We are excited to announce the release of our new newsletter system. This new system is built upon a more robust platform and has a number of new options.
Tracking Your Newsletters
When you spend a good deal of time drafting and sending out newsletters each week, it is important to be able to track the results of your efforts. With our new newsletter system you can track the number of newsletters that were delivered, opened, clicked and bounced. Using this great feature in conjunction with Google Analytics can help you see whether users are clicking through from your email to the right pages on your site.
It is easy to add a link to your newsletter for users to unsubscribe themselves. You can also view your total number of inactive subscribers vs. subscribers that are currently active. Save your subscribers in different newsletter groups so you can make sure each newsletter is sent to the right audience.
Timing is important when it comes to sending out newsletters. Which day and time is best depends on your audience, but sending out newsletters at the wrong time can result in a wasted effort. With our system you can schedule your newsletters to be sent at a future date so that when the right time comes, your newsletter is sent automatically.
Our new newsletter system comes with 6 basic templates to choose from that are easy to modify. Once you have a newsletter design you like, you can save the design as a template to use for future newsletters. If you are interested, we can also design a custom newsletter template that matches the style and design of your website.
If you would like to learn more about how to upgrade to our new newsletter system, please contact us or fill out our request form and we will get back with you shortly.
When starting out as an online merchant it may be difficult to justify setting up a payment gateway such as Authorize.net.
A few things that may go through your head. There are monthly fees and extra costs per transaction. What if my site is slow to take off? Yet another account and monthly cost to deal with.
New merchants don't usually start off with a large number of online sales so you may think it is easier to key transactions in your terminal.
Did you know that it will likely cost more to manually process payments than it would to use Authorize.net
As a merchant you have different rates and fees based on the type of transaction or the card type used.
Most transactions processed through Authorize.net receive a qualified rate and manual payments will be assessed at a non qualified rate.
Here is an example to look at.
Lets say you sell $6,000.00 a month. If your average order is $60.00 this equates to 100 orders. Authorize.net charges around $15 a month for their gateway fee plus 5 cents per transaction. (Authorize.net cost would be 15+5 = $20 for the month.)
manual transaction - $6,000 x 3.14 (non-qualified rate) = $188.40
Authorize.net - $6,000 x 1.65 (qualified rate) $99 + ($20 Authorize.net fees) = $119 You would save nearly $70 a month in fees with a qualified rate by using Authorize.net
Actual rates and fees are based on sales volume. If you are interested in finding out more please contact us at 1-800-941-0645
We often get the question, when is the best time to get started with online marketing and SEO services? There really isn’t one catch all answer to this question. It often depends on how established your online presence is and what your company goals are. Here is a quick guide to understanding where online marketing fits in no matter where you are at with your website.
You don’t have a website yet:
This is the ideal time to get started with online marketing. Those of our clients who start working with the online marketing team from Day 1 of their web design process receive a lot of benefits that others do not. For example, one of our clients met with us before their website design was ready. We were able to go over some of the goals they had for their website and their company’s unique selling points so that we could emphasize those things in the layout of their site. We then made an organizational chart to help them decide the most logical layout for their users to find what they are looking for, leaving room for future content creation and additions to the site.
Have a current website that you want redesigned:
This is also a great time to start working with us in creating your online marketing strategy. When you choose to begin marketing services before your current website is redesigned we can help prevent you from losing any of your current website’s rank and authority. We can help transfer any past SEO work and data from your current website to the new one. Allowing us to help move content over for you gives us a chance to optimize your site as we go. This saves you time and money because it is faster for us to move content over and do on page optimization at the same time rather than moving the content over to the new website and then going in afterwards and optimizing each page.
Another benefit to getting started with SEO at this stage is it allows us to do some user testing on your old site to find out which things were working well and which things need to be changed about your new site to provide a better user experience.
Have a brand new website:
People who are at this stage often feel they want to wait until their website is more established before beginning their online marketing journey with us. This is a mistake, however, because SEO is a never ending uphill battle to make it to the top of the ranks and to provide the most valuable content that makes your readers coming back for more. When we help someone who is at this stage, we can kind of give them get a jumpstart on their traffic by helping set up social media pages, beginning Adwords campaigns, and evaluating which parts of their site could use more content.
Have a well established website:
As you can see, there are many benefits to beginning your online marketing strategy before you get to this point. But if you fall under this category, don’t worry, there is always plenty more that can be done. If you have already started an Adwords campaign, we can go in and look at your past results and research keywords that will save you money and reach more people. When one of our clients decided to switch to us for their Adwords management, we were able to save them about $9,000 within a couple of months. Of course everyone has a different budget when it comes to paid advertising, but we can help you get the most for your money. We can also help add quality, shareable content to your social media pages, and write new content for your website with your reader’s best interests in mind. Depending on your business’ goals, we will customize our services to help you maintain a competitive marketing advantage each month.
