The question we've been asked a lot lately is whether or not every website needs an SSL certificate.
The urgency is definitely picking up and soon every reputable online presence will be secured with that soon-to-be-familiar green lock icon beside the address bar. The classic http protocol will be replaced with https and if you're not on board then questions will arise.
In short, we really do see the need for everyone getting on board. Here's why:
1. Added security leads to credibility
Any added security tells your website user that you are doing your due diligence in keeping their information protected. Since it is very easy for even the most tech-savvy individual to get caught up in hacking or identity theft, why risk sending any message that will scare your customers or clients away from your website?
2. Protect passwords and logins for internal staff
Many organizations that we work with have secure member areas of their sites where information is shared that is meant only for internal use. Adding SSL will further encrypt any data that's filled out via forms, calendars, and interactive modules where information is shared.
3. Rankings with Google and other search engines
This is the reality that Google has been trying to communicate for a while now. All un-encrypted websites will be flagged as 'Unsafe' and if you're not, then you will see a slight drop in your ranking. All the way back in 2014, Google indicated that HTTPS would be a ranking signal, giving a small rankings boost with sites that are SSL and with the added pressure that they are putting on everyone in 2017, it doesn't take much to finally see the value in getting on board.
It's time to take the steps necessary and give your website that green lock of security!
You can visit our SSL Certificates page here to get started and request yours today.
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways of connecting with your audience –regardless of the device they use. The following five best practice techniques will highlight new opportunities to publish targeted email messages that build customer loyalty and increase sales.
1. Targeting and Segmentation
The foundation of an effective email marketing plan is to better understand your customer by developing buyer personas. You can then create appropriate groups and segment your email list accordingly.
2. Make it Personal
Now you are ready to personalize your message with an appropriate greeting, or recognition of an anniversary or birthday. You can further customize your offers by referring to customers’ purchase history or other company interactions.
3. Lead Nurturing and Marketing Automation
Automated customer initiated email sequences are a great way of providing a non-intrusive flow of information to your visitors as they progress through the sales cycle, allowing you to address their needs at the exact right time.
4. Refine Your Message by Split Testing
You can make continual improvements to your email marketing strategy by trying a variation of your subject line, or different design layouts, to help you understand what will get your message opened and actioned.
5. Make it Mobile-Friendly
A large portion of your customers will read your emails from their mobile device, so make your content responsive with a clear design, easy to read fonts and strong, clearly visible calls to action.
Finally, be prepared to evolve your email marketing strategy by regularly reviewing your progress, and incorporating new best practice email methodologies that will enable you to build stronger customer relations, nurture leads, and increase your sales.
If you would like to review the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy, get in touch today.
Content credit for this post goes to our WSI World Partners. Here's the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/187672262
Digital Marketing can feel like a dark tunnel that every business is asked to walk through.
The challenge doesn't become whether or not you're going to do it. Now that 2016 is here, the question becomes, who are you going to trust to help get you through, into the light?
My thought is this:
Don't just assume that the person with the biggest flashlight knows how to use it.
When you are walking in the dark you want to find the person near you who has the biggest and brightest flashlight. But what if all they end do is shine the light on themselves? Or worse, what if they shine it in your eyes, blinding you from the facts? Then they're just having fun with you.
This ever-changing industry of Digital Marketing has a lot of talkers, a lot of "experts" who want to tell you how much they know. They like to impress you with current trends they think they know and can discuss the technology in a way that enlightens, but actually confuses you.
In reality, if you want to get through this Digital Marketing tunnel successfully, find someone who knows where to point the flashlight so that you can be sure you're taking the right steps. Someone who's willing to walk with you.
That's something we at Henderson Web Solutions are passionate about doing. We've been in this tunnel for a while now and have some interesting experiences we can share with you. So let's have a conversation.
It’s the hap-hap-happiest season of all...
Let’s face it, in North America holiday shopping is basically what keeps our economy going.
How important is holiday shopping? Take a look at these figures showing holiday sales as a percentage of annual sales by sector:
If you’re a shopkeeper reading up on marketing techniques to increase revenue, keep calm and try not to succumb to holiday stress by throwing your hands up in the air, taking to the rum and eggnog, or having a meltdown like Chevy Chase on Christmas Vacation.
Our gift to you this year is the following list of 7 merry ways for stores to get shoppers more in the holiday spirit and increase holiday sales.
