CATEGORY: Tips

How to create buttons that tell your website visitors what to do next

Are you telling your website visitors what they should do next? If they’ve landed on a page where you want them to do something—begin a download, sign up for an email list, purchase a product, etc.—you’ll find far more success if you visually invite them to do it. In other words, you need a good Call to Action (CTA) buttons.

CTAs are crucial in getting the user to perform a desired action. Here are a few basic tips for creating effective CTA buttons for your website or blog.

Make your CTA stand out

The call to action button needs to command attention. Your visitors shouldn’t have to scan the page to figure out what to do next. It should be completely obvious that they need to click HERE to begin a download, add a product to their shopping cart, etc.

This doesn’t mean your CTA needs to be a giant, obnoxious, flashing button that says “CLICK ME NOW!!!!!!” That might turn users off and cause them to leave your site. But your CTA should be an attractive, inviting color that stands out from the rest of the page. Here are two great infographics from Fast Company and VisualNews.com that can help you choose a color for your CTA buttons.

How to use email marketing to get more website traffic, Part 2

Last week I discussed some of the basics of email marketing: choosing an email marketing service, getting subscribers, and creating HTML emails. Today I’ll wrap it up with tips on subject lines, email content, and scheduling.

Subject lines need to be short, especially when they’re being read on mobile devices.

Subject lines

The first step in writing a subject line is knowing what not to do. Internet Service Providers and email clients have spam filters that detect certain words, phrases, punctuation, and formatting styles that suggest an email is spam. Using the following tactics won’t automatically land your email in a recipient’s spam folder, but when you’re writing a subject line try to avoid:

  • A heavy emphasis on money/price
  • ALL CAPS and excessive QUOTATION MARKS!!!!!
  • Making the message sound urgent, eg. CLICK NOW! or DON’T MISS OUT!

Beyond those basic rules, the best practices for creating a subject line is to keep it short and simple.

  1. Short—With more and more people reading email primarily on mobile devices (41 percent and growing!), subject lines need to be extremely concise. For instance, the mail app on an iPhone only displays about 40 characters of a subject line. According to litmus (an email testing service), subject lines with 28-39 characters have the best click rates.
  2. Simple—It may be tempting to get clever with your subject lines, but resist the urge. You’re emailing subscribers (if you’re playing by the rules), so these are people who’ve either volunteered to receive emails from you or purchased your products/services. Use the subject line to tell them exactly what they’re receiving: a monthly newsletter, a discount, a notification about new content, etc.

Protect your personal information with Whois Privacy

When you purchase a domain name from name.com you’re given the option to add Whois Privacy for $3.99 (for one year). What exactly is Whois Privacy?

First, let me explain the WHOIS (pronounced “Who Is”) database. It’s a list of every domain registered in the world. Whenever a domain is registered, the person buying the domain has to provide personal information, such as a name, phone number, and address, as required by ICANN. That information goes into the Whois database. The database is searchable, so if you own a domain and someone looks up that domain in the Whois database, they can see your personal information.

But not if you have Whois Privacy protection.

When you purchase Whois Privacy, we replace your personal information in the Whois directory with contact information that directs back to name.com. If someone wants to contact you about a domain—regardless of whether it’s a legitimate inquiry—they have to contact name.com first. Here’s an idea of what your Whois information looks like with and without Whois Privacy:

whoiscomparison

Five questions to help drive successful business strategy

rotmanwinter20131

I recently picked up the Winter 2013 issue of Rotman magazine while wandering the Barnes and Noble in Boulder, Colorado. The Rotman magazine is a periodical from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. An article that caught my eye discussed five questions that should asked to serve as the framework for any type of business strategy formation. The authors of the piece are clear that the answers to these questions should be answered in the order presented. The questions may seem very simple at first, but once you sit down and try to answer them, you’ll discover that they may be more challenging to answer than you anticipated.

A few awesome uses for URL forwarding

Today we’ve got a video on how to use name.com’s URL forwarding features. In short, URL forwarding allows you to redirect users from your domain to another website.

You might think, “Not too exciting,” right? WELL YOU’RE WRONG. Here are a few useful ways to take advantage of URL forwarding:

Aliases for generated URLs

Bids start at $0.01. Shipping is $11.99. I’m not making this up.

Pretend you have something really cool that you want to sell on eBay, like a mouse-shaped chicken nugget (seriously). Now you want to promote your mouse-nugget auction. Which URL are people more likely to remember?

Option A: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mouse-Shaped-Chicken-Nugget-One-of-a-Kind-/181097877797?
Option B: www.mousenugget.com

The choice is clear, right? If you purchase a simple domain name and set it to forward to the eBay listing, it’ll be much easier to tell people about the rodent-shaped piece of fried chicken that you’re selling on the internet.

Social media sites, blogging platforms, Craigslist, real estate websites, Google Maps, YouTube, and tons of other services all create long, indecipherable links. URL forwarding makes sharing those links easy.