SEO & online marketing is very much an ongoing process. Although we do offer SEO packages, there is no one time package that guarantees you’ll get the best results. We would love put our expertise to work for you, contact us today to learn more!
A payment gateway is the service that processes credit card transactions for you when your customers are purchasing from your online store. The user fills out the secure online form with their credit card number and shipping / billing information. The Online store sends the credit card information to your payment gateway to authorize the transaction and process the payment. The gateway checks to see if the card is stolen or expired among other security checks. If the credit card information submitted to the payment gateway matches the information on file with the credit card company and the charge is approved the payment gateway will then transfer the money from your customers credit card into your merchant account.
Velocity Web Works has integrated with the following payment gateways : Authorize.net, Elavon, protect Pay and PxPay.
A merchant account is essentially an online bank account that temporarily holds the merchants money until it is moved to the bank account. After a successful sale, funds will be transferred into your merchant account and it will sit there between 1 and 3 days then it will automatically be transferred into your bank account.
If you missed out on our July 2nd Webinar, we have made it available for you here! This webinar goes over the basics of creating an online marketing strategy, how to identify your businesses unique selling proposition, and using message amplifiers like social media to reach out to the masses. The first 30 minutes or so include a presentation and the last portion is a Q&A session about SEO & Online marketing.
Dan Purcell has worked with hundreds of small businesses and is the Author of "The Quilter's Online Marketing Handbook." This book is the perfect hands on guide for creating a marketing strategy that actually brings value to your company. Listen to the end of the video for a quick inside look at what is included in the book and find your copy at The Quilt Pattern Shoppe.
Jennifer Reid is a Google certified SEO and online marketing specialist at Websites for Quilter's with experience in helping small businesses optimize their websites and reach their full potential.
Continue Reading for a written summary of the video:
5 Steps to a Winning Marketing Strategy:
Clear understanding of your goals
What’s your “Unique Selling Proposition”
Identify Message Amplifiers
Process to convert Visitors to Customers
Determine how to best structure website content to appeal to searchers
It’s good to have the answer to these questions written out and clear so that everyone on your team can know them. These help us to understand our goals and the purpose of our marketing efforts.
In the past when someone would come to us saying they needed help with their online marketing, we would jump in and say, “Oh! You need to be doing Facebook. You need to do Google Adwords, you need to do blogging...” and we would start rattling off a bunch of stuff to do without the real context of understanding what their real goal was. So what we’re trying to emphasize today is online marketing is not a checklist of things to do and not to do. It’s more about planning and strategy, and thinking through these 5 steps.
Now when someone comes to us, we will ask them these 5 questions. As we go through this process it’s no longer a checklist of whether they are posting on Facebook (or whatever it may be), it’s now asking, does it makes sense for your business to be posting on Facebook? and if so what kind of quality posts will be the most effective. It makes your online marketing a lot more effective when you have a clear strategy.
What’s Your “Unique Selling Proposition?”
Your unique selling proposition is what makes you better than your competitors. For example in the quilt world, this could be that you offer the lowest prices, the most unique fabrics or you have a line that nobody else can offer, or maybe you offer 24 hour customer service. It’s things like that and things that your customers perceive as bringing more value that make your business stand out above the competition.
Sometimes being different is just as good as being better. If you offer long arm quilting services, there are a lot of long arm quilting companies, but you can stand out from the rest of them by being different and unique. You can have your own personality, designs, your own online tutorials, or anything that makes users remember you and makes you stand out in their minds.
Another way you can stand out from the crowd is to develop a better system. That means either your customer service is better, your fabric is better, your online checkout is better, etc. Even if your products and prices might not be better, it’s easier for users to purchase from you. Fulfilling orders faster, more efficiently, and without error is another way you can stand out.
Once you know your unique selling proposition, this is something you are really going to want to promote and focus your marketing efforts on. This is a very creative process and something that takes a lot of internal thought, but probably one of the most important steps to being effective online is to come up with a reason why anyone would want to do business with you over someone else.
Identify Message Amplifiers
Identifying your message amplifiers helps us understand what we can use to help reach the masses. There are hundreds of potential message amplifiers out there. Some examples include:
These are all effective message amplifiers that can help us better keep in touch with and reach out to our customers, and more importantly our potential customers.
Social Media Marketing
This is one of the many ways to get your message out to the masses. When it comes to social media it’s not about the quantity of posts, it’s not about just being on Facebook and blabbing, it’s the type of things you say. And it takes a lot of creative energy to do it effectively.
Be Emotional! Not Promotional! Use the 80 - 20 rule with 80 percent educational, or entertaining, or emotional content and 20 percent promotional posts
For promotional posts try to promote engagement by saying things more conversationally. Instead of saying “Buy our new…” you could say “What do you think of…”
Make it Clever! Be Creative!
Watch the webinar recording for more great ideas and examples!