Email Marketing

How to conduct A/B testing

Colleague #1:“Lets change the layout of this landing page.”

Colleague #2: “What’s the reason for the change?”

Colleague #1:“Just because. Maybe it’ll work better.”

 

How many times have you had or heard a conversation along these lines? It’s the marketing equivalent of shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. 

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Spoiler: there’s a better way to make big business decisions.

A/B testing, also sometimes referred to as ‘split testing’, is a type of experiment used by marketers to gauge which variation of a campaign works best. 

The concept itself has been around for a long time, but is particularly relevant in the worlds of email and web marketing. It’s an inexpensive and reliable method to really understand whatworks for the correct audience. 

When it comes to what you can test the possibilities are almost endless, but some common examples include:

  • Landing page copy

  • Call to actions (CTAs)

  • Email subject lines

  • Headlines

  • Product descriptions

  • Advertisement imagery and colors

  • Email sender names

  • Personalization options

How to conduct A/B Testing  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The benefits of A/B testing

How many times have you or a colleague made a decision based on instinct, a gut feeling, or best practice? It’s impossible to predict how people will react, and A/B testing will help you remove some of that guess work.

If done right, it can give you tangible insights that increase web traffic and conversions -- and decrease bounce rates and missed opportunities. 

If done wrong, inaccurate results can be extracted which can result in performance-damaging decisions being made. So, let’s make sure you get it right! 

How to get started 


1. Pick your variable

First things first, you need to pick which variable you want to test. It’s important to focus your efforts on only one element or change at a time, otherwise you won’t know which is responsible for your surge or slump in performance.

For example, if you were focusing on improving the conversion rate of an email and changed the color of your CTA and the template, how would you know which change was behind the results?

That doesn’t mean you can’t fiddle with various elements of a single campaign, it just means they can’t be measured concurrently. Sticking with the email example, you’d need to make your CTA change, analyze your results, take action accordingly, and then experiment with your template

2. Set your goals

Once you’ve settled on your variable, you need to set its primary goal. Let’s say your experimenting with the text on a landing page, your primary goal could be to either: 

  • Reduce the page’s bounce rate

  • Increase the average time spent on the page

  • Increase the page’s conversion rate

3. Create your variables

Next up, you need to create your two variations. Your control version is either what you already have (i.e. current webpage copy) or what you’d normally use (your standard email template, for example).

Your second variation - the ‘challenger’ - is the same asset, but with the isolated change you’re looking to test. For example, let’s pretend your testing if changing the color of your ‘Buy now’ button increases conversions.  

Your control version would be simply leaving the webpage unaltered, and your challenger version would involve using the exact same page, but changing the color of the button to X, Y or Z. It’s as simple as that.

 

4. Split your data

When it comes to splitting your data, it’s important to divvy it up equally - i.e. 50/50. The reason for this, is that it’s the quickest and most reliable way to get statistically significant results.

To make a decision on which variable is more effective, each has to be viewed the same amount of times. So, if you were to split your data 30/70 (with 30% going to your challenger version and 70% to the original), for example, it’d take much longer for your challenger to rack up the numbers needed to complete your experiment.

If you’re not sure where to start with this bit, here are some of the best rated A/B testing tools to help you:

5. Set your sample size

This one will vary depending on what you’re testing and which A/B testing tool you use. If you’re testing a webpage, for example, you might want to set yourself a target number of visitors to base your experiment on.

Or, if you’re measuring a social media ad, you might choose to set your campaign to run until each variation has earned 3,000 impressions, for example.

For help on how to determine your sample size, check out this guide.

 

6. Analyze your results

Last but not least, you need to take the time to carefully read and understand your results. During the analysis stage, it’s important to keep your primary goal in mind and not get distracted by other metrics.

By this, we mean if your main goal was to improve email conversions by changing your template, try not to get too caught up with things like open rate, click through rate (CTR), and bounce rate.

Important things to remember

Before you get going with your A/B tests, here are a few final points to bear in mind:

  • Run both your variations at the same time

  • Run your tests for the same amount of time

  • Only run one test at a time

  • Give your experiment enough time to produce meaningful results


Hue & Tone Creative: Your Marketing Partner

If you need help producing your A/B testing assets, you know where we are. To discuss your needs, goals and requirements, contact the team at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

4 free welcome email templates

According to Salesforce’s benchmark study, welcome emails (42%) are the third most popular type of email sent by businesses, trailing only to newsletters (66%) and promotional content (54%). Of the marketers who send them, three quarters rated them as highly effective.

But why are they so important, we hear you wonder? If done right, they engage new customers straight away by prompting recipients to start the next stage in their customer journey -- and they also provide a means for you to follow up on any value propositions you promised (a new customer discount, for example). 

