Website Launch, Email Campaigns, and Intro to Facebook Webinar
May 11, 2017
Hello everyone and thanks for joining us for our fifth Digitize NS Webinar—and to see our new look.
As always, I hope you have been enjoying the course so far and have brought any and all questions you may have. For anyone wishing to catch up on our webinar from last week or one from previous weeks, we will be happy to provide you with a link in the chat. As with all of our Digitize NS webinars, this will be recorded for later playback of you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. Today's webinar is going to focus on Joe finally launching his website, beginning his first email campaign and setting his sights on Facebook.
For those who may be joining us for the first time, we've been exploring a fictional entrepreneur named Joe who runs a local business making sweaters.
Joe has owned his own business for over 20 years located in Downtown Dartmouth and selling at the Halifax & Dartmouth Farmer's Markets, he is seeing a decline in business. To tackle this issue, he has decided to take his storefront online to open up his consumer base.
Today, we're going to join Joe as he launches his website, sends out his first email campaign, and prepares to go onto Facebook. The main topics that will be cover are:
- Doing a pre-flight check before putting a website online
- The importance of Subject Lines and Email Content
- How to prepare for a Facebook page
Before we dive in, however, let's refresh ourselves on where Joe left off.
Check-in with Joe
When we last left Joe, he had:
- He has continued to develop and follow his strategy
- Finished building his online store with its own domain name (www.joessweaters.ca)
- Written his own content
- Gathering email addresses
- Drafted his first email campaign
Here is a diagram of Joe's strategy with the objectives he wants to achieve outlined as Step One, Two, and Three. As we said last week, traditionally these steps would have a bit more detail such as how many 'hits' Joe wants the sight to have or the open rate of his emails but we are letting Joe go slow.
Let's break that down—Joe's objectives for his strategy is to launch an e-commerce site, create an email list to reach his customers and open a Facebook page to promote his shop. As you can see, Joe has broken this down into steps to tackle one objective at a time to create a strategy.
Step One: Pre-flight check
Well, the moment has finally arrived—Joe is ready to launch joessweaters.ca and he couldn't be prouder. The site looks fresh, contains information on both Joe and his products, has a Contact Me page, and has even been stylistically improved thanks to a call to his hosting agent.
Joe must now do an essential piece of launching any website—doing a pre-flight check. As many of you know, when you work on a project for so long, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds and look past errors such as misspelled words or missing links.
This is extremely important as it is small things like this that can make the site feel unprofessional or turn customers away if they can't find what they need readily, such as through links.
After spending a day away from the site, Joe returns to pour over every page, clicks every link, and puts in a test order to make sure everything works well.
Ideally, it is best to have another person do this—someone who has been nowhere near the project, but as Joe is a one-person team, this isn't a provided luxury.
With a few keystrokes, Joe contently saves his progress in the website building and gets ready to click the'launch' button. Before this, however—he needs to return to his email.
Step Two: Email
When we left Joe, he has written some text for his email, decided he wanted to have a sale and developed a subject line. After reviewing his headline, he wonders if he could make it better and add a bit more'life' to the email.
When it comes to subject lines - the inbox is a tough place. Everyone by now has become skilled at skimming their inbox for the stuff they want to read, leaving little room for boring and poorly written subject lines. Composing attention-grabbing and concise subject lines of 50 characters or less with a benefit added is challenging. This is the first things your email subscribers will see, so you need to create a subject line that is captivating and a sender name that is trustworthy. Keep your subject line direct and truthful, and give subscribers a good idea of what is in the email. DON'T USE ALL CAPS and review our list of spam trigger words to learn what to avoid. Your sender name should be your company or a well-known staff member. The true test for you is to read it back to yourself and decide whether you would open it up as a consumer.
Joe ends up with'Joe's Goes Online—BOGO half off sweaters today!
What do we think? Would you open it?
