Are You Getting Stuck in Spam Filters?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, November 05, 2015

A common question that I get asked is "I want to do an e-mail campaign, but how do I stay out of the spam filters?". You can avoid the spam folder by following the CAN-SPAM law, keeping your list clean and writing content that can't be considered spam.  A couple of examples of what would be considered spam: using all caps or writing a "sales" pitch right out the "gate" with the words "free" written throughout the e-mail.

Save yourself a lot of headaches - Make sure your list is DOUBLE opt-in! Sending a confirmation e-mail after they sign up will ensure they want to receive information from you. Once they've confirmed, send an e-mail right away. We all get busy and have a tendency to send e-mails 2 - 3 weeks after people signed up; there's a good chance they won't remember you and hit the delete key - keep yourself in front of them!  Now that you have your list confirmed, keep it clean.


Does Your Web Site Need a Facelift?

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your web site is a direct reflection on your business. If your web site is outdated, cluttered, or a poor choice of color can make or break a potential sale.Statistics show that over 90% of web visitors will leave a site or feel it's not trustworthy. Make sure your pages are easy to navigate. Now, more than ever, your site needs to be tablet and mobile friendly. Here are a few tips for cleaning up your site:

1. Stop the scrolling.
Consolidate your wording, make it informative and give the reader a nudge to either purchase or contact you for more information.

2. Appeal to your target audience.
Design your site with your target age group in mind.

3. Keep your content fresh.
Your web site should have new content every week, whether it's in a blog, forum or new product information.

4. Testimonials
One of the best ways to sell your products and services is through customer testimonials.

5. Talk to your customers and prospects.
Remember, visitors are on your site to learn about your products and services. Talk to them through your content. Your text needs to sell your business.


Become a Minimalist When Designing Your Web Site

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, June 08, 2015
When designing today's web sites, less is more. In the past, the more information you had on your web site - the better. Times have changed, and the trend is to keep it minimal. Grab the attention of the reader with minimal graphics and text - create a call to action to get the reader to call. Take a look at the following web site: - it's simple, to the point yet it grabs the eyes of the reader. They use a great slogan that the reader can identify with, a collage of their work on the home page, and clear navigation through their site. The footer contains their phone number and prompts visitors to request a free quote.Are you a minimalist?

Make an Impact on Your Readers Using Pictures

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, June 08, 2015

There are times when pictures can say more about our products and services than paragraphs of text. We all tend to write a lot of text on our web sites; however, have you noticed how our eyes tend to gravitate toward graphics. Pictures are worth a thousand words; why not showcase your work with pictures. I ran across a web site, , who chose to use pictures to grab the interest of the readers.

If you visit the site, you’ll see a home page that has all of the information a visitor needs to make decision to contact them. The header contains their logo for creating brand awareness, contact information that includes a personal touch by including the names and phone number for each person and an opening statement that clearly defines what services they offer and the geographical area they serve.

Moving down the home page are 3 large graphics which show off the quality of their work. We’re all used to seeing small graphics; this company chose to make their graphics large to really show off their “workmenship” – a very wise choice. I found the graphic below to be the most effective in grabbing the attention of the reader showing their attention to detail and their ability to create a custom finished product. The picture is crisp, clear and, in my opinion, defines their workmanship.

Review your web site; look at it from a visitor’s perspective. Are you using too many words; do you have pictures that showcase your products and/or services? More importantly, are your pictures/graphics relative to your offerings?

Sometimes Less is Better Than More

Barbara Spagnola - Sunday, May 31, 2015
Back when I started on the Internet in 1994, the web was about putting up as much information and resources as possible. It wasn't about selling; it was about gaining credibility which led to sales. Web sites were bloated with information, and the bigger it was the better your company looked. Things have changed a lot since then, and web sites are going toward a more minimalistic look - and it's working. I visited a web site that has a clean, crisp look with minimal wording, yet the company has set themselves up to gain credibility and sell their services - .  The site is easy to navigate, you can find their information on their various services easily, and every page offers a request for a quote. Keep this in mind when you're designing a web site; if you already have a site, see how you can improve it using a minimalistic approach.

Does Your Web Site Talk to Your Visitors?

Barbara Spagnola - Sunday, May 31, 2015

As a marketing consultant, I review a lot of web sites and print material. Sometimes, we get so focused on trying to get our point across to the visitor/reader that we can all write large amounts of text that could be summed up in a few sentences. We forget that our goal is to engage the reader and entice then to contact us for more information and, hopefully, close the sale. I came across a web site, which has used an excellent choice of wording to grab the attention of the potential customer. They ask questions and make the reader think about what they want - and they provide the solutions. They provide answers to the "Who, what, when, where and how" and peak the visitors interest in their products and/or services. If you're having issues with visitor retention in your web site, review your text and look at it from the perspective of the visitor. Can you cut down the text yet still get your point across? Is your text factual or are you actually talking to the reader?


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Have you ever heard the saying "you never have a second chance to make a good first impression"? It applies to your web site and the initial impression visitors get when they go to the homepage of your web site. Your wording and graphics need to grab the attention of the reader and make them want to navigate through your web site to learn more about your services. A good example is - Smiles Unlimited Dental Centre. Their name says exactly what they're about, the graphic shows a woman with a beautiful smile, and they have the word "smiles" in large print embedded in the header. Right under the header, are the words "An Affordable Coquitlam Dentist" which will entice visitors to read further. Is your graphic selling for you?

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Setting yourself apart from your competition is key to your success. Consumers have a vast array of web sites to visit and compare services - you need to "stand out" in the crowd. I was surfing the web and came across a web site of a Psychotherapist who clearly defined who she was and why people should choose her services. In her top navigation bar she has a link to "My Approach". In this section, Daniela clearly defines herself and why she's the right person for the job based on her approach. Are you standing out in a crowd of web sites?


Is Your Web SIte Design Outdated?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, May 21, 2015
I was surfing the web researching one of my client's competitors, and I came across a web site for Titan Transline Inc at The site design is a little outdated, but as I started to review their services, I realized it was a very functional site with many features. If you visit the site, the right hand side bar has a Quick Quote graphic linking to their form - it is one of the first things you see on the page. Their phone number is "in your face" (I constantly hear complaints about web sites that make you search for their contact information), and they have a Contact Us Form you can submit right from the homepage.

The top navigation bar is very clearly laid out, and easy to maneuver. Once again, their phone number is embedded in the navigation bar. They've included downloadable forms, an FAQ, industry news and more. It is a very well thought out site design. It just goes to show that while it's important to keep your web site design updated, you can have an older design which is very functional and offers many features to bring in sales.

Increase Your Credibility With Customer Testimonials

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's all about credibility and building trust - and customer testimonials can be an effective marketing tool if they're done right. Statistics show that consumers read testimonials before deciding which business to hire. Prospects want to know you're a legitimate business, with happy customers - and they want to hear it firsthand from the customer.

Your testimonials need to be convincing, and most of all, honest quotes about the quality of your service and/or product. Video testimonials of happy customers are an excellent way to gain credibility; it's not just words on a page.  Watching a customer talk about your company and get excited about their results is one of the best selling tools for your company. Take a look at the site for Kim Alvarez, . In the middle of her home page, she has 5 customer video testimonials showcasing what she has accomplished for each. This makes a great impression and they are actually selling for her through these videos.