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One last important thing to note before we dive right in with our templates, are these six golden rules: 

  1. Send your welcome email ASAP

  2. Remember to stamp your branding on it

  3. Include social links to encourage further engagement

  4. Track your email analytics and act on any concerning metrics

  5. Keep them short and to the point

  6. Only use personalization if you’re 100% confident your data is correct

Now, on to what you came for, the all-important templates to get you going…


Example 1: Product Purchase

Hi [insert name]

Thanks for choosing Company X for your Product Y needs - we’re so happy you chose us!

We’ve been delivering our goods to customers - like you - for X years now, and we can’t wait for you to see what all the fuss is about.

As our welcome gift to you, we’d like to offer you 15% off your next purchase with us. To claim your discount, simply enter the code WELCOME19 at checkout.

And if you want to keep up-to-date with our activity (including exciting giveaways!), don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Thanks again, 

[Company X] team


4 Free Welcome Email Templates  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Example 2: Service Sign-Up 

Hi [insert name],

Welcome to the team!

We’re delighted to have you on board and we can’t wait to start supporting you with our [insert service name].

The next steps are super simple:

  1. Your dedicated service manager will be in touch soon to talk you through the set-up process.

  2. Our Finance Team will invoice you on every [insert date] of the month.

  3. If you have any questions, our customer service team will be available on [insert phone number] between [insert hours and days].

It really is that easy. 

For regular updates, news, hints and tips off our experts, don’t forget to check into our blog every now and then, and if you’re feeling social, why not hit us up on FacebookLinkedIn or Instagram

Thanks again, 

[Company X] team


Example 3: Newsletter Sign-up

Hi [insert name],

Thank you for signing up to our monthly newsletter.

It’ll land in your inbox on the second Tuesday of every month, and it’ll be brimming with useful tips, guides, videos, resources, and more.

If, at any point, you have any feedback on our newsletters, we’d love to know what you think at [insert email address].

To hear more from us, head over to our social profiles and give us a follow:

[Social media icons]

Thanks again,

[Company X] team


Example 4: Event Registration

Hi [insert name],

Congratulations, you’ve successfully signed up to our [insert event name] event - we already can’t wait for you to join us on the big day!

Just so you have them handy, here are the details:  

  • Date:

  • Time:

  • Location: 

Don’t worry, we’ll send a reminder email over a few days before, just to be safe. 

If you have any questions between now and then, you can reach the team on [insert number] or [insert email address].

And so the countdown begins!

See you soon,

[Company X] team


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing in Greensboro and Beyond

Need a hand writing or designing your very own welcome email? Then look no further - we’ve got you covered. To discuss our email services and more, contact us on (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

19 marketing terms you need to know

Let’s be honest. We’ve all been sat in a meeting at one point or another, heard a term we’ve never come across before, not wanted to put our hand up to ask what it means, and instead sat there nodding along, not entirely sure what’s going on... hey, it happens to the best of us.

So, to help you bridge that gap and wave goodbye to your unknowing head nods, we’ve put together a glossary of 19 common marketing terms and what they mean - without the jargon. 

19 Marketing Terms You Need to Know  |  Hue & Tone Creative

1. A/B testing

A/B testing involves creating two variations of one element and running tests to compare which version works best. A few examples of when you would use A/B testing:

  • Email subject line text

  • Colors used for call-to-action (CTA) buttons

  • Content placed on landing pages

  • Imagery used in social media ads

The end goal of A/B testing is to figure out which assets are most successful and, ultimately, improve conversions.

2. Bounce rate

This number can be found in Google Analytics and it represents the percentage of visitors who land on any given page of your website, but then leave without clicking through to any other areas of your site. 
 

3. Buyer personas

buyer persona is a breakdown of what characteristics are typically present within certain clusters of your customer base, for example their:

  • Age, gender and geographic location

  • Professional and/or education status

  • Personality traits - i.e. comfort seekers, impulse buyers, worriers, confident, highly skilled, etc.

It’s worth noting that you can have several different types of buyer personas for a single product or service.

 

4. Click-through rate (CTR)

This is the number of visitors who visit a webpage and proceed to the next desired step - i.e. they click from your homepage through to a marketing advertisement. Or, they open your email and click through to your landing page.

5. Content management system (CMS)

The majority of us aren’t able to build a website from scratch, which is where CMS’ come in. Quite simply, a CMS is a facility created by web development experts, that allows non-technical users to create, edit and manage their very own site.  

It also helps with things like:

  • Making content SEO-friendly

  • Ensuring content is indexable

  • Automatically generating navigational elements

  • Setting up user permissions


6. Conversion rate

What defines a conversion can vary. For some businesses it might be a newsletter sign-up, for others it’s filling in a form, and for another it could be completing a purchase. So, your conversion rate is the percentage of people who follow through and complete yourdesired action.

A page with a high conversion rate can be classed as well-performing, while pages with a poor conversion rate might be an indication that work needs to be done to improve your numbers.

