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Why Email Marketing Works (and Why So Many Businesses Struggle With It)

Posted Thu, February 26, 2015 by Julie Short

Even in this age of social media, mobile marketing, and search engine optimization, reaching your best customer through his or her inbox – in the form of a targeted and well-crafted email newsletter – is still the fastest and most reliable way to grow your sales over time.

Why Email Marketing Is Profitable

Email newsletters might not be flashy, but they just work. Here are just a few of the best reasons why:

  • If you have a properly identified and segmented list, your email newsletter can be incredibly targeted. Pair the right message with the right audience, and you’ll achieve high click-through rates.
  • Email newsletters can be combined with high-impact offers and landing pages for time-sensitive campaigns. That means you can take advantage of a trend or event your customer’s already thinking about, and then track the results in real time.
  • Email marketing is incredibly cost-effective. For a fraction of what you’d spend on PPC ads or organic search engine optimization, you can reach thousands of potential buyers in an instant.
  • Sending strong email letters reinforces your sales and branding messages over time as recipients become more and more familiar with your business.

In truth, we could go on and on and give you even more benefits of email marketing. But despite the fact that it works, and works well, there are lots of businesses who are seeing declining returns or have given up on their email newsletters altogether.

How can that be?

Why Businesses Struggle With Email

The answer almost always comes down to one of two things: Either their email marketing campaigns are poorly executed or they aren’t sending targeted messages often enough to stay on top of their customers’ minds. In other words, good email marketing works even when you aren’t sending messages because buyers are aware of you; that can’t happen, though, if you aren’t contacting them regularly.

If you haven’t been getting the kind of impact from your email newsletter that you are expecting, we might have the answer you’ve been waiting for – WebRevelation email marketing management.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Email Marketing | 
Tags : email marketing

Are You Playing Hide and Seek With Your Customers?

Posted Thu, February 19, 2015 by Julie Short

As the web has gotten bigger and bigger, the need for targeted, focused, and (sometimes) geographic-specific communities has increased.

There is an almost infinite amount of information online, but the majority isn’t always relevant. That’s especially true when it comes to the search for local businesses and vendors – you don’t want to find everyone, just the matches that make sense for your need and area.

For customers, the easy answer is to turn to websites like Yelp, YP (formerly yellow pages), and Foursquare, which sort profiles by interest and geography. For marketers, however, things get a little tougher. Businesses desperately need to be represented on these websites, but don’t always have the time and expertise to properly upload a profile, much less keep it current.

So how do you bridge that gap and keep your business visible without spending all your time entering information and looking for reviews? We might just have the perfect answer for you…

Introducing Your Business Listing Management Solution

At WebRevelation, we’ve been encouraging our clients to find and use every business listing outlet they can, knowing that maintaining the effort was a big challenge for business owners and managers.

In an effort to alleviate that challenge, we’ve partnered with Yext, a service that allows us to upload, update, and maintain your current local listing with dozens of powerful, high-profile listing publishers, nationally and internationally. Whether you have one location or dozens, it’s the perfect way to make your business easy to find while saving you lots of time and money.

It’s hard to overstate what kind of marketing effect the right exposure can have on a business that relies on local companies. Even if you were able to maintain a handful of profiles on your own, there’s no guarantee that the sites you choose would match up to the ones your next great customer wants to use. By making sure your business is easy to find in all the major apps and directories, you’re ensuring that your company will be hard for anyone who’s interested to miss.

Get Started With Business Listing Management Today

There are thousands and thousands of buyers out there waiting to find you, and lots of business that’s ready to be won. Now we are making it easier and more affordable than ever for you to ensure your business information stays current, correct, and visible. You could play hide and seek with your customers, but why not have them coming to you instead?

Contact WebRevelation today to learn more about our partnership with Yext and what it means for your business listings and online reviews.

Posted in : SEO/SMO/SMM , Online Profile Management , Business Strategy | 
Tags : business listings , online profile

Why Customers Want ERP-Ready Manufacturers

Posted Thu, February 12, 2015 by Julie Short

Usually, when manufacturing clients come to us wanting to explore ERP packages, it's because they are interested in cutting costs, or want to keep a closer eye on supply chains and other details. But what about the other side of the bottom-line equation? Did you know that investing in the right ERP can help you gain more customers, too?

