Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why Design Matters



This week, BusinessWeek posted an article called "Teaching Mapping Apps to Pick the Prettiest Walk Over the Shortest." The fact that this new feature is even being explored is proof that people are not always satisfied with the simplest, quickest path: They want a beautiful experience. 

In the case of this article, this applies to walking or driving a beautiful route, but this concept can also be applied to the world of web development. Whether you are in the business of designer clothing, plumbing, or running a bar, your customers want to see beauty when they access your website. Of course, this beauty will look different for different businesses, but it must be there. From feminine fonts to well-thought-out color schemes, from high-quality photos to smooth, animated graphics, a good website will not only be efficient in giving customers the information that they are seeking, but it will capture their attention aesthetically, making their visit to your site much more pleasant. 

Is your business's website a place that people enjoy visiting? If not, let Jemco Logics help you by creating a beautiful, custom-designed site today.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why you NEED a quality e-commerce website!


Total U.S. e-commerce spending grew by 18 percent in 2013, reaching just under $320 billion. The report estimated that 11 percent of e-commerce spending in 2013 was done through smartphones, now known as mobile-commerce or m-commerce.

The report explained that this is likely a result of "showrooming"--when consumers trek to brick-and-mortar shops to check out new products and then buy them from a cheaper vendor online.
The report said: "Smartphones have become consumers’ most valued shopping companion as showrooming quickly becomes standard practice for in-store shoppers."
It warned that 2014 could mean trouble for companies who are unable to maintain presence multiple channels such as physical, online, and mobile stores.

Get yourself an E-commerce website today! http://www.jemcologics.com/E-commerce

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Get More People to Open Your Emails

Do you have great email content but poor email open rates? These three small tips will help your emails get opened more often!

1) Choose the right "from" name: Make sure that the "from" name in your emails is clearly recognizable and conveying who you are to customers. If they don't know who is emailing them, they're probably not going to open the email.

2) Update your "from" email address: Email addresses like "donotreply@yourbusiness.com tend to be unfriendly and scare subscribers off. Be more personal and recognizable by using a "from" email address such as "yourname@yourbusiness.com" to get more successful open rates.

3) Use the pre-header text to engage your subscribers: Just like the unfriendly "donotreply@yourbusiness.com", customers also don't like to see the summary line of your email reading "If this email is not displaying correctly here." Instead, use this space to get the customer's attention by telling them why they should open your email.

What tips and tricks have you used to get more customers to open your emails?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Knowing What Makes Your Business Different


How your business is different?
Whatever your business is, chances are, you're not the only one doing it. Today's consumers have plenty of options when it comes to everything from hiring a plumber to going out to eat. So, how would you like your business to be different? Will you work freaky-fast? Are you super friendly? Do you take your time, but do the job right? You have to figure this out yourself before you can convey it to your customers.

What is your competition doing?
Yes, you should be checking out the competition to see what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong. You can do this by researching your competition and reading through their reviews. Are their several complaints about their workers being unfriendly? Then make it a point to show people that your business is super friendly.

What do your customers care about?
Sometimes, your customers don't care about the same things that you care about. Maybe you pride yourselves on how fast you can do a job, but if customers are complaining that your work is not successful, maybe you should instead focus on doing the job right instead of doing it quickly. People may value different things in different companies, so find out what your customers care about by distributing surveys.

Are you being honest?
If you are a small business, you have the opportunity to be more personal with your customers, so take advantage of this by being honest and transparent and sticking to your what makes you different. Always be prepared to explain why your business is better than the competition without bashing them.

Is everyone on the same page?
Be sure to have a written list of what makes your business different and better than the competition so that all employees are conveying the same message to your customers. Use this information as content for your website, local listings, social media pages, and other marketing campaigns.

