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Is Your Website Secure-315

Is Your Website Secure?

Is Your Website Secure-315
The only constant about the Internet is that it’s always changing. Web standards evolve over time, which demand new best practices businesses need to address. Older sites that fail to adapt to these changes find themselves extremely vulnerable to malware and security exploits.

You can never reach a 100% secure site, as zero-day exploits and sophisticated attacks can be difficult to predict and protect against. However, regularly reviewing and updating the measures you have in place will mitigate the risk from the most common vulnerabilities.

The IRS, Yahoo! and the Department of Justice are a few of the many organizations which had security breaches in 2016. Take a proactive approach in handling your website security to have the best chances of avoiding a costly intrusion.

Here are a few of the most common factors that create a vulnerable website:

The website’s age: Typically, a company doesn’t go back and completely revamp the website’s coding as it gets older. As web standards change, old code gains security holes that hackers can use to gain access to sensitive resources.

  • Security updates: Your website needs proactive checks and updates to keep it strong against the latest security problems. If you only look into security after you have a breach or run into another issue, it’s too late.
  • A common trap that website owners fall into is relying entirely on SSL technology to keep data safe. While it’s effective at encrypting the information that’s transmitted to and from the website, it doesn’t cover every vulnerability point.

A good rule of thumb is upgrading to a new website every 4 years. This brings your site up to current web protocols for programming and security standards, and it allows you to modernize your code to better serve your website visitors.

These security strategies aren’t fool-proof, as any size business runs the risk of getting hacked, but they help.

Digital Hill offers a security review that checks web standards, provides monitoring for website vulnerabilities and fixes security loopholes that hackers love. These services cover an hour of work as well as basic updates. Any additional services are available at a 25% discount. The age of your site determines the overall cost. The goal is to guarantee your site is using the latest security protocols as they develop.

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Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com -315

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth

Our Newest Website BalancedGrowth.com -315Crisp, clean, and to-the-point, the website created for Chicago consulting firm Balanced Growth is succinct, professional and client-focused. Over the course of 5 decades, Balanced Growth’s mission has been to provide long-lasting value and innovative operations solutions to clients in the insurance, healthcare, nonprofit, financial, and associations sectors. Our newest website BalancedGrowth.com serves as an excellent introduction to the firm and its services.

Overall Design

The site’s design is based on simplicity, tight organization and a user-friendliness. This is especially evident on the homepage. Right below the header and navigation is a dynamic rotating gallery. Hence, the images and copy draw users to the business’s services page.

The site is sectioned into 4 distinct parts: footer, news, BG360, Transformation Method, and Consulting Services. Leading visitors to learn more about their services. These sections break up the page while presenting the firm’s most crucial services in a digestible format.

The predominate colors of this site are blue, black, white, and hints of orange. In essence, reflecting the site’s themes of intelligence, innovation, creativity, and professionalism. The color scheme is subdued, used conservatively and is never distracting. Blue and orange (a classic color combination) gently highlight standout text and ideas on pages.

Responsiveness

Mobile responsiveness is an important feature is today’s web. Balancedgrowth.com has a responsive design with an easy-to-follow flow when viewing on mobile.

Javascript and Jquery allow every main feature of the site to be flexible and responsive. This enables the content to be viewed and interacted with on multiple screen sizes. For example, the navigation bar. On the desktop, it stretches across the screen. On a mobile device, it is condensed into a more manageable drop-down menu on mobile.

This approach allows users on smartphones and tablets to have access to the same content as desktop users. Since much of the modern business world uses mobile, Balanced Growth Consulting will reach more potential customers with a responsive site design.

The Tools Behind the Website

The attractive user interface can keep visitors on a site. However, it’s the background website tools that attracts the site’s visitors and keep it running. On Digital Hill’s CMS interface, admins can edit and preview the site’s pages and their content.

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Galleries

In the CMS, you can edit the image galleries on the site by:

  • Adding or removing images
  • Changing URLs the images link to
  • Editing gallery transitions

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Pages

Updating or changing the content of a page, re-ordering pages or creating new pages is accomplished with a few clicks in the CMS.

SEO

SEO serves as the traffic driver on a website. With the CMS, you can add keywords to the page meta description as needed.

Does this sound like a website your business could use? Contact Digital Hill for more information.

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Online Calendar Booking Tools

Scheduling meetings or paid appointments can be one of the most tedious and frustrating tasks in your business life, particularly with a lot of emails back and forth sharing dates and times blindly. Thankfully, these days there are much better options available to simplify this task.