7. Dynamic content

Dynamic content enables you to present visitors with different content, based on what information you already have on them. 

For example, in the email world, this could be sending the same email to your entire customer base, but sending one cluster to a landing page promoting product X, another to product Y, and another again to product Z, because each item is best suited to their needs and spending history.

8. Evergreen content

Unlike things like news articles and seasonal blogs, evergreen content doesn’t have a sell-by date. It infinitely provides rich, useful information to its readers, and, if done well, it can add a great deal of SEO value to your site. 

For a flavor of what evergreen content looks like, here are a few great examples: 

9. HTML

Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is a type of language used to build webpages. It’s the foundation of every single site - regardless of its complexity, and works in conjunction with things like CSS and JavaScript.

11. Landing page

Landing pages are designated pages that are designed for lead generation purposes. Their content will vary from business-to-business, but some examples include offering an ebook, webinar, white paper or event. One element that tends to remain consistent though, is the presence of a form to capture important lead-generating information - like names, job titles, company information and contact details.

12. Microsite

You could say a microsite is a halfway house between a regular website and a landing page. They’re commonly used when companies want to create a unique experience for their audience, and one that’s distinct from their typical style. Because of this, microsites typically have their own domain name and a whole new look and feel design-wise.

13. On-page optimization

This is one of your site’s SEO elements, and it refers to things like your content, title tags, URL and image tags. Basically, it’s the practice of ensuring all the aforementioned areas are optimized for your desired keywords, to help bolster your organic rankings. 

14. Off-page optimization

Another segment that makes up your SEO efforts. Off-page optimization is often much more difficult to obtain success in because it’s usually out of your control, but if you master it, it can be incredibly fruitful.

A few ways to optimize your website off-page include:

  • Link building

  • Social media engagement

  • Social bookmarking

  • Guest blogging

15. PPC

PPC is short for pay-per-click. Quite simply, it involves paying a publisher (like a search engine, social media site or website owner) each time your ad is clicked on. 

19 Marketing Terms You Need to Know  |  Hue & Tone Creative


16. Responsive design

This refers to websites that are built to mould around the device they're being viewed on. So, for example, if you go to a website on your desktop and then again on your mobile, the content will automatically be optimized for both screens’ dimensions, ensuring ease of readability and accessibility.

17. User experience (UX)

UX encompasses everything your organization does from a prospect’s discovery all the way through to an existing customer’s renewal. A good UX can aid your conversions and a bad UX can do quite the opposite. To really get under the skin of a customer’s experience, you have to put yourself in their shoes and bethe customer - market research (like focus groups) can help with this.

18. Viral content

Viral content is the ultimate goal for most. It’s a piece of content that takes the internet by storm and spreads like wildfire through social sharing and re-publishing. Check out these examples for some inspiration. 

19. XML sitemap

Last but certainly not least, an XML sitemap is a file that hosts all your website’s relevant URLs. It helps search engines a) get to grips with your site’s structure, and b) crawl your pages more efficiently.

Although XML sitemaps don’t guarantee your pages will be indexed, they are still the best way to put your website out there and in front of search bots. 

Keywords form an important part of your SEO strategy and they play a key role in getting your pages ranked in search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

The keywords you target should be relevant to your product or service, in sync with what your target audience are likely to search for, and optimized both on-page (i.e. within a blog post or on a product page) and off-page (i.e. in your meta descriptions).


Hue & Tone Creative: Your marketing partners

So now you’ve come to grips with the jargon – but do you know how to truly utilize some of these tactics and trends If you don’t, don’t stress – that’s where we come in! To see how we can fulfill everything from your design and branding to social media and blogging needs, contact us today at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com

4 types of emails you need to be sending

Want to learn more about our favorite email marketing platform? Check out this post.

Email marketing can help you engage new customers – in addition to helping you sell your products; email marketing will help you enhance your brand awareness and build trust with new prospects. Once you’ve engaged a customer, it can even help you build brand loyalty.

For businesses of any size, email marketing is a no brainer. If you have a small marketing budget, it’s an easy way to connect with a lot of customers at once. In addition to being low investment, it drives traffic to your website and it’s the channel most customer prefer. 

As your company grows you can also scale your email marketing efforts – making it a useful tool no matter what stage of growth your business is at. 

4 types of emails you need to be sending  |  Hue & Tone Creative


One study from Marketing Sherpa reports that 72% of consumers prefer to receive promotional messages through email (source).


You can send a wide variety of different emails to your marketing list, but if you’re just getting started with email marketing, there’s a few types of emails we suggest you start with. These four types are all great to engage both new customers and old leads. 


