Tuesday, 24 June 2014
How To Get Subscribers

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching your customers, members or target audiences. But how do you get people to sign up for your list?

First of all, we need to take a moment to talk about how NOT to build your list. The number one rule for successful email marketing is Don't Send Spam. Spam is any email that is unsolicited regardless of whether you think the recipient would really like the message or not. If they didn't ask for email from you or otherwise give their permission through your terms and conditions or other mechanism, then you can't send them email.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about how you do bring people onboard. You really don't want to purchase lists of potential customers because you really don't know for sure if they have asked to hear from you. The logical answer is most probably not. The objective is to get your subscribers to sign up on their own because they know they will get value from you.

Invite Signups

One good way to accomplish that is to put an email list subscription form right in front of people wherever they are. If they can be found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or others, then you will want to post regular invitations to join your mailing list with a link to your subscription page. If they are visiting your website, you will want to make sure the subscription form is right at hand. To make this easier, our eBlast111, Build111 and Church111 services all include a useful subscription widget. The widget will automatically generate the code and has an exclusion list in case there are addresses or domains you don't want on your list.

Provide Incentives

You may wish to incentivize your audience differently depending on your field. If you are in the service industry for instance, you should be providing advice, tips and content that will be useful to your audience but will also present you as a thought leader in the field. If you are an e-commerce company selling most anything, you can use deals, coupons and promotions to keep your followers engaged. In almost any field if you can just be entertaining, that will compliment your underlying content that is intended for conversions.

Target Messages

One of the handy things about both the stand-alone eBlast111 tool and the identical system that's built into Build111 and Church111 is the ability to create groups of subscribers. Any subscriber can be a member of any number of groups so you don't have to add a person into your system more than once. Not only is this handy from a list management perspective, but it's also helpful since cost is based on number of subscribers. The subscription widget is set up such that you can specify into which group the subscriber will be placed.

If you have any questions about this service or any other services from 111 Web Studio, give us a call at (877) 397-7605 or contact us for more information.


Posted on 06/24/2014 10:02 AM by Customer Service
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Why Did You Post That!?

I speak with a lot of business owners struggling with the idea of bringing on someone to create their content or help managing their social media and blog. A lot of folks have heard from our previous posts, about the importance of content, and they think "how hard can that be?" Well, to do the basics, it should not be incredibly difficult, if you plan your posts with intention. You have to think through why you are creating this content, whether it's a page on your website, a blog article or a simple tweet. Every time your business sends out content online it should have a predesigned purpose. Beyond just its purpose, you should adapt the message to the target reader; figure out what will engage them specifically. There should be strategy to all of it.

It's no surprise to me that a lot of businesses don't see much return on their posts; they are not predesigned for their intentions. Sending out content that is bland and unfocused is an exercise in futility. Now it is still better than doing nothing, but since you have a powerful tool at your disposal, you should use it.

Another issue I see often with companies is posting inappropriate content. Everything a potential customer can see online about you should be an orchestrated, cohesive message.

So if you are a prestigious investment group and you happen to come across a odd picture of a man holding a large rodent that you think is amusing, think first: does this really capture my company's message?

This may take you one step back and really ask yourself: who you are as a company? Questions such as this are a vital element to branding. Every company no matter how big or small should be asking themselves in depth questions concerning the branding of their company. (This will be our blog next week so look out for that!) Once you have a clear picture of who you are, you can then assess each piece of content you intend to post against this branded message; does it compliment? Or does it detract? Or does it simply have no relation at all?

Understanding this process is key to online marketing success. It does take time and it does take skill. Every tweet doesn't have to be trying to sell something, but it should be a part of your over all goals. It's perfectly fine for your goal to be entertainment for your audience, as long as it is in keeping with your message. If we want people to think of your company as fun and accessible, then entertainment is great. This intentional creation of content is also much easier to analyze for effectiveness. Each post should have a call to action attached to it. Whether it is signing up for an email, buying a product, watching a video or sharing a message. Each of your posts needs to have that thought out next step and it should be obvious to your readers, what to do next. Making that next step is a conversion and indicates success in your online marketing efforts. Is your audience on the path you designed for them? Is your online reputation clear and cohesive? Is your online marketing predesigned and intentional? If you have any doubts about any of these things and would like to ask me some questions feel free to shoot me a email: mark@111webdesign.com I will be glad to help your business achieve the best it can in its online reputation and marketing.

Posted on 06/19/2014 8:45 AM by Mark McGowan
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Reach Your Audience Where They Live

Online MarketingEvery organization needs to communicate with their audience whether it's customers, potential customers, members, suppliers or others. You know you have great products and services that would be of great use to your audience if only they knew about it... But where's the best place to deliver your message in order to make sure your audience hears it?