Let’s dive into a few key online calendar booking tools:

Calendly

Features include the ability to integrate your calendars with iCloud or Office 365. Calendly can be used anywhere – it’s cloud-based and can be used on any device including your phone, desktop PC, and tablet. It gives your whole team the ability to display their availability.  Specific features include:

  • 30 Day Calendar Integration
  • Simple, Modern Interface
  • Fully Optimized for all Devices
  • Notifications
  • Retain Privacy and Control
  • Team Scheduling
  • Group Events
  • Works the Way your Invitees Do
  • Speedy, Helpful Email Support

You can use Calendly free for 14 days, and it has a freemium option after the trial. Or upgrade to the premium option at $8 a month. For more options and features, you may need the Pro which is $12 a month. It includes everything but the kitchen sink, from calendar integration to personalized links as well as metrics based reporting.

YouCanBook.Me

YouCanBook.Me is one of the more popular websites to use for scheduling. Some of the most notable “brands” that use them include Uber, User testing, and Shopify. The two have very similar features and support. One features that differentiates YouCanBook.Me from Calendly is that it can be integrated with connecting tool Zapier to allow for more integrations with additional tools you might use. Specific features include:

  • Embed your booking page on your website
  • Share your booking page online
  • Confirmations
  • Take credit card payments for paid appointments
  • Upload logos and images
  • Control how your google calendar events look
  • Use iCloud with YouCanBook.me
  • Send your notification emails via your Gmail
  • Mail merge style text substitution
  • Fixed start and end dates
  • Integrate directly with Google or Apple calendars
  • Shorthand codes
  • Minimum / maximum advance notice to book
  • Get your own reminders for your bookings
  • Mobile friendly grids
  • Different length appointments
  • SMS / text messages
  • Set the schedule for the week
  • Configurable booking forms
  • Cancellations and rescheduling
  • Custom booking URL

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YouCanBook.Me also has 3 payment plans, monthly for $10, yearly for $108 and 2 years for $192 per calendar, which is a 20% discount.

Acuity Scheduling

This scheduling tool sends out notifications when a new appointment is booked, canceled or even if someone is going to be late, but this one also integrates with many more apps and sites than the first two. Integrations include; Stripe, Square, PayPal, Zappier, API, Quickbooks, Xero, Aweber and even WordPress.

  • Client self-scheduling
  • Advertise unlimited services and appointments
  • Handy text message notifications
  • Worldwide text message notifications
  • Use your logo
  • Customize with your company colors
  • Edit all app text so it sounds just like you
  • Automatic time zone conversion
  • Automatic reminder emails

Online Calendar Booking Tools

This is a really robust app, but the paid options are geared towards larger businesses and corporations, rather than home-based or small businesses. They do have a free option with limited features. A $10 a month option for just you in one location. The Growing Business Plan is $19 a month for 6 people in different locations and has an SMS feature. The largest plan is $34 a month, gives you the ability to include 36 people on the account.

Doodle

Doodle is a good option for any business, small or large. Like the other programs above, it has full integration, can send out automatic reminders and notifications when someone cancels or makes a new appointment.

  • Easy scheduling
  • Connect your calendar
  • Send automatic reminders
  • See who is missing
  • Request additional information
  • End-to-end SSL encryption
  • Ads-free
  • Custom design
  • Custom subdomain
  • User management

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Doodle is a little more expensive than the other options, but they have a free option. Free for one user; this will be enough for people that want to keep track of their own personal appointments, meetings, etc. The Private option is $39 a year, it does have more features, but you can still only use it for 1 person. The Business option is $69 a year, for business, and you can add more people to the account. However, the cost also goes up significantly.

Booking calendars can practically eliminate the tedious back and forth of booking meetings and appointments. Reduce frustration for you and your customers and try one out.

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Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices

Best Social Media Customer Service Practices-315Thanks to technology, it’s now easier than ever to build relationships with your client base—or is it? While new technology has certainly given us more ways to connect with potential customers, it also comes with its own rules and learning curves. Don’t assume that having the hottest gadgets or using the latest apps will automatically put you a step ahead of the competition. You’ll also have to make sure you’re employing the right strategies to use those tools effectively. Otherwise, you might as well still be cold calling from a phone book.