1. Welcome email

This is your first chance to get your newfound relationship off on the right foot. Your welcome email should include key components like:

  • A thank you message for choosing your brand

  • Links to your social media channels to encourage additional engagement

  • A discount or deal that’s exclusive to new customers (this not only demonstrate a token of appreciation, but it will give them a nudge to browse your products or services again)

As with any type of email, your welcome email should be kept short and sweet to ensure the recipient isn’t overwhelmed with information. We suggest sending this initial email within 48 hours of signing up or making a purchase - the sooner the better though. Often, people will actively check for your name in their inbox after a sale’s been processed, so any later can look a little lazy!


2. Regular newsletters

Newsletters are an excellent way to naturally maintain contact with customers – it’s a great way to share useful information while also ensuring your brand remains at the forefront of their mind.

Your newsletter could include content like:

  • Blogs relevant to the product/service they took out

  • Company updates

  • Competitions/giveaways

  • Teasers: if you’ve got something new coming out

  • Testimonials: to reaffirm you’re a good brand to be with

Your newsletters should be consistent. Don’t send three in one month and then go silent for the next four. Decide how regular you want to start sending them - weekly, biweekly, monthly or quarterly. Try to stick to the same date and time too, that way people can start to expect (and hopefully look forward to) your updates.


3. Promote your products 

Existing customers present a potential gold mine of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. If they’ve already purchased from you there’s a good chance they already enjoy your brand, so it’s a waste not to play on that.

It’s really important you don’t go overboard with these kind of emails though. If you do, you run the risk of recipients unsubscribing and losing all chances of reaching out to them. 

Your promotional emails should:

 a)     Be clearly targeted
b)     Focus on quality, rather than quantity
c)     Outline why this product is suited to them
d)     If possible, offer an additional incentive - i.e. a discount

4 types of emails you need to be sending  |  Hue & Tone Creative


4. Ask for a review

If you never ask there’s no chance you’ll get what you want, right? 

Reviews are key to your success. The majority of prospects will peruse your reviews before making their final decision, so the more high-quality testimonials you have to your name, the more chance you have of attaining new leads. 

For existing customers, reviews provide an open platform to air opinions, and show that you a) care what they think, and b) are looking to continually improve and evolve your offering for them.

 Don’t be too keen with your review request though. To make sure it’s meaningful, give the customer chance to actually use your product or service first. Equally though, make sure you don’t leave it too long, if you do, you might slip off their radar before you land in their inbox. We suggest waiting a minimum of about 2-3 weeks before prompting someone for a product review, but no more than 2 months. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Email Marketing in Greensboro, NC

Whether you need help building your overarching email strategy, putting words together, or branding your template, we’re your go to experts. To start or improve your email strategy today, get in touch with our team at (336) 365-8550 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

How to write a subject line that gets clicks

The world of email marketing is remarkably noisy. According to research conducted by The Radicati Group, a Technology Market Research Firm, 235.6 billion emails are sent and received worldwide every single day, and that number is only set to increase. 

For you as a marketer, that means there’s an endless stream of emails - both business and personal - to compete with, making the appeal of your subject lines crucial to getting an open. 

If you’re struggling to see the click through rate your campaigns need to succeed, we’ve got a bank of ideas to help give them a boost. 

How to write a subject line that gets clicks | Hue & Tone Creative


1. Short and snappy for the win

Short and snappy is usually the name of the game when it comes to digital communication, and email marketing is no exception. You’ll want to use as few words as possible, while still communicating a cohesive idea or call to action. You’ve only got a finite amount of time to capture people’s attention and if your subject line is too long it’ll truncate. If you’re struggling to know when to stop, aim to keep it within 50 characters.

 

2. Make it personal

Include personal information -- like the recipient’s name or location -- in the subject line makes it feel unique and tailored to the recipient. It’s important to only do this if you’re certain your data is accurate -- if you refer to ‘John’ as ‘Mark’ in your subject line, there’s only one place your email is going: the trash.

 

3. Use simple language

People don’t tend to read carefully when they’re scanning their inbox. So, don’t make it difficult for them to skim and easily  understand the subject line. Use simple language that’s easy to understand and gives a clear indication as to what’s inside.

 

4. Make it actionable

The reason you’re sending an email in the first place is because you have a desired end goal in mind, so incorporate that goal into your leading line. For example, if the email’s promoting a special offer, instead of saying ‘Boots are now 20% off’, you should say ‘Flash Sale: Get 20% off boots today!’ 

Use active and action-oriented language to encourage clicks and promote a sense of urgency. 

 

5. Create a sense of urgency

If people think something’s about to expire or run out, they’re much more likely to act sooner rather than later. Adding something as simple as ‘ends soon,’ ‘act now,’ or ‘hurry’ to your subject line can help communicate this message.

That being said, it’s important not to overuse this tactic. If you make every email sound like an emergency, it’ll quickly lose its novelty and recipients will stop taking action. 

 

6. Use numbers

Numbers can help spark intrigue and are great for promoting things like listicles, events, statistics, or blog posts. For example:

  • 8 ways you can save money this summer

  • Join our 2,000 happy clients

  • 200 others are coming to our event – don’t miss out! 

