation tip: automate the tactical

“Hello Account #XYZ, thank you for clicking/calling/writing…”

Form emails and letters are a personal pet peeve for many people. The format is rote and clearly interchangeable among recipients. Even referencing a specific topic of interest would go a long way towards winning them over. But in the modern world how can a company possibly do this with so many clients and so little time? As paradoxical as it may seem, using automation to personalize services makes logical sense.

Online behavior is, by its very nature, a personal act. A person in search of web design services may browse a site for a while, landing on pages about design, images of your designers, previous work and client portfolios…the possibilities are endless. These destinations are telling: a marketer could infer that this person is interested in design rather than a social media campaign.Robot Fistbump

With one customer, this makes sense – but what about inferring the interests of the hundreds of leads that are potentially beating down your door? That’s where you run into trouble. Continue reading.

Marketing automation tip: scalable vs. responsive email design

Whether you write an e-newsletter for your business or promotional emails advertising products, designing email for mobile readers is no longer a question. Mobile is the new reality, and its ability to reach and influence consumers is growing.  According to the Litmus “Email Analytics” (June 2013) report, 44% of email is opened on a mobile device, and the Adobe “2013 Digital Publishing Report: Retail Apps & Buying Habits” notes, 71% of mobile purchasing decisions are most influenced by emails from companies.

Your current and potential customers are checking their mobile devices multiple times a day, scanning e-mails, and clicking links to purchase products.  Instead, of asking yourself whether to meet potential customers where they already are, the question to consider is, how can you best design emails to make reading and action easiest for your mobile customers? Scalable or responsive? Responsive or scalable? We’ll explore both to help you decide which technique is the right choice for your business.

Continue reading.