Social media is one of the best examples to illustrate this concept. Practically every established
business out there has Facebook and Twitter pages by now, but look at the numbers and you’ll
see that some brands have much greater success across these platforms than others when it
comes to key factors like customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other social media platforms out there, each with their own uses. Figuring out how to make the best possible use of each one can be overwhelming—so let’s start slowly. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your social media customer service practices across the board:

Choose the platforms that work for your business

As we mentioned previously, there are plenty of different social media platforms out there—in
addition to Facebook and Twitter, there’s also LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and a whole host
of others. Before you drive yourself crazy for the next week setting up accounts for each, do a
bit of research into what platforms are most likely to help you interact with your audience. The answers will vary widely depending on factors like the size of your company, the demographics
you’re trying to reach, and of course, the products or services that you provide.

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Monitor your engagements

Good customer service is great for growing your brand, and if that’s one of your goals then you need to know how often your brand is being talked about—and by whom. Without this crucial marketing data, you leave yourself no room to develop—there’s no telling how to move forward when you don’t know where you currently stand.

All major brands already do this, and every startup with serious ambitions should. Look for resources that can help you track mentions, likes, and other forms of engagement.

Pay attention to feedback

Communication with your audience isn’t a one-way street, and most social media platforms give your customers ample opportunities to speak back to you about the quality of your products or services. In addition to monitoring the number of times you’re being mentioned, you should also pay close attention to the context—are people talking about you because they’re thrilled with your brand, or are they upset about a major flaw in your business model?

In either case, your customers’ opinions can be extremely useful. Good feedback is an excellent way to find quotes for testimonials, whereas negative feedback might alert you to a correctable error before it sinks your company entirely.

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Always respond appropriately

Stay clear, composed, and professional no matter what platform you use. As well as, no matter how many people are talking about your brand and what they’re saying about you. The anonymity of the internet makes it very easy to fire off a retort when somebody gets under your skin. However, remember that you’re not anonymous when you’re representing a brand.

The news is full of examples of businesses who have lost customers and damaged their credibility with a short-tempered social media posting, including a Las Vegas pizzeria that threatened one customer for posting a negative Yelp review. Train whoever represents your business on social media to have some basic negotiating skills—it could save you from a scandal down the road.

Social media can be an extraordinarily powerful tool, but it’s a double-edged sword and you need to handle it with care. Wasting your energy on platforms that don’t work for your brand, failing to monitor customer engagements, ignoring feedback, or responding to it inappropriately can all do more harm than good.

Keep our suggestions in mind, though, and you should be able to connect with your customers while avoiding these common mistakes. We look forward to seeing you and your brand on the web!

Website Development for Hurricane Boats and Godfrey Pontoon Boats

Website Development for Hurricane Boats and Godfrey Pontoon Boats

Website Development for Hurricane Boats and Godfrey Pontoon BoatsManaging multiple websites separately can be a pain for a marketing team. With different logins and possibly dealing with different content management systems, it is hard to create a cohesive multi-site strategy.

A multi-site web system simplifies things. You use one login to access all sites. Under one account, you are granted the power to edit, add to, and modify multiple domains as you wish. The layouts, promotions, content of any site is congregated on one single online interface. No switching between sites and multiple logins is involved. You can still keep sites and their individual purposes and content separate with different domains while keeping your brand’s uniqueness across all sites.

Website Development for Hurricane Boats and Godfrey Pontoon Boats-2

The Many Features of the New Multi-Website System

Both Hurricane Boats and its sister-site Godfrey Pontoon Boats have a similar theme and style. This allows users to quickly find the boat information they are interested in.  Let’s take a quick look at the shared features of these beautiful sites to see the benefits of multi-site management in action.

Website Development for Hurricane Boats and Godfrey Pontoon Boats-3

Gallery

Each site’s home page features an eye-catching home page rotating image gallery that showcases the boat models and provides a quick link to their page. The team can easily update and re-order any of these images, therefore, keeping the site fresh and current.

Promotions Management

Using Godfrey Pontoon Boats as an example, we can see how easy it is to promote events and sales with the system. The site has a special area right below the boat models section for promotions and sales. This highly visible area is easily updated at any time with the system. So it can be kept current throughout the year.

Footer

Each footer is “sticky” and fixed in place at the bottom of the screen on desktop devices. This keeps important links front and center when scrolling. The footer serves as quick access to two important features:

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  • Build a Boat
    The Build a Boat tool lets visitors build their dream boat within an affordable price range. This is a powerful tool that gives users a reason to stay on your site longer. They can literally select their boat with all the custom color and feature combinations, and then see their boat before they order it! In addition, lead capture is implemented into the tool. Users create an account and save their boat design. In this action, their information is collected. As a result, they can be contacted by a dealer nearest to them.
  • Find Your Dealer
    With the Find Your Dealer tool, the move from dream to reality moves is initiated. By providing location and desired boat model, prospects are able to locate dealers near them. Hence, easily to see boats they have in stock or to discuss their pre-select build-a-boat unit.