 The use of numbers helps make your subject line stand out, set expectations, and get straight to the point.

 

7. Ask a question

Questions draw people in, stimulate interest, and get people curious about what you have to say. For example, if your email exists to promote an article on ‘7 common subject line mistakes’, you could send it with subject line questions like: 

  • Are you making these subject line mistakes?

  • How successful are your emails?

  • Do you know where your subject lines are going wrong?
     

8. Dare to be different

If you don’t want to get lost in a sea of sameness, don’t fall into the trap of being the same. Be bold with your subject lines and don’t be afraid of injecting a bit of humor, sarcasm, or strangeness into them. 


Hue & Tone Creative: Email Marketing for the Triad

These eight tips are just the tip of the iceberg! We’ll get email marketing off your to do list and give you the hands on help you need for a successful conversion rate. Let’s chat about it: 336-365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

How to maximize your Black Friday marketing efforts

Black Friday officially marks the start to the holiday shopping season. It’s the kick off to what has turned into a four-day shopping frenzy – and whether you’re looking to capture Black Friday shoppers or Cyber Monday sales, you’ll have tons of consumers who are ready to jump on limited-time only deals. 

While this means the competition out there will be tough, it also means you’ve got a load of hungry consumers to target. If you’re gearing up to get in on the Black Friday or Cyber Monday action, here are five tips to help you make the most of your marketing.

How to maximize your Black Friday marketing efforts  |  Hue & Tone Creative

 1. Start it early

Don’t wait until the night before to advertise your Black Friday bargains. We’d recommend warming your audience up a week or two in advance so they: 

  • Know to come straight to you once your sale starts

  • Can start scouting out what items they might put in their basket

  • Can spread the word on your behalf

 

2. Be clear

People aren’t mind readers, so make it super easy for them to find out when your sale starts/ends, what the discounts will be, and which products or services they’ll apply to.

Drumming your Black Friday bonanza up to be something bigger and better than it is is a risky game to play. You run the risk of not only annoying customers on the day of, but also losing their long-term interest as well. 

 

3. Check your capacity 

If you’re lucky, your server will see a steep spike in traffic on and around Black Friday as consumers hunt through your site for the best deal. Make sure your systems can handle the increase in volume with ease - the last thing you want is your site or app crashing during peak buying times.

 

4. Take a targeted approach

Instead of sending out blanket marketing campaigns and hoping for the best, take the time to create a more tailored approach by digging into people’s behavior and targeting them based on past habits. 

Target people who have recently abandoned carts full of items that are now going on sale. It takes more time to set up, but if done right the results will be worth it. 

 

5. Make sure you standout 

Whatever medium you’re using - email, social media, direct mail, or otherwise, there’s a lot of competition out there. But it’s not only your competitors you’re competing against. 

You need to make sure your marketing collateral stands out from the stuff you typically send out so that recipients sit up, pay attention, and immediately click through to your website. Find the balance between an eye-catching Black Friday ad and your usual brand. It’s a great time to push the boundaries of your every day branding – just don’t lose your brand completely. 


Your Holiday Marketing Partner

Not sure where to start? Not a problem. Whether it’s support with your landing pages, social media strategy or email campaign, we’ve got you covered. For last minute Black Friday support, reach out to us at 336-365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com.

The essentials: must have marketing assets for new businesses

Get your new business of to the best start possible with the right marketing materials! 

Get your new business of to the best start possible with the right marketing materials! 

So, you’ve decided to start a business. You know you need the basics like a logo and business cards – but what other marketing assets should you make a priority?

Marketing materials can encompass everything from websites and letterheads to social media graphics and promotional videos. If you’re just starting out in the small business world, chances are your budget is probably a little tight – but skimping when you start up can mean unnecessary spending down the road.

Think about it: you pick the first business name you think up and print up a bunch of business cards, letterheads, and pens. A few weeks later, you’re hearing from your customers that they can’t remember your business name. Now you’ve confused people, still have to pay for proper branding, and you’ve got to pay to reprint materials you could have gotten right from the start. 

The good news is that we’re here to tell you what you need it, why you need it, when you need it, and how you get it. We hope this run down of essential marketing materials helps empower you when you’re hiring a graphic designer or marketing agency.

Here’s what you need to successfully get your business off the ground:
 

1. Brand Values

Because no physical products come out of this stage of the branding process, it’s often rushed or disregarded – but this is one of the most important stages, and it will influence everything you do from here on out. Your brand values are the set of principles that will dictate every aspect of your business, including the look, messaging, and customer service approach.

Here’s what you’ll want to define:

  • Values: what does your business stand for?
  • Objectives: where do you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 year’s time?
  • Customer personas: who are your talking to and what do they care about?
  • Tone of voice: how will you talk to your customers? And why?
  • Proposition: what will you do for your customers? And how will you benefit them?
  • Tagline/mission statement: how can your brand’s essence be summed up into as few words as possible?