Moving to a new domain

If you’ve moved your site to a new domain, you can use URL forwarding so that people familiar with the previous domain can still find your site. It’s pretty frustrating to end up at a dead link. VideoGames.com became GameSpot.com in 1998, and to this day VideoGames.com is a forwarding URL.

RAAAAAAAAGGGGGE.

RAAAAAAAAGGGGGE.

Forwarding from similar domains

Let’s say someone wants to visit your site, but they don’t quite remember the URL, or they’ve got fat fingers and they just type it incorrectly. If you can anticipate the incorrect URLs that a user might type, you can purchase those domains and have them redirect to your intended website.

Similarly, you can purchase multiple TLDs and have them redirect to the same website. So yourwebsite.net, yourwebsite.com, and yourwebsite.org could all send a user to the same place.

If you want more of the nitty gritty details on URL forwarding, here’s a tutorial from our support team.

 

So You Want To Be a Blogger: Notes from Borseth and Bukowski

If I had a nickel for every time I told myself I was going to start a blog I’d be living high on the hog right about now. Even better would be to have gotten a goat for every time I told myself the same thing, because then I’d have a whole herd of goats and could finally start that online goat cheese enterprise I’ve always dreamed about. But enough about me, this blog post is about you and how you are going to change the world through your deep thoughts and inspirational musing on your very own blog.

Having a successful blog ain’t no (oh yes I did, grammar nazis) easy thing to do though. You need to be dedicated to it and to be dedicated you also need to be excited about what you will be spending hours of your time writing. So find a passion and write about it. Or make a video about it. Or draw a picture about it. Or bake a themed cake about it. A blog doesn’t have to be all walls of text after all. Chances are that if you’re passionate about something there are others out there that are passionate about it as well. If the topic you decide to embrace isn’t something you have a burning desire to write about then it will show through in your content and, by extension, will be less compelling for the people you are trying to entertain. And don’t fool yourself, having a successful blog is almost entirely about entertainment.

Besides having a topic you have a passion for you also need the right tools for the task at hand. When it comes to blogging it’s hard to argue that the king of that particular niche is WordPress. You can download it and install it on your own hosting plan or you can use our super simple and easy to setup RapidPress service for less than seven cents a day. That’s right, less than $0.07 a DAY! You might think I’m yanking your chain on that one but I’m drop dead serious, seven-cents-a-day. Cross my heart and hope to die. Click that link up there and you will see for yourself just how easy it is to get started. Seriously, do it. I’ll wait.

And now, if you’re having a hard time coming up with a topic, I give you some inspiring words from one of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski (RIP):

So You Want To Be a Writer

charles-bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

There you have it, inspiration and the tools to get started all in one simple blog post. Until next time, thank you for your attention and have a mighty fine day.

Owen Borseth
VP of Awesome™

Don’t Get Hacked: Password Lessons from the Flame Broiler

It lasted for over an hour and was so ugly that even their competitors were sending out empathetic Tweets.

mcdonalds empathy burger king

Burger King’s Twitter account had been hacked, and not only were the hackers sending their own racially-charged tweets about Burger King employees “crushing and sniffing Percocet in the bathroom,” but they also changed all the branding from BK to McDonalds. They even went so far as to promote McDonald’s new Fish McBites.

burger king twitter hacked

So with this kind of nightmare playing out in real life in front of the whole world, we thought it was time to contribute a quick, legitimate  piece to the “how to come up with a great password that’s memorable and fun and makes you feel safe” articles that will be swirling around the ‘net. From our staff we compiled dozens of tips all shrunk down to this one convenient list of tips and tricks for a better, safer, more memorable password.

Caroline Temple, our Affiliate Marketing Manager, knocked out 8 quick pointers for better Internet security:

1. Well – duh – we’ve got the free 2-step verification.

2. Don’t use words like “H3LL0!”  The programs designed to crack passwords have included subbing numbers for vowels now.

3. Consider the “pass phrase”.  Like “IReallyLikeCoffeFirstThingInTheMorning10:00am”

4. Change your password often.

5.. Don’t use the same password for more than one account.

6. WRITE  your passwords down somewhere safe.  Try your darndest to not store them within a document that can get hacked.

7. Review all those apps that you have given access to your Twitter account – maybe it’s time to revoke access of apps that don’t use SSL certificates or that you have not used in a while.

8. Always make sure the URL bar up top reads “https” before logging in to any account.  that means they have an SSL certificate installed that will encrypt your information when logging in.

Some of these steps can be completely alleviated with great tools like oplop (courtesy of Pat “P-Mo” Moroney) that let you simplify all your passwords to a nickname and one master password. And Fitz in support reminded us to plug one of our customers, Last Pass, a secure password manager that promises to make your life much easier.

Finally, it should be noted, that your password should NOT be any word or phrase associated with your personal information or business products. Those are very easy to hack. Like I should not use “Jared1” and you definitely should NOT use “whopper123”  as Burger King, the Home of the Whopper, used up until recently.

We’ll leave you with this helpful password hint from one of our favorite web comics, XKCD

cartoon password strength tips tricks