Thursday, February 15, 2007

Email Signatures

Create standard email signatures for ALL your employees. Anyone that uses the Internet in your company should have a company standard email signature.

What’s an email signature? Did you ever notice that at the end of some emails you will see not only the email creator’s name, but their phone number, fax, number, company name, logo, Web site address, etc. It’s amazing how easy this is to do and how many companies simply over look it. Or they let everyone do their own thing.

Having the company’s contact and Web site information makes it easy for the recipient to contact you or visit your site. Making it a standard email signature improves your overall branding strategy. Check your email software. If you are using Microsoft Outlook and want to add a signature click on Tools, then Options, then Mail Format and then Signatures.

Again, make sure that everyone in your company follows the same format. Also, add a signature for reply mail which can be different than new mail. Very often the reply mail signature does not always have the same information. I strongly recommend that you at least add your phone number. It makes it very convenient for someone to call you when your phone is easy to find.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We Value Your Privacy

We value your privacy. This simple four word sentence can have a tremendous effect on your email or form conversion ratios. Be sure to have the sentence, or at least the word “privacy” linked to your privacy statement.

Use this sentence next to any email form on your site or on your contact page. Clearly and simply stating your privacy policy assures the site visitor that you will not sell, give or trade their email or personal information to a third party.
While a privacy page is standard practice for most professional site builders, lawyers usually have their hand in writing a company’s privacy policy. That results in having the privacy policy looking like a long legal document.

Using the simple sentence with a link to the privacy policy gives the site visitor assurance that you care about their privacy without having a long explanation.

For one of our client’s Web sites we added “We value your privacy” just above their email form. The sentence was linked to their privacy policy. The link was hardly used, but having that simple statement was all that was needed. The added statement increased their form’s conversion ratio by over 250%

Saturday, February 03, 2007

404 Error Page - Another Opportunity to Improve Your Site

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact. One of the most overlooked aspects of a Web site is the 404 error page. Creating a unique 404 page is another opportunity to improve your site's performance and provide your site visitors easy access to other pages. Creating a 404 error page should be standard practice when redesigning a site.

What is a 404 error page? It’s the page you see when someone clicks on a broken link or a page that has been renamed. When that happens the site visitor will see a standard page that simply tells you the page is no longer available. It has no thrills, no other links, no branding and above all, very little helpful information.

The page usually starts off with these words:

The page cannot be found.
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Your unique 404 error page should look like a regular page of your site. It should include your site’s header, footer and navigation bar so that the site visitor can easily click on another area of your site. The content of this unique 404 error page should contain text explaining that the page selected is no longer available along with contact information so the site visitor has the option of emailing or calling your company.

An example of our 404 error page can be found at:

You might want to check with your hosting company first to see if they allow you to create custom error pages. Just creating the page and uploading with your other page files is usually is not enough. You most likely will have to change how the error pages are handled through your hosting company. Most hosting companies have a hosting administration tool or control panel that you can use to change or upload your custom error page.