Taking the time to properly develop your brand values will allow you to properly train your workforce and will help you communicate your brand to third parties. We suggest asking your marketing team for a brand book or set of written guidelines that you could hand off to an outside team.

The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses  |  Hue & Tone Creative


2. Brand Identity

Now it’s time to develop the look and feel of your brand. This is where you’ll work with a designer to create a logo and everything that goes with it. You’ll want to come out of this stage with:

  • Primary logo: as well as any alternative logo formats you might need for packaging, online use, or small sizes
  • Logo usage guidelines: what is the smallest size your primary logo should be printed? What do you do when you can only print your color in one logo? Make sure your designer provides you with guidelines for every situation you might encounter.
  • Font palette: what fonts are you going to use on print, web, and in Microsoft Office?
  • Color Palette: what primary and secondary colors will complement your look, logo ad tone?
  • Graphic elements: anything needed to complete your print and web designs.
  • Sample usage: make sure your designer provides examples of how all these elements will come together to create your signature look. 

 

3. Build a winning website

We talk a lot about the importance of a well designed and properly optimized website, so we won’t waste a lot of space here talking through why you need one. Instead, we’ll run through a few key considerations when it comes to building it:

  • Get to the point: you’ve got a limited time to capture visitors’ attention, so get your message across clearly and effectively on every page.
  • Contemporary: outdated websites make your brand look instantly aged and untrustworthy. Take the time to get your website looking slick, and outsource it to a specialist if you need to.
  • Architecture: once you start adding menus and pages, they can be a right pain to change down the line. To make sure you’ve got a great user experience from the outset, map out your site’s architecture before you start building it.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): with a reputation for being the cheapest marketing method around, it’s crucial that you build and write your website with SEO at the forefront of your mind.
  • Contact: make your call to actions and contact information crystal clear.
  • Host: choose a content management system that’s reliable. Personally, we would recommend Squarespace – here’s why.
  • Domain: be sure to match your domain name to your business’ name.
     

4. Social media

Did you know, 70% of the US population have at least one social media profile? That’s a whole lot of potential customers to capture.

We suggest selecting just 2-3 platforms to get started on – especially if you’re handling your social media in house. To effectively leverage social media, there’s a few things you’ll need to do:

  • Only use high resolution profile and background images (pixilated pictures make you look untrustworthy and out of touch)
  • Write a succinct and enticing bio
  • Link back to your website
  • Include contact details
  • Keep an eye on your inbox/direct messages
  • Commit to regularly posting
  • Reply to those who engage with you
  • Interact with relevant people and/or profiles

Maintaining social media should be a daily job – if it’s not, you’re not doing it right. We suggest creating a content calendar to stay organized. And, make sure you have a set of templates on hand to save time when you need to create a quick Facebook graphic. 

5. Blogs

Investing in content marketing comes with endless benefits. A well maintained blog boosts your SEO efforts, helps you build backlinks and brand awareness, generates leads, adds brand value, and ups engagement.

Just remember the golden rule: the content you’re publishing must be quality. Churning out subpar articles won’t get you far -- if it even gets you anywhere. Here are a few general post types to get you going:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Tutorials
  • Whitepapers
  • Presentations
  • ‘How to’ guides
  • Buzzfeed-style listicles

With good content, you need good images. If you’re not in the position to fork out money for sites like iStock and Shutterstock, consider Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels for good, free alternatives. 
 

The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses  |  Hue & Tone Creative

6. Templates

Next up is templates. The extent of this list will vary depending on the nature of your business, but below is an idea of the types of templates we suggest you think about:

  • Email campaigns - sales, welcome, thank you, updates, or otherwise
  • Newsletters
  • Direct mail
  • Job descriptions
  • Email signatures
  • Powerpoint presentations 
  • Social media graphics
  • Letterhead/memos

Your logo should feature on each and every one of them -- which is why it’s important to have a logo that sits well in different settings, and your brand’s look, feel and tone should be encapsulated too. Remember though, your templates don’t need to be uniform to be consistent.

7. Print collateral

We’ve been carrying on about online a lot -- and rightly so! -- but don’t forget about good old offline advertising. Depending on your industry, things like physical brochures and business cards can be an important asset.

If you’re investing in printed materials, remember to:

  • Do your research: spending a bit of time selecting a quality printer.
  • Don’t compromise: poor quality paper reflects badly on your business.
  • Don’t rush: if there’s a proofreading mistake that’s your fault there’s no going back -- without throwing money down the drain.
  • Keep it consistent: print materials still needs to mirror your online presence.
  • Think of the bigger picture: think about how you can make print materials evergreen so that you don’t have to reprint regularly. Consider what really needs a date and what could go without one.
  • Get the right amount of copies: you can easily order more, so don’t go print crazy and order 1000s of copies unless you’re absolutely certain they’ll be used. But, you usually get a discount the more you order, so don’t be afraid to print some extras.