If you know what makes your business different, you do that thing very well, and you effectively communicate this to potential customers, you'll build a good reputation in your area and start giving your competition some real competition. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why Your Business Should Be Using Online Coupon Marketing


Maybe your business utilizes a coupon mailing marketing strategy, but are you tapping into the advertising platform where most consumers are actually searching for coupons? Yes, I'm talking about the internet! As more and more people are relying on mobile devices to keep their life organized, it makes sense that online coupon redemption rates are skyrocketing. Even if you have coupons on your website, you should be placing your online coupons on other sites like www.SuperSavings.com in order for more people to find them. In case you're still not convinced, here are a few reasons that you should be using online coupon marketing:

The Power of Coupons: How many times have you tried a new restaurant just because you had a coupon? I know that I have countless times! Studies show that coupons are second only to word-of-mouth when it comes to influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Recommendations from trusted friends are influential, but many people are surprised to learn that coupons carry a similar power.

Coupon Marketing is One of the Only Measurable Forms of Marketing: Most advertising and marketing is impossible to accurately measure, but coupons can be easily tracked by redemption rate and redemption location, giving you valuable insight into your consumer and justifying your marketing budget.

Coupons Offer a One-On-One Personal Moment: Unlike print ads, radio, TV, and most other forms of advertising, coupons offer a private, distraction-free communication moment. Whether the consumer prints out the coupon or pulls it up on his mobile device, a coupon in a consumer's hand offers an opportunity to establish your brand and share detailed information.

Check out www.SuperSavings.com today to see how your online coupon marketing campaign could look!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Effectively Interact With Your Customers Through Social Media


Okay, so your business has a Facebook page and a Twitter. Great. But are your social media pages actually helping your business? Use these four tips to get the most out of social media by effectively interacting with your customers.

Be Personal: Depending on the size and popularity of your company, you should make an attempt to interact with each potential customer who posts on your social media pages. As a small business, you have the opportunity to be very personal with your customers, responding to them by name and interacting with each and every customer who posts on your pages. This will help you gain recognition as a friendly, local business.

Be Professional: When interacting with customers on social media, make sure your posts are professional. Of course you don't want to sound cold or robotic, but you do want to make sure that your posts are free of grammatical and spelling errors and use appropriate language. Furthermore, if an unsatisfied customer happens to leave a nasty post on one of your pages, leave a polite apology and avoid getting into a long argument thread.

Be Timely: If you want your social media pages to be effective for your business, you need to be checking them every day. When a customer posts on your page, especially if that post is a question, they expect a response that day. If customers see that your business is failing to respond to posts in a timely manner, they will likely think that you don't care about them. So, if you find that you're having a hard time keeping up with your social media responses, consider hiring a social media coordinator who can handle all of your business's posts and responses.

Be Smart: Smart businesses offer an incentive for people to "like" or "follow" them on social media. For example, on your website and marketing material, advertise that if customers "like" your Facebook page, they'll receive exclusive offers and updates regularly. Businesses who take advantage of this technique will surely see more interaction on their social media pages.

What businesses that you know have great social media interaction skills?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Keep Customers on Your Website Longer


Is your website getting as much traffic as you would like? More importantly, are customers staying on your site for a significant amount of time, or are they getting frustrated and leaving? Try these tips to make your website more user-friendly:

1) Keep the structure of your primary navigation simple (and near the top of your page). 

2) Include navigation in the footer of your site. 

3) Use breadcrumbs on every page (except for the homepage) so people are aware of their 
navigation trail. 

4) Include a Search box near the top of your site so visitors can search by keywords. 
Don’t offer too many navigation options on a page. 

5) Don’t dig too deep – in most cases it’s best to keep your navigation to no more than three levels deep

6) Include links within your page copy and make it clear where those links go to. This is also great for SEO! 

7) Avoid use of complicated JavaScript and especially Flash for your navigation. Many 
mobile phones can’t see Flash (yet), thus they won’t be able to navigate your website. Same 
applies to web browsers that don’t have an updated version of Flash installed. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed at this point, don't worry. Contact Jemco Logics today to make your site more user-friendly.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Get More Business Through Customer Reviews


In a time when anyone can go online and find out the quality and credibility of everything from hotels to restaurants to plumbers, shouldn't your business be taking online reviews more seriously? Or, maybe you do realize the importance of reviews but just can't seem to get your customers to post them. Either way, try these 5 tips to improve your business's customer review strategy:

1) Be searchable: 
Is your business listed online as much as it can be? Are you sure? To check, go to www.getlisted.org. Simply type in your business name and zip code and it will tell you what review sites your business has a presence on and which ones are missing your listing. In order to get more reviews, you gotta get listed!