It is also essential to have a clear call to action. Joe's email will be dead in the water without a clear and appealing call to action. You need to lead or entice your reader to act on something (ideally the main point of your email). Powerful ways to do this is to use a button-like graphic rather than plain text, limit your email to one primary call to action, and experiment with the placement of that CTA.
Wording also plays an important factor with your CTA. Click here does not sound that interesting to many. Better choices would be Learn More, Continue Reading, or Act Now.As a way to grab attention, Joe has included photos into his email and done a showcase on three of his best-selling sweaters with the description beside them. Furthermore, he makes 'buttons' out of them, by again linking the image to the item's URL address on the website. Since his sale for will be offering buy one, get one half off, he thinks this may be just the way to start moving product a bit faster.
He has also made sure the branding is consistent with the website color and font matching. He has also taken a picture of his physical storefront and put it at the top, linking it to his website along with writing out and linking the actual domain address.
Is there anything else you think Joe could or should add?
He definitely needs to make sure that he has an unsubscribe link at the bottom of his email to ensure those who do not wish to be contacted again won't be. In this case, when someone clicks it, they simply send an email back that says'unsubscribe' so Joe will know to take them off his list. He also adds in his physical address at the bottom, also key feature he needs to stay CASL compliant.
Once he gets a social media account start, he can start linking to those as a way to increase traffic and have more way for customers to contact him.
Now comes an important pre-flight check—always test an email before it goes out. If there are any mistakes or issues, you will notice them first rather than passing them on to your subscribers. It also helped to identify if certain images or sections lose alignment or get changed after being sent.
After sending a test email to himself, when Joe is ready—he returns to his website, activates it and sets his email to send in an hour or so. Way to go, Joe! Applause all around.
Planning for Facebook
Now that Joe has launched his first website and gotten his email blast ready to go, he is turning his sights to Facebook. But why should Joe use Facebook?
Well - Facebook is such a diverse and populated place. By having a Facebook page, you are able to access and engage with people who you may not have otherwise been able to. If you currently don't have a Facebook account for your organization, you are missing this massive audience.
But what will Joe need to open up his Facebook page?
To start off—he is going to need to get a profile icon and a background for his page, draft up his businesses'story' and get details on this product. But wait—since Joe launched his site with an About Me section, he can use that text to keep his branding consistent. This is where we begin to reach a critical point about Digitizing—never be afraid to recycle content. If you've spent time and energy on making content, don't spend the same effort every time otherwise you're going around in a circle.
He is also going to need to start a Facebook account himself so he can be an admin for the group.
It is also important for Joe to consider what he will be posting about on Facebook—will it be his product? Information about his business? A solid understanding and strategy of what he wants to get out of his Facebook page is needed to make the investment of time worthwhile.
When you're preparing to launch or website, or any promotion for that matter, be sure to take the time to do one final check of everything. It is best to do so after a day or two away from the project or at the very least a good night's sleep. Always look for spelling errors, broken or missed links and opportunities for improvement.
Writing your first email blast can be a daunting experience—a lot of thought and time needs to into drafting a good subject line and a visually appealing email. A good subject line is 50 characters or less, has no caps, and is honest as well as direct. The content itself should be engaging with photos and brand-consistent colors and fonts. Don't be afraid to make'buttons' out of images by linking to either their site location or specific pages.
Now that Joe has completed both Step One & Two of his strategy! Now he is planning for Step Three: going on Facebook. As he discussed, he is going to need visual elements such as a profile icon and background image, not to mention content ready on his business and products. More so, make sure that you have a strategy of what you want to accomplish so that you have a goal to guide you.
Well—Joe did it! He launched his first website and sent his first email blast. Next week, we're going to keep following Joe as he:
- Starts building his Facebook Page
- Gets ready for his first newsletter
- Learns about email deliverability
Until then, please put any questions you may have in the chat or feel free to email me at Jay—J A Y @ Simplycast.com.Have a great week and enjoy this week's course. If you would like to watch any of our previous webinars, we'll put the link in the chat now for you.