Although buyers might not ask your company for or about an ERP directly, that doesn't mean they don't want you to have one. That's because manufacturers that are taking advantage of enterprise resource planning can do more, do it more quickly, and at better prices. In other words, they become the kinds of businesses your best customers want to work with and order from.

To see why that might be, consider three important advantages from your customer’s point of view:

Speed is critical in choosing a manufacturer. In today's market, speed is every bit as important as price and quality. Margins might be tighter, but so are schedules. If you can reliably deliver products based on aggressive schedules, you become virtually priceless to buyers. That means they'll come back to you time and time again, and may even pay a premium to do so.

Cost competitiveness is changing everything. Of course, margins are getting tighter across every type of manufacturing market. By having more control over your supply chain, and real-time information about input prices, you can produce better, more accurate quotes for your customers. Staying competitive and profitable at the same time is always a winning strategy.

They want a manufacturer who can adjust to new conditions quickly. When delivery dates, quantities, and locations change, it's the manufacturer that is equipped with a strong ERP that's ready to step in and meet buyer needs. Your customers want a manufacturer they can count on… when you're taking advantage of the right ERP, it's easy to be the supplier of choice.

You already know that success in manufacturing is all about delivering the right product and service at the right price, and on the customer's schedule. A strong ERP platform helps you achieve all of those, which leads to increased customer loyalty and helps your profitability on every account.

To learn more about our ERP systems – and to see case studies that show how we have helped manufacturing companies just like yours – call or e-mail a member of our team and request a free consultation. It won't take long for us to show you why you shouldn't ignore this technology.

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : erp , manufacturer

Effective Tips for Improving Site Navigation

Posted Wed, February 4, 2015 by Julie Short

Navigation is at the core of every website. Visitors click links that lead them to new pages with more links. A site’s universal navigation is the doorway to its most important content. 

Page names actually drive quite a bit of traffic to your website from search engines. A User Interface Engineering study found that over 50 percent of search traffic on a major commerce site was generated from the department, gallery and product pages deep inside the site.

Having a dysfunctional website navigation is like driving around without street signs. If you don’t know where to go, you won’t find what you’re looking for. If visitors have a tough time navigating your website, they won’t want to return and you can actually drive away business. 

A recurring inability to find information, products or services is one of the biggest challenges any website faces. Every web designer has to understand a user’s goal and what they need to accomplish when they visit the site. Here are some compelling statistics about how poor website navigation affects users and sales. 

  • Research by User Interface Engineering, Inc., shows that people cannot find the information they seek on a Web site about 60 percent of the time.
  • Studies by Forrester Research estimate that approximately 50 percent of potential sales are lost because users can’t find information and that 40 percent of users do not return to a site when their first visit is a negative experience.
  • A study by Zona Research found that 62 percent of Web shoppers give up looking for the item they want to buy online.

If visitors can’t find information on your website, it doesn’t exist. Below are some practical tips to improving a website’s navigation. 

Review Navigation Menu Wording
Phrasing in navigation menus must be deliberate. Don’t focus on fancy wording. Describe the page or content as boring and straightforward as possible. Make it obvious to the visitor what they’re getting when they click a link. Don’t use jargon on a navigation menu. Stay on the safe side and assume your visitor knows nothing about your industry. 

Review Analytics for Clues
Your site’s analytics will point out things that need improvement. If important pages aren’t being viewed, something might be wrong. The page could be mislabeled or poorly described and be confusing visitors. If a lot of your visitors reach your website and are quickly clicking on multiple different links without landing on a page, they probably couldn’t find what they needed. 

Incorporate Drop Down Menus
Drop down menus help users explore all your site has to offer quickly without having to click on anything. Most designers prefer vertical drop down menus because they usually won’t cover page content. 

Incorporate Subcategories 
This tip is essential for online stores. Allow visitors to sort items by price, color, brand, available sizes and top sellers. Give them the option to narrow what they see by giving subcategories within broad topics.  

Include an Internal Site Search
If a visitor can’t find what they’re looking for in your menu, give them a last option. Often, this will prevent them from leaving and trying a competitor's site. 

Identify Frequently Searched Terms
If your visitors are regularly searching within your site for something specific, that topic should have its own page and link in the navigation menu. 