Need a little help?

Getting all your marketing assets together can feel really daunting -- I know, I’ve been there! But here at Hue & Tone Creative, there’s a lot we can help you with. From logo design and letterhead to web design and social media management, get in touch to see how we can support your business’ success. 

Leading the Way: How to Generate More Leads on the Web

In 2015, there were a total of 205 billion emails sent and received. According to Marketing Charts, emails sent to Gmail users found that 68.4% of all incoming messages were classified as Promotions; marketing messages sent for the purpose of driving a purchase or conversion. Promotional emails and other forms of direct marketing are made possible when businesses obtain personal contact information. The more leads a company is able to capture increases their potential for a future sale or conversion. There’s a myriad of ways to generate more leads, but here are a few that can be done quickly through your website and social media without a lot of fuss.

Leading the Way: How to Generate More Leads on the Web  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Don’t Ask, Won’t Tell

First things first: ask for what you want. Sometimes, just having a place on your site dedicated to requesting a user’s contact info is enough. If you never make the request, you’re much less likely to capture the lead. A good place for such a request is a Landing Page.

 

Create a Landing Page

We love this example from  VTL Design ! 

We love this example from VTL Design

Basically, a landing page is a place on your site that allows you to capture a visitor's information; most typically through a lead form. More technically, it’s a web page that stands alone from the rest of your site and is created for a specific function. Maybe you’re promoting a webinar and are attempting to attract attendees or maybe you want visitors to subscribe to receive your newsletter. Normally, you can’t reach a landing page from your site’s main navigation menu. Your visitors either land on it or it pops up shortly after they arrive. A landing page allows you to put special requests front and center while capturing user data simultaneously if they choose to proceed.

Simple enough, right? Well, asking doesn’t guarantee a yes, but as stated earlier, you have to at least ask and the landing page is where you pop that question.

 

It’s not what you ask for, but how you ask for it.

“What’s your math,” is the most creative means by which I’ve heard a phone number solicited. The gentleman wanted something, but instead of asking the same way everyone else has, he got creative and, as a result, he got the digits. On your landing page, you have what’s called the Call to Action button or CTA. A CTA is the equivalent of a pickup line. Traditionally that line has been “Submit”. Research has shown that this word has a lower conversion rate than other phrases. Subscribe, Start Your Free Trial, Launch, Download Now, Create a Site, Get Your Free E-Book, Sign Up for Free are more successful alternatives just to name a few. While it makes sense that your conversion goal will dictate what you ask for, the world is your oyster in terms of how you can ask. So, get creative in your request and the lead may be yours.

 

Social Sharing is Caring

Does your company have a Twitter account, Facebook Page, Instagram, ect? If so, make sure to include social sharing buttons on your website. Visitors who don’t want to fork over contact information may opt to engage with you through these mediums. They can follow you and you can, in turn, follow your followers. It’s a way to gain instant leads. Not only will your social media promotions show up automatically in their feeds, you will have unfettered access to those interested in your service or product and access to their entire social network. Easy peazy.

A business’s success is dependent upon how successfully they attract and keep customers. Lead generation is an essential part of that task. Capitalize on the traffic coming to your site by extending an offer or making a request that may perpetuate the relationship. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. As leads increase, you’ll be happy you did.


WEB MARKETING IN GREENSBORO and WINSTON-SALEM

If your web traffic is stagnant, it's time to give Hue & Tone Creative and a call. We'll work together to help you get your content back on track and your website in front of new eyes. Want to learn what we can do? Give us a call.

Intro to HTML: Must Know Tags for Beginners

Into to HTML  |  Hue & Tone Creative

If you’re not familiar with HTML, making even small tweaks to your website or custom MailChimp template can be a struggle. HTML is a complicated language and you won’t become an expert overnight – however, you can master a few basics that will make it easier to tweak templates, build web pages, and control your online presence.

This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive guide to HTML, but rather an introduction with some of the most basic tags you’ll need to customize your in-house marketing campaigns. 

 

What is HTML?

Let’s start with the most basic question – “what is HTML?”

Hypertext markup language (HTML) is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects. You use specific tags to customize each element of a web page.

Check it out for yourself: Open up a well-designed site in Chrome, right click, and select "Inspect Element." You’ll be able to get a look behind-the-scenes at how the site was coded. 

 

HTML Elements

HTML elements are individual components of your webpage that are made up of a start tag <example> and an end tag </example >.

Here’s an example of what a simple HTML page might look like:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Page Title</title>
</head>
<body>

<h1>Sample heading</h1>
<p>A sample paragraph would go here.</p>

</body>
</html>

 

Note the <html> tag at the very top.