The answer, of course, is to find your audience where they are. Some people are enthusiastic Facebook users, some live on Twitter, some like LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram or other social media venues. Some people don't use social media at all, but appreciate an email as long as it's not unsolicited. Some people actually still appreciate snail mail, though that's becoming a smaller audience every year. Lastly, traditional TV or radio advertising can be effective for certain marketing efforts. Regardless of where they are, though, people aren't going to change their ways just because you think one of these methods is better than another. If you want to reach people effectively, you must make it easy for them, not for you. Fortunately, social media marketing and email marketing are not expensive or difficult if you take some time to learn about them or hire someone who already knows what to do.

Do it Yourself

A great way to start an online marketing campaign is to read everything you can about social media and email marketing. We have published several articles that can get you started and we list a few of them here. And others have created great content about the subject, so look around and see what else is out there.

Once you have learned enough and you know what to do, you must be disciplined about actually doing it. There is nothing that says you don't really care about your audience louder than a news page with two year old news or a blog that has not had an article written in a year. If you discover the demands of the job don't allow you to keep up with the effort, then shut it down completely and abandon online marketing or hire someone to help you.

Getting Outside Help

If your work is such that you can't afford the time to learn or execute your online communications strategy, but you know it's necessary for success, there are plenty of organizations out there that can help. Online marketing is an ever-changing, complex subject that can be daunting for some. Worse, it actually requires some dedicated time to implement a successful online marketing strategy. One of the advantages of some online marketing plans is that you don't have to remember to do anything. The vendor will remind you whenever it's time to think about it again. In our lowest cost plans, we start with a low pressure, monthly contact where we gather enough information from you to last for the month. The content is all yours, but the effort to produce it is off your back. More expensive plans are more involved and get even better results, but no matter which one you choose, your search engine listings will improve and your traffic will grow.

If you would like to know more about getting help with your online marketing efforts or about the SEO tools built into Build111 and Church111 including the built-in eBlast111 email marketing tool, give us a call at (877) 397-7605 or contact us online.

Posted on 06/17/2014 10:04 AM by Customer Service
Thursday, 12 June 2014
Every Business Needs to Google Themselves Here is why|

Most of you probably think that the only people who google themselves are narcissistic celebrities or tweens. Why would a professional business want to google themselves? Simply put: because that is what your potential clients are doing. Ask yourself this: if you are thinking about going to a new restaurant or deciding between two mechanics to fix your car, what do you do? For most of us today the answer is: we go to the Internet and find reviews and make a judgement  based on the online presence. So every business has a group of potential clients, who you may never see, that need to be satisfied by what they find in your search results.

"..that is what your potential clients are doing."

Every business, when directly searched, should own the entire front page of results. There are exceptions to this, but it is the most desirable result for any company. This shows any prospect, you are an authority in your field and can be trusted. The goal for your competition is to disrupt that and appear in those results too and pull business away. In a worst case scenario a result on the first page could be a negative article or review. If this is the case, it needs to be dealt with immediately. And I don't mean the internet mafia needs to be called. No, unfortunately there is no easy way to have them "removed", the fix for this is to create more results that appear above the negative result and drive it to the next page. If you cover the first page with strong results, you will find very few people need to go to page 2. When I take my clients through this process we analyze each result page, click through them, and ensure there are no negative paths we need to address. Once that is clean we work toward adding more intentional, positive, results. 

Now we certainly want to make sure we don't have competition business coming up in our search results, but we do want to make an effort to appear in theirs! So looking at your competition in the same way will give you another pool of potential clients to engage. Chances are at least some of those companies are not looking at this area properly and that is your chance to capitalize.

When I take my clients through this process I find that all too often people just were not aware of the questions to ask. Once you start thinking like a potential client you can really start to see the path to your intended goals in a whole new light. We can then set about adjusting it to optimize the journey we want them to go on. It takes time and it takes focused efforts with the right tools and with the right techniques. It can be done and it has huge potential for increased conversions for your business.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your companies online presence, email me today mark@111webstudio.com or call: 877 397 7605

Posted on 06/12/2014 10:46 AM by Mark McGowan
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Enhanced Responsive Design for Mobile Websites

Many of our clients enjoy the use of their website on both desktop and mobile devices like tablets or phones. In order for this to work well, your website has to be built with something called responsive web design. Any website can be viewed on a mobile device regardless of whether it's responsive, but if you want to avoid pinching the screen or scrolling around to see the content, then responsive design is for you.

We have built many custom responsive designs for our Build111 and Church111 customers, so if you haven't already jumped on the bandwagon for a mobile ready website, give us a call and we can provide an estimate on what it will take to get your site rolling... literally!

A nice enhancement of the Build111 and Church111 CMS website builders has recently been added. The full website calendar view now automatically responds to mobile devices and changes from a month-at-a-time view in traditional boxes to a month-at-a-time in list view so mobile viewers can easily see what's going on without scrolling around the screen of their mobile device.

We hope you enjoy this new feature of the Build111 and Church111 website builders. If you have any questions about responsive design or anything else related to services offered by 111 Web Studio, please contact us or give us a call at (877) 397-7605.

Posted on 06/10/2014 9:57 AM by Customer Service
Thursday, 5 June 2014
A New Video Testimonial For 111 Web Studio!

