5 Reasons Your Homepage Isn’t Doing its Job

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Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday (I know its Wednesday, here’s why). Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons Email Isn’t Going Anywhere”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Homepage Isn’t Doing its Job

Too many people miss the purpose of your website’s homepage. In my opinion, it has but one job – get people off the homepage and onto the next page in their journey. It should establish who you are, reassure them that they’ve come to the right place, and then get them moving.

If your homepage has a high bounce rate and isn’t getting people into the rest of the site, you’ve got a problem. Here are five potential causes:

  1. Too much information. The number one mistake people make is crowding their homepage with too much stuff. The general fear is “if it’s not on the homepage no one will find it”. But a well designed website makes finding what you’re looking for easy. The cliché, less is more, has never been more true than when you’re talking about homepage design.

  2. Too many options. To get people off the homepage and into the rest of the site, you need to give them a clear path. This is where organization and navigation come into play. A simple top navigation should have 4 or 5 folders, or pages, with other options as you dig deeper. If you try to give every page on your site equal billing, you’re more likely to confuse your visitors than anything else.

  3. No clear branding. Your homepage should never be cryptic. When I land on it, I should know exactly where I am. Include a clearly identifiable logo and company name to reinforce who you are and let me know I’ve come to the right place.

  4. No call to action. Just like an ad should have a clear call to action, your site should point out to visitors where to go next. There is likely a path that you want people to travel down. So don’t leave it up to them, show them the way.

  5. No contact information. It’s very easy to hit the back button if I can’t find what I’m looking for on your homepage. But having clear contact details, like a phone number, email address, or live chat option, makes it more likely that instead of giving up and reach out to someone for help.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.

5 Reasons Email Isn’t Going Anywhere

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Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons Your Email Isn’t Generating Clicks”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Email Isn’t Going Anywhere

Despite what some unrealistic marketers will tell you, email is not going away any time soon. The other day I was giving a talk on email marketing and someone raised their hand and said, “Is it even worth getting started (with email) at this point? Isn’t it a dying medium?” No!

Here are the five reasons that email is here to stay:

  1. It’s not social. That’s the single biggest argument that you will hear. Social is replacing email. It’s simply not true. I don’t know how else to say it. But ask yourself, do you use both social and email? If you said yes you are like most people.


  2. People still use it. Email usage has not gone down in recent years. In fact, the number of emails sent last year was the highest of any year on record. That’s not the sign of a dying medium.


  3. Response rates are still high. Marketers are finding success with email because it’s a preferred channel for consumers. Many people subscribe to emails from companies they’re interested in, actively seeking deals and offers catered to them.


  4. It’s a relatively cheap form of marketing. Return on investment in this area is high, and very easily measurable in most cases. You can test your way into email quickly, and on a low budget. Even companies with large email lists spend a relatively small amount of their marketing budget in the channel.


  5. Nothing else replaces it. Besides social, there is no other channel that is replacing email. SMS, online chats, and other messaging systems have only added to the options that are out there. But none has pushed email to the sidelines.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.

5 Reasons Your Email Isn’t Generating Clicks

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Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons to Start Using Google AdWords”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Email Isn’t Generating Clicks

On January 14th, I wrote about the 5 reasons your email is not getting opened. But maybe you’re problem is not getting opens. Maybe your open rate is strong, and rising. But what about clicks? A good open rate does not always translate to a good click-thru rate.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons your email isn’t getting enough clicks:

  1. Needs plain text. Too many HTML emails are sent as one large image file. While your designers might brag about beautiful your emails look, your subscribers might never even see them. When I get an email from you, I have to accept images. If I don’t, you’re not getting your message across.


  2. Needs more links. While logistically it might not make sense, I’ve seen time and time again that more links = more clicks. Placing several links to the same page within the content of your emails should make it more likely that someone clicks. Some people click on the first link they see, others read the whole email before clicking.


  3. Needs a stronger CTA. Just including a link in your email is not enough. Your Call to Action should give someone a clear reason to click. And it should tell them to click. Just because you think it’s obvious what the action a reader should take is, doesn’t mean they will.


  4. Needs a better offer. Your call to action might be clear and obvious, but if I’m not interested in what you’re offering, I still won’t click. Maybe your subscribers just don’t see the value in clicking through one of your emails. They either aren’t interested in the offer or don’t like the content. That’s a tougher problem to solve, but one you can diagnose with a simple survey.


  5. Needs to be delivered at a better time. If everything else looks right, you may just need to vary when you’re actually sending the email. If your emails land in a crowded inbox, you may get people to open your email, do a quick scan, and then quickly go for the delete button. See last week’s post on email timing.
As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.

5 Reasons to Start Using Google AdWords

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Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons You Should Consider Contests”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons to Start Using Google AdWords

There are an infinite number of places to advertise online, and even more ways of doing it. But there are a few online channels that every company should test their way into because they’re so successful for others. Search marketing is one such channel, and Google AdWords is the way to get started.

Here are five reasons why:

  1. Your customers are already looking for you. People are searching on Google everyday. It’s likely some of them are searching for something you offer. And it’s just as likely they’re not finding you there. Help them find you by advertising on those searches.


  2. Your competition is already showing up. When people search online for something you offer, you hopefully show up in the organic results along with the rest of your competitors. But if you don’t show up on the first page, you won’t get very many visitors to your site. Help yourself by running ads and show up above your competition.


  3. It’s easy to test your way in. You can select a small number of very specific keywords. You can set low daily spending caps. You can see what works and what does not, and build up your budget from there. You are basically paying for results.


  4. It’s easy to manage. Google provides free training on the AdWords platform that anyone can take. You can also hire a part timer with AdWords experience, or an agency, that can manage it for you. Take it from someone who has been through the training, it’s not hard to learn.


  5. It will open you up to new advertising channels. Once you’re finding success on Google AdWords, you will be more comfortable and more aware of the other online marketing channels. Even through Google AdWords, you have additional advertising options, like their content network or remarketing opportunities.

As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.