The Compare Models Tool

Both sites present its various models to visitors on the homepage with a series of image links. The links take visitors to the Compare Model tool where more detailed information on a boat model can be found.

Layouts, a unique description for the model in question,  and specs give prospective buyers an idea of what the final product will look like and how the model will serve their needs. Through the tool, a buyer may compare the luxurious Sanpan series pontoon to the family-friendly Sweetwater.

Video

Both sites feature a video section to show off the product. The system allows you to update these videos as needed.

The beauty of a multi-website system comes is evident when you consider each site’s individuality. Although they maintain some uniformity, they have different feels and styles.

Hurricane Boats is all about action and excitement. The design for users who wish to feel “energized, exhilarated and adventurous.”  Users feel the urge to hop on the Hurricane and take a ride. In contrast, Godfrey Pontoon Boats is more subdued with a Cinzel font, a greyish-blue color scheme and an emphasis on community rather than the individual.

Using a multi-website system, Hurricane Boats is equipped to get more boats and their new owners on the water. Do you need a multi-website system for your business? Contact us.

How to use Facebook Live Video to drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page - 315

How to Use Facebook Live Video to Drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page

How to use Facebook Live Video to drive Social Media Traffic to your Landing Page - 315Although live video apps like Periscope have been around since 2015, it wasn’t until 2016 that they took center stage, all thanks to Facebook’s Live video feature. Since its introduction, Live Video has been used for many reasons from every day to controversial.

As a business, your usage of live video should focus on driving traffic to your landing page through social media engagement. However, doing a live video is not easy at the start especially when anything can happen live. You need to prepare to minimize any unwanted surprises, and you’ll also need to know exactly why you’re going live.

Events coverage and product launches are a couple of good reasons to go live on Facebook. But whatever your reason is, here are the questions to ask yourself for a successful campaign:

What’s it about?

Choose a topic to build your video around. Plan what you want to present, and practice over and over until you come across as natural as possible. Yes, it’s live, but it can still be scripted (though it shouldn’t look scripted). Your live video reflects on your business, so it has to be an accurate depiction of the image you want people to see. Dress well, use good lighting, and use a smartphone with a good camera. If your shots are shaky, invest in a small tripod.

When are you broadcasting?

Owners of verified Facebook Pages can schedule live videos and give fans a heads up. But even if you don’t have a verified page, you can announce your upcoming broadcast with an attention-grabbing poster. Mention the time, date, and the topic to give fans something to look forward to. Share the image on your page and other social media sites. Take out a Facebook ad if you want a wider reach outside your current fan base.

Why are you doing the recording?

When you do your broadcast, don’t forget to add the landing page link in the caption live video caption. If the URL is long, shorten it on bit.ly or goo.gl, or create a simple permalink. You can also use LeadPages, a landing page tool to create a domain redirecting to the page. This makes it easy for you to read the link out loud to your viewers, and makes it easy for them to remember. It doesn’t hurt to tell them what they can expect to see and do when they visit your landing page. Is it a contest? A new product reveal? Give them a reason to click on the link.

How are you getting more out of it?

A live video on Facebook isn’t necessarily over when you’re done streaming. For those who missed your broadcast, they can catch up once Facebook publishes the video on your feed as a regular post. Pin the video to the top of your page to make it easy to spot. Next, get the URL of the video post and share it across all your social media sites, not just Facebook. As for the video itself, you can upload it to sites like YouTube and Vimeo. You can also upload a teaser clip to Snapchat or Instagram.

Facebook Live is only one of the many tools you can use to drive increased traffic to your landing page.  Check out the linked guide to see what other effective means you have at your disposal.

New LinkedIn Layout

The New LinkedIn Layout

New LinkedIn LayoutWhen it comes to social media platforms, there have been big winners, big losers, and those that just sort of lurk in the background.

With 1 billion+ active users, Facebook is clearly at the head of the pack, while MySpace has virtually vanished, and is definitely in the rear. LinkedIn has, in recent years at least, been somewhere in the middle, with occasional rumors of trouble in digital paradise.

This year, however, LinkedIn seems determined to revamp its image. A big part of that is the new layout and design. Here’s what you need to know.

