Websites, Emails and Ancient Rome

Updated: Aug 15

Websites

  1. It’s an overview of what you do, how/when you do it, who you are, where you are, how much($) and your uniqueness.

  2. Your why (the deep stuff) is not essential. It will only help if it is AUTHENTIC. Meaning if you open a restaurant to give-back-to-the-community and you're not saying how you're GIVING BACK it will sound FAKE

  3. Your easy to understand and easy to buy from.

  4. It's an Anchor in a rough ocean of Information Overload. (Yes fluffy, but i couldn't resist)

Websites start with Design then Usability then Information Architecture then Words are added last. Being last-in-line means words are not always given the importance they deserve. Don’t let this happen to you. And make sure they reflect ‘your voice’ and style, not a wishy-washy professionalism.


Trust People do not trust the internet or websites. However, they want to trust you. So make it easy for them by using;

  • photos of you, (not models)

  • valuable content (hard to get elsewhere)

  • your point-of-view?

  • where you are

  • multiple ways you can be contacted

  • information about you

This last point -Information about you- can be tricky. Most people don't include enough. This is understandable as they want to CONCENTRATE on the CUSTOMER. Although this is correct, it doesn't START with the customer. SELLING starts with YOU. Your ABOUT ME page is more popular than you think. Because before they trust your product or service, they need to trust you.


So many Cafes make the mistake of only posting food photos. I CAN GET FOOD ANYWHERE. Who. Are. YOU. What's the vibe. Community noticeboard. International magazines. Newspapers. Sponsor the local footy team. Back garden. Mulch your waste. Eco practices ...


Graphic Design - don't drown your message

The purpose of hiring a Graphic Designer is to help your audience understand your message. Not to win them a Graphic Design award, by building a BEAUTIFUL but hard to use website. (Yes, I learnt the hard way).

Graphics are not essential.

Design can be effective with simple formatting such as;

Bolding

Italics

underlining

font size

Indenting

  • bullets

Links and White Space


Email

Telephone first then email with this subject line;

1. Hi, we just spoke. Here is…

2. Hi, I just left a phone message. Here is…

3. Hi, I just spoke to xxxxx, (coworker) Here is…

Now your Email has a better chance of being opened, read and taken seriously

You’re a Stand Out.


Automated Emails

Beware of automation. If your gathering email addresses, just to throw words at people it could backfire.

Is the message valuable? Who is determining 'value'? This is where Small Business can Power Up by personalizing emails (phone/email combo- see above).

Big Business can 'segment' their customers, but that’s as far as they can go

It’s about the message, not the technology Finding quality information to include is a difficult task. If you constantly produce ‘dodgy’ writing, it could harm your brand. Less is More

NoReply Emails

Sent by Big Businesses (and silly small businesses) that want to TALK AT you. And don’t want you to ‘talk back’. Small Businesses can excel with email, by talking WITH people and creating authentic relationships.

Newsletters

Newsletters were the original form of newspapers. In Ancient Rome newsletters were carved in wood or metal and posted in public places. Cool hey?


When we subscribe to a website we receive newsletters. They’re a brilliant way to stay in touch with people.

The great thing about newsletters is that most of the articles don’t have to be great.

As long as the reader can scan all the Article Headings, in 10 seconds or less, they won’t unsubscribe. Because 'good' articles will eventually come and it only 'costs' the reader 10 seconds a week. Brilliant !

How to do Newsletters;

  • Have 3 to 5 stories with scanable Headings with 3 explanatory lines under each

  • Fancy design is not necessary, valuable content is key

  • Beware. If your newsletter becomes too 'salesy', people will unsubscribe

  • Don't describe a product (e.g. software) as super-easy-to-use. Coffee Cups are super easy to use. Software is not

Have Fun ! Newsletters don’t only have to be about business topics. If you could produce a quality, Fun things to do this weekend newsletter, it’s value could be immense. Any type of Business could produce this. Why? Because everyone wants to do fun things this weekend! People know you are trying to 'sell', so don't Every 4th Newsletter could simply be a Joke. They know who you are, they just need a reminder. But remember, the funny thing about Jokes is, umm, they have to be funny.

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