Usability and functionality are just a few of the many factors of website design. If you take away one thing from this blog, don’t overlook your website’s navigation. If it’s not easy to use, you’re losing business. If you’re having this problem with your website, contact us at 972-478-7127 for more information on how a professional web design can benefit your business.  

Posted in : Websites , Website Content | 
Tags : navigation

What Manufacturers Love About Web-Based Software

Posted Wed, January 28, 2015 by Julie Short

Once you get past the initial creativity needed to imagine a new product, manufacturing tends to be an almost scientific process – find a way to produce more quickly, affordably, and reliably than the other guy, and you’ll see your profits go up. Fail to pay enough attention to your margins, and your business will be bleeding cash in no time.

It’s that fact – that manufacturers are always walking a tight rope of efficiency – that makes web-based software options so important to staying in the black over the long term. In fact, at WebRevelation we’ve helped several different firms to update their manufacturing processes, eliminating waste and lowering costs at the same time.

Along the way, we’ve learned there are a few important things manufacturers love about specialized software:

No more data errors. Ordering the wrong materials, scheduling the wrong employees, or miscalculating a customer order are just a few of the ways businesses can accidentally squander huge amounts of time and money. With web-based software, you can turn data input errors into a thing of the past.

Getting rid of ill-fitting software packages. Often, an audit of a manufacturer’s software processes shows they’re using extensive workarounds in the form of add-ons and endless spreadsheet pages that amount to dozens of hours of “busywork” for their employees, just because they don’t have the applications they really need for things like payroll and inventory.

Improved customer order flow. By letting customers place their own orders and set things like shipping locations on their own, you improve accuracy and free up time for your sales and customer service teams.

Better order delivery times. More and more companies are going to a just-in-time inventory system; that requires a software platform that can feed you up-to-date information across your company so you can meet tough deadlines when needed.

Less time and money being wasted. What all of this amounts to is more efficiency in every part of the manufacturing process. When you aren’t wasting time and money, you can lower prices, enjoy higher margins, or both.

When it comes down to it, manufacturers taking advantage of web-based software have a huge advantage over their competitors. The only question is: Are you one of the businesses that’s benefiting, or one of the others who are lagging behind?

Looking for ways to improve the margins in your manufacturing business? Talk to WebRevelation today and let us share some of our case studies and success stories with you.

Posted in : Business Strategy , ERP , THE HVAC GIRL | 
Tags : manufacturing , websites , manufacturing software

Has Your Website Gone Out of Style?

Posted Wed, January 21, 2015 by Julie Short

Has your website fallen behind the times? Usually, when new clients talk to us about an “out-of-style” or “not-up-to-date” website, they’re thinking in terms of looks and layouts. What they may not realize is that the more important problems are behind the scenes – and that even a great-looking website may be missing a few key upgrades.

That might not sound like a big problem, but it’s important to remember that thousands of visitors will see your pages each and every year. If your website isn’t attracting as many of them as it could be or converting them into buyers, that’s a huge missed opportunity.

To give you a sense of what kinds of upgrades and improvements we are referring to, here are just a few of the trends that have become incredibly important over the last few years:

Responsive web designs. Responsive web designs change their alignment and appearance to fit laptop and desktop computers, as well as tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. If you want your website to be accessible by the tens of millions of mobile users, and don’t want to launch a separate website, responsive designs are the way to go.

Social media links and apps. Social media is no longer just about checking out vacation photos and cat memes. Buying recommendations, customer service, and a lot more can all be handled through social profiles. That’s why your site should be tied directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at a minimum.

Conversion rate optimization. This is the art and science of squeezing the maximum number of conversions out of the visits you get to your website. If you aren’t turning enough readers into buyers, then your bottom line is going to suffer (and your competitors will benefit).

Online video. Numerous studies have confirmed that online videos get more attention than text and static images do, and help convert visitors into leads and customers at a much higher rate. Plus, it’s easier and more affordable than ever before to add video clips to your website.

E-commerce and secure account maintenance. Letting buyers place orders and update their account details online doesn’t just make your website more convenient for them – it also helps you save time and money by freeing your staff up to do other things.

If your website is missing one or more of these features, it could be time for an update – regardless of how good you think it looks. Remember that it only takes a couple of years for your web presence to fall behind newer competitors. Luckily, fixing that is just a matter of calling WebRevelation in Dallas, San Antonio or Oklahoma City and letting us do the rest!

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : updated website , website trends , improved websites

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