A Familiar Look and Feel

One of the biggest changes in the LinkedIn platform is actually a move towards copying other platforms. The world’s professional networking platform now looks more like its peers. Conversations, status updates, and similar user-generated content are firmly at the forefront. It feels more familiar, even to newbies, and it seems like a step in the right direction.

Better Metrics

A positive change in the LinkedIn platform is in the metrics, which are improved, and give users more information they can use. Again, this is more in line with what users expect from other platforms.

Simple Messaging

Another move towards twinning with other social media platforms is to make messaging other users simpler. This is a nice change, and again, makes the suited and booted version of the social network a little more user-friendly for everyone.

Streamlined and Familiar

All in all, from the focus on news streams to the layout and the trending topics, the new look LinkedIn looks a lot like Facebook. That’s actually a great thing. While we all know you shouldn’t be sharing snaps of your lunch or the color of your aura on a professional network, it’s nice just to be able to log in and get things done, without having to figure them out.

By following the pack, LinkedIn may well have solved some of their biggest user friendliness problems.

The Next Step?

LinkedIn was built on the concept that people would be willing to pay for premium membership. Their business model has always been centered on this. However, premium membership is not a priority for most average users, so the platform may well be missing their last trick there.

A shift to focus on paid advertising and increased job-related services, while making the rest of the platform free may well be the solution to the company’s rumored financial woes. It will be interesting to see if they copy Facebook’s model here too.

Until then, however, there’s no doubt that this service looks much better, and is much easier to use. Well done LinkedIn!

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How Mobile Internet Use Impacts Lead Capture on Websites- 315

How Mobile Internet Use Impacts Lead Capture on Websites

How Mobile Internet Use Impacts Lead Capture on Websites- 315Increasingly, internet browsing happens on the small screen. Mobile devices are now considered the most popular vehicle for browsing the internet, surpassing desktop web browsing use.

This means that it is likely that the first contact prospective buyers have with your site will be facilitated by a mobile device. This growing tide of mobile users is unlikely to change any time soon.

To keep up with the times, many businesses need to change their lead capture strategies to make them mobile user-friendly. Let’s look at forms for an example of why (and how) your lead capture strategy should be altered for the mobile user.

Forms

Forms are a crucial lead capture tool. Site visitors (often prospects and potential customers) fill out the fields and leave important information – names, addresses, phone numbers, businesses, and roles at their companies.

With these questions answered, you now have your user profile data.When you have a well-designed form, it’s easy for visitors to click on each field with their mouse and type in information with a keyboard.

However, that’s assuming your visitor actually found your site using a “traditional” desktop to browse the internet. What if users came to the site through a mobile device?

Crowding too much content on a small screen will likely frustrate your visitor and cause them to back out and move on to your competition. If they can’t see it, or have to “pinch and zoom”, studies show they leave. In that instant, you’ve probably lost a customer.

For forms, always be aware of ways you can narrow down the number of fields.  “Less is more” applies here.  The lesser the number of fields, the more users will complete the form, especially on a mobile device.

How to Change Your Lead Capture Strategy for Mobile

Think Small

Your content must be planned and optimized with small screens in mind. Users access the internet primarily through smartphones and other mobile devices. With so much potential traffic coming from mobile users, your web design should follow some basic rules.

  • Short paragraphs and bullet points
  • Headlines should precede paragraphs
  • Important parts of the content should be placed at the beginning where it is most visible and has the highest chance of being read.

Simplify CTAs

With limited available space, your calls to action should not be too long. Leave only the essentials for an effective and appealing CTA.

  • Images should look good and fit well on the screen
  • Clickable text should be easy to click
  • Utilize images like buttons if necessary

Use of Hyperlinked Phone Numbers

With mobile users, if it isn’t easy, they are likely not to do it. Therefore, hyperlinking phone numbers lets users take action easily. It makes use of a smartphone’s capability to dial numbers with the click of a link.

Promote Customer Loyalty

Provide mobile customers with promotions and discounts they can redeem on their phone. In stores, customer loyalty programs have been found to be a great return on investment as they:

  • Increase frequency of visits
  • Increase spending per sale

Launch a Text Campaign

Target your mobile base with a text campaign and thus use the power of mobiles to your benefit. Text messages have a high response rate. For example, users can text a keyword to the provided number. From there, you can entice users to provide their email address or phone number in exchange for a reward.

Your lead capture strategy is vital for the effectiveness of your website. A website that is designed with mobile in mind allows your business to capture a larger share of the market. Stay competitive with a mobile-focused strategy.  Time to improve your site for mobile users? Contact us to discuss today!

Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads - 315

Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads

Engage your Fans on Social Media to Grow Leads - 315
You have a challenging task in front of you, taking your sales team from good to great. Lead generation resources are plentiful and make it easier to accomplish this goal, but you still have a long road to get from point A to point B.

Want to short circuit this process and get the results you want? Does a lead generation pipeline that’s free and works 24/7 sound like it’s a good fit for your organization?

Social media is the secret selling weapon that you’ve been waiting for. Too many companies set up social profiles and post about a few discounts or share company news. They don’t consider this channel the center of a robust lead generation strategy. At most, they treat it as a marketing channel. Social media selling opens up high quality leads that your sales team will love to work with.

What is Social Media Selling

Social media selling looks a lot different from the typical sales pitch. You aren’t going through an entire spiel to try and convince a person to buy your products or services. In fact, most of the time your sales team won’t be talking about your offerings at all.

Instead, you engage with your customers and potential leads on social media pages. Listen to what they have to say and have conversations with everyone stopping by. Follow the same brands and influencers that your target audience does, so you learn more about what’s important to them.

Follow the Three Rules of Social Selling

  1. Stop yourself from talking about your products and services unless it’s incredibly relevant to the conversation.
  1. Don’t talk about yourself. This conversation is about the consumer, not your company.
  1. Be authentic and don’t come off like you’re reading from a sales script.

What’s In It For the Customer?

Many companies think that social selling only revolves around posting constantly about their products, services or how they stack up against the competition. They show off their awards, post testimonials and talk about employees. The “me me me” approach doesn’t endear you to social media followers.

They’re asking themselves “What’s in it for me?” There are millions of social media accounts to follow. If you don’t offer a compelling reason for this audience to stick around, they’re headed elsewhere.

The Three Keys to Social Engagement

Educate

Buyers go through many stages in their journey from an interested person to a customer. They often start out without knowing a lot about ways to fix a problem or to improve their quality of life. Educate potential customers with the information they need to make informed choices on the best solutions for them.

Excite

Don’t do the same things as everyone else. Look for ways to stand out and offer customers a different experience. Position yourself as the go-to company in your industry, rather than a follower.

Engage

Have a conversation with interested audience members. The most important thing you can do right now is to listen. Understand what they’re asking, the pain points that influence these questions and the best way to convey information to them.

5 Ways for Non-Profits to Grow Their Email List - 315

5 Ways for a Non Profit to Grow Their Email List

5 Ways for Non-Profits to Grow Their Email List - 315

No matter where you look for digital marketing information, there’s one universal truth: the secret to high conversions lies in the list. Your website draws people in, but it’s your email list that keeps you in touch with them, and it’s that long term relationship that turns visitors into community members.

As a nonprofit, you rely heavily on the community. We’ve got 5 great tips that will help you extend your community online, so you can reap the benefits of digital marketing, fundraising, staying in touch, and sharing your successes.

1. Put Opt-In Forms On Every Page

It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many websites don’t use this simple trick. Make it easy to sign up. Put a small form on each page, preferably above the fold, where they are seen by every single visitor.

2. Offer Something In Return

When last did you sign up for a newsletter just because you want email? If you’re like most people, the answer is never. You need to give people a reason to subscribe! Whether it’s a free report, an ebook or your newsletter, make it free, and make it too good to turn down!

3. Make It Shareable

Automatically redirect new subscribers to a page where they can invite some friends, or you could simply redirect your subscribers to a thank you page that asks them to spread the word. Most people are very willing to share a good cause anyway. They just need a little reminder or a nudge in the right direction.

4. Tell EVERYONE

Putting your opt-in forms on every page is a good start, but if you want to see your list grow, you need to do more than that.

  • Add a link to your sign up form on your email signature, so you market it whenever you send mail.
  • Post it on your social media channels, and ask fans and followers to do the same.
  • Mention it on your business cards.
  • Run a contest, where entry requires sign up.

The more you market your list, the more people will sign up, guaranteed.

5. Send Great Newsletters

If you’re telling people that you’re going to send them a newsletter that will inform, amuse, inspire and excite, then you had better deliver! Most people don’t struggle to build their lists once they really set their minds to it, but they do struggle to keep subscribers.

Make sure that every newsletter you send is one that you’d be excited to see in your own mailbox. Write for your audience, rather than simply pushing your agenda. Ask questions. Share knowledge. Include inspirational stories that they’ll want to share with their friends.

When done correctly, an email list can be a nonprofit’s greatest digital marketing assets, and these tips should help you to get started on the right track.