1.) Holiday Marketing Campaigns
Retail store owners have traditionally seen an increase in their sales this time of year, but with an ever-changing landscape of retail shopping due to the rise in popularity of online and mobile shopping, shopkeepers must go beyond simply offering store sales and discounts when planning their holiday marketing strategies.
While it’s great to offer customers discounts, coupons, sales & specials, embracing more multi-channel marketing techniques is definitely something to consider.
According to a recent survey, 71% of shoppers who use mobile apps browse products online, then physically go to the store to make their purchases. If your store doesn’t have an app or your products aren’t online, holiday shoppers might not be aware of your inventory or specials and might miss out altogether.
As a retail store owner, decide which holidays are most relevant to your business and plan your holiday marketing campaign around those days. It’s important to understand your market, so you know what audience to target your ads toward and which dates correspond accordingly.
Admail, flyers, catalogues, postcards, and brochures are all things Henderson Printing are able to help with. For more information contact us today for a free consultation.
2.) Email Marketing & eCatalogues
If your business doesn’t have an online store, multi-channel marketing allows for holiday shoppers to browse either online or at home and then make their purchases in-store.
If you decide to advertise online, consider the following:
A recent study by Custora found that email marketing, third only behind online search (organic and paid), was a dominant marketing channel in 2014 accounting for 17.7% of online eCommerce orders, nearly 10x that of all social media combined.
Seeing as how social media campaigns seem to be the preferred tactic among small and medium-sized businesses, you might want to consider devising a more effective strategy. But remember, direct marketing (such as traditional admail) still accounted for a higher percentage than both coming in at 24.9%.
Keeping with online browsing and email marketing stats, eCatalogues are something your business might also want to consider.
Although it might seem catalogues may be falling by the wayside or going the same route as phone books and newspapers, imagine recapturing the enthusiasm people once had for catalogue shopping.
eCatalogues are a great way to showcase your products. Plus, it makes little sense not to repurpose the successful marketing techniques of yesteryear re-presented in a shiny new gift wrap of nostalgia.
If you’re a do-it-yourself business owner with a knack for design or are familiar with programs like InDesign and Photoshop, you might like to create your own catalogue. But if not, have no worries, you can always hire us to create one for you.
Once you have your eCatalogue, distribute it as you please. Throw a link up to it on your website or distribute it to your mailing list in the form of a PDF, and watch sales increase.
If you do decide to go this avenue, just remember (if you haven’t done so already), to start keeping a database of your customers to build mailing list in advance.
3.) Free Holiday Gifts
Who doesn’t like receiving gifts? Especially during the holidays.
Free calendars, gift certificates, and inventory items (such as apparel) for shoppers are all wonderful promotional ideas, either with purchase or in-store.
Check out Henderson Printing’s marketing materials section, or design your own and have them shipped right to your door.
4.) Create Holiday Gift Cards
If you’re anything like the majority of other holiday shoppers, you never know what to get anyone, always procrastinate, and leave everything to last minute.
As of August 2015 these are the most popular holiday gift items consumers plan to shop for in Canada this season:
Offering gift cards for sale in your store can help satisfy this demand, as well as appeal to a large demographic of holiday shoppers. Stylize gift cards with festive designs and notify customers in your marketing campaigns (both online & print) to let shoppers know your store now offers gift cards.
For more information on adding gift certificates to your marketing materials, contact us today for a free consultation.
5.) Offer to Gift Wrap Customer’s Purchases
Save your customers valuable time and make extra cash by offering to wrap their purchases.
Wrapping paper and ribbons not only inspire gift giving, but if you buy your supplies on a budget such as at a store like Dollarama, can be offered rather frugally on your part as well. Plus, it helps out the ones who are entirely unable to wrap presents.
Have the option available at the cash and ask each customer.
6.) Decorate Your Store
Making your retail store (not to mention online store or website) look festive is one sure way to get shoppers in the door.
Nothing says Christmas like beautiful decorations, and if your store is nicely decorated customers are more likely to want to do their shopping there. You can decorate rather inexpensively if you shop at discount stores and use your imagination.
Put on your favourite Christmas album. Have a model train set at home? Try to incorporate that somehow. Make it all about the atmosphere.
7.) Host Special Holiday Events
Throw a Christmas party, shindig, or box social. Hot cocoa and marshmallows. Have a parade, or build your own version of Santa’s Workshop.
It’s the holidays! Get creative, have fun. Most importantly, get shoppers together and give something valuable back to your community. Good tidings and cheer for all to be had.
In need of help implementing any of the above or not exactly sure how? Contact us today for a free consultation.