Here are the most recent pearls of wisdom from the vivacious Immortal Lloyd. I hope you enjoy his tenacious performance of our wonderful customer's feedback about their experience with 111 Web Studio.

Today we hear about just how spectacular the customer service is. It is hard to argue with truth like that. We do what we can for our customers and we appreciate each and every one of you. If you would like to send us some feedback and perhaps even have your testimonial dramatized by the one and only Mr. Lloyd email us here: feedback@111webstudio.com

If you would like to include video testimonials on your website we would be happy to speak with you. We can supply an actor to perform them for you. (It doesn't have to be Lloyd! Although he is a 2 time chameleon nominated golden reptile-man) we can film them in our studio and edit and load onto your website. It's a great way to bring some assurance to your customers in a new and bold way.

There are many great ways now to stand out and reach your audience. With the internet now stifled with results in almost every field, it takes some creativity and focus to shine! We have a great team of folks who can help you achieve this. From our experienced designers, who can refresh your web design, logo, branding and graphics to our SEO, Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing team who can guide you through the process of being a contender in your market and engaging your target audience.

We hope you enjoyed this video and check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more videos to come!

Have a great day folks!

Email Us: customerservice@111webstudio.com
Call Us (877) 397.7605


Posted on 06/05/2014 10:21 AM by Mark McGowan
Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Build111 Web Hosting and CMS Site Builder

Many of our clients have discovered the joys of quickly and easily editing their own content through use of our Build111 or Church111 content management system (CMS) and website builder platforms.

History of CMS

Soon after we started in 1995, we recognized the importance of content management for clients who required timely or frequent changes to their web sites. For those clients, the high cost of frequent updates or a delay in posting a time-sensitive update made an effective CMS a necessity. To solve the problem, we implemented several Perl scripts that allowed site administrators to view and edit their web content. There was a search script that could search a flat file, a form script that could write to the file and a replace script that could edit an existing row in the file. While functional and quite powerful, the platform was rudimentary by today's standards. But it was truly awesome for the time and put the power of content management into the hands of clients where it belonged. One of the very first web programming languages that allowed us to talk directly with relational databases was ColdFusion. We jumped on board quickly and were soon writing custom content management systems to do specific admin tasks for managers wishing to edit their web content. It wasn't long before these systems started looking a lot alike and we recognized the opportunity to build a universal CMS for low budget clients, especially churches, who needed to do lots of updates. To meet this need, our Church111 website builder and content management system was created. The first version launched on April 6, 1999 and it has gone through several revisions since then including the addition of a non-church version in 2004 that, of course, became know as Build111.

Build111 Content Management System

Today, the Build111 website builder not only retains the power to provide administrators the ability to edit their own content, but it adds ease of use and amazing flexibility and control through a variety of widgets and tools. Anyone who comes to Build111 from another platform remarks on how intuitive and easy to use it is in comparison to their previous platform. But despite the ease of use, the system is deep and powerful for users who are not afraid to dig in and explore. Here are some highlights of the Build111 CMS.

  • You get unlimited use of a variety of page types including standard text and image pages, image and video gallery pages, media (audio and video) pages, news or FAQ pages, interactive forms, external links, incoming RSS feed pages and classifieds pages.
  • A suite of single use pages include a guest book, a site search, a site map, a weather lookup, a location map page, a site calendar, and others.
  • Any page in the site can be password protected or even just protected by the request for an email address from a visitor.
  • The system has a host widgets for enhancing your site including the ability to add a slide show on any page, a web poll, a scrolling announcement, news teasers, a site calendar widget, affiliate management and others.
  • Optional features include a blog, members area with built in eBlast email marketing tool, a built in phone app that gets its content from your site, e-commerce shopping cart and secure forms that can accept credit cards.

Email Included

Of course, like all our hosting, Build111 comes with robust email for your domain. Ten mailboxes, POP or IMAP, are included with each domain at no additional cost along with unlimited aliases and forwards. Extra mailboxes are available at $1/mo each in lots of 5. We have a sophisticated spam and virus filter, called spam111 (what else?) as well.

If you have any questions about Build111, Church111, other content management options available to you or about any other 111 Web Studio services, please call us at (877) 397-7605 or contact us for more information.

Posted on 06/03/2014 10:02 AM by Customer Service
Monday, 2 June 2014
Patch Your WordPress or Risk SEO Disaster

We regularly alert you about updating your canned software like WordPress and others, but if you haven't been keeping up with your installations lately, it's time to take another look. This weekend, the makers of the All in One SEO Pack (19 million downloads) announced an update that you must make to avoid problems with your website.

The latest exploit allows a non-administrative user to log in and change certain configuration parameters for your web site and potentially hack other websites using XSS (cross site scripting) methods. At the very least, this exploit could be used to ruin your search engine rankings. At worst, the hacker might change your admin password or install malicious code on your site for other purposes.

For more information on the topic, visit this article or give 111 Web Studio a call at (877) 397-7605 if you need assistance updating your WordPress site or your plugins.

Posted on 06/02/2014 10:05 AM by Customer Service

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