This element specifies the language the webpage or document is written in. Without this tag your computer won’t know how to process all the code that follows it. It’s important to realize that browsers do not display the HTML tags, but they use them to render the content of the page.

 

The Basics

<body>
The visible part of the HTML document is between <body> and </body>.

Your body tag is the first element content tag that you can open after you’ve opened your initial html tag.

 

<head>
This tag is one of the content elements that can be opened within your body tag. You can vary the size of your headings and subheadings by specifying whether you want <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, or <h6>.

<h1> defines the most important heading. <h6> defines the least important heading.

 

<p>
Used for formatting paragraphs of text. Just to be clear, the paragraph tag defaults to which ever style you already have assigned to your style sheet.

 

<a>
HTML links are defined with the <a> tag.

For example:
<a href="hueandtonecreative.com">You would put the text you want to be hyperlinked here. </a>

 

<img>
To incorporate an image into your page you’ll want to use an <img> tag -- the source file (src), alternative text (alt), width, and height can all be defined.

Example here:
<img src="hueandtonelogo.jpg" alt="hueandtonecreative.com" width="210" height="210">


Always remember to close your tags. Anytime you open a tag <example> you should close it after you’ve defined all your content </example>. 


Style Elements

<style>
Your style tags help you specify which colors and fonts are used for your headings, paragraphs, etc.

 

Here’s a few examples:

You could format size like this:

<h1 style="font-size:300%;">This is a heading</h1>
 

Color like this:

<h1 style="color:blue">This is where the text you want stylized goes. </h1>
 

Or both like this:

<h1 style="color:blue;"font-size:300%">This is where the text you want stylized goes.</h1>

 

Formatting Elements

Formatting assist with the aesthetics of your webpage, kind of like the style elements we mentioned earlier. The main difference between the two is that your formatting elements deal with text effects.

<b>
Used to make specific text bold.

<i>
Used for italicizing text.

<marked>
Highlights text.

<small>
Makes specific text smaller. 


Helpful Resources

Learning HTML isn’t the easiest task, so here are a few tools to help you become a pro in no time!

  • Treehouse is an online coding school specializing in front end web development, JavaScript, IOS, and Python. Learn from over 1,000 video tutorials, quizzes, and coding challenges. There’s a free trial for first time users.
  • Lynda is a digital learning library where you can learn skills for business, design, marketing, and web development.
  • HTML Dog offers free online tutorials in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are specific tutorials for every level of learning: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

 

One last note…

Becoming proficient in HTML takes time and consistent practice, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come easy to you! Be patient and try to set obtainable goals for yourself.


Web and Graphic Design in Greensboro and beyond.

Clueless on how to build a website or create a logo? We’ve got you covered! Eye catching landing pages that help reel in leads to business cards that leave a lasting impression, Hue & Tone Creative is here for all of your marketing needs.

The Optimal Font Size for Web, MailChimp, and Mobile

Earlier this month, Twitter rolled out a new font. Unfortunately, not everyone was a fan

Twitter’s switch from Helvetica Neue, to Segue left users complaining that the slender new font was hard to read and caused way too much eye-strain.

Like Twitter, most businesses are bound to make mistakes when it comes to using the right fonts and sizes. Instead of fumbling through and learning from trial and error, do yourself a favor by learning a few of the best font-size secrets. 

Artboard 3test.png

Websites

Whether you’re designing an online shop, portfolio, or blog, it’s crucial that your fonts look clean, appealing, and easy to read.

For best readability, we recommend that you keep your headers and buttons between 30-32 pts and sub headers between 18-26 pts. Body text usually looks best when it’s between 12-16 pts. 

 

The Optimal Font Size for Web, MailChimp, and Mobile  |  Hue & Tone Creative
Looking to compare email marketing platforms? Here’s a rundown on a few of our favorites. 

MailChimp

Email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, email is 40 times more successful at bringing in leads than Twitter or Facebook.

One of our personal email marketing tools, MailChimp, recommends that you keep your body text between 14-16 pts. 16 is best for short emails between 2-3 sentences, while 14 pts us better for more lengthy emails.

 

The Optimal Font Size for Web, MailChimp, and Mobile  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Mobile

According to MailChimp, it’s best to stick to the “one eyeball, one thumb, and arm’s length” rule when it comes to font sizes. Basically, your viewers should be able to see and scroll through the entire email with ease and clarity. 

With this guide in mind, your body fonts should be between 12-16 pts and your links, CTA, and buttons should be between 34-36 pts.

 

One last note…

When it comes to selecting fonts, the most important thing is to pick an easily readable font. When in doubt, go back to basics. If you stick to a plain serif or sans serif and use these size guidelines, you'll be on your way to finding the perfect typography for your next web project! 


Web & Blog Design in Greensboro, NC

Not seeing much traffic or engagement on your website? It’s probably time for an upgrade! From landing pages to business blogs, Hue & Tone Creative can help you create a site that matches your style and helps reel in leads.