2) Have testimonials on your website:
While customers may tend to find reviews on third party sites more reliable, testimonials posted on your website that seem genuine and specific can also give your business some credibility. Therefore, make it a point to dedicate a section of your website to customer testimonials.

3) Send emails asking for reviews:
Some customers may be so pleased with your service that they post a review all by themselves, but more likely, you will have to make the effort to ask them to review your business. One way to do this is to dedicate an email campaign to asking your customers to write a review. Be sure to include links to all of the available sites where they can post their review (Facebook, Yelp!, Bing). If you're still having a hard time fetching reviews, include some kind of incentive in your email campaign such as a gift certificate for one lucky customer who posts a review.

4) Get your timing right: 
Customers are most likely to respond to a request for a review during or immediately after the sale or service has taken place. With that in mind, think about sending your customers to a review page immediately after they make an online purchase or receive their item. If you conduct most of your business in person, don't be afraid to hand your customers good old-fashioned comment and review cards. As long as it's short and sweet, customers will likely be willing to take the time to fill it out and you can use their answers on your website's testimonial section! (Don't forget to ask permission).

5) Don't wait until they're already gone:
Depending on the nature of your business, the length of interaction with each customer will vary. If you will come in contact with your customer several times before the service or product is completed/delivered, introduce the concept of posting a review early on. For example, if you give any kind of literature to your customer, devote a section to the importance of reviews. If a team member makes a visit to a customer's house, he could suggest that they give him a good review if they're pleased with his work. 

If your business has a large presence on online review sites, has a testimonial section on its website, sends emails asking for reviews, asks at the right time, and gives its customers plenty of opportunities to post a review, you're on the right track to getting more good reviews and increasing your business!

What other techniques does your business use to get reviews?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Keep Your Millennial Employees


If your business wants to do anything creative, progressive, or technological, you probably have millennials working for you. Who exactly are millennials, you ask? Although there are no exact qualifications of being a millennial, they are generally considered to be people who were born anytime from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Now, there are plenty of articles and posts out there bashing millennials' work ethic and selfishness, but instead of making generalizations about the "bad"characteristics of "all" millennials, it's probably more beneficial to focus on practical ways to keep them at your company because, let's face it, they're the future. Here are five strong tips to keeping millennials at your business: 

1. Challenge them: Having grown up with more technology than any other generation, these employees are expert multi-taskers, so don't be afraid to give them multiple things to do at a time.

2. Consistently give them new responsibilities: Unlike earlier generations, this group of workers is not satisfied with doing the same exact thing day in and day out. To keep them interested in their work, give them new responsibilities as they prove themselves to be talented in areas outside of those which you specifically hired them for.

3. Give them room to climb: Because millennials don't want to do the same thing forever, they're likely to make several career changes throughout their life. To retain quality millennial employees at your business, give them opportunities for promotion. If you don't, they'll realize that they've reached the glass ceiling at their position and will seek to move up somewhere else.

4. Allow them to have lives outside of work: Ever hear your millennial employees use the phrase "YOLO" (You Only Live Once)? This generation is all about making the most of their lives and accomplishing their dreams outside of their career. This does not mean that they aren't hard workers, but it does mean that they want vacation time and they want you to be understanding of life situations that may come up throughout the work day. While you don't need to cater to a millennial's every desire, your employees are more likely to stick around if they see you as a person and not just as their boss.

5. Make work fun: Even millennials who love the work that they do need the freedom to step away from the computer for a while, especially if their work is creative in nature. For example, here at Jemco Logics, we have a  ping-pong table that usually gets used daily by our designers when they hit a road block or simply can't look at their computer screen anymore. Even though this may seem counterproductive to some, it actually relaxes our employees and helps them to focus when they return to their work. Additionally, it also promotes socializing and friendly competition throughout the office, which is always a plus.

What other techniques do you use to attract and retain millennial employees at your business?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog

                              Graphic By: HubSpot

1. It helps people to view your business as an authority in your industry

2. It will help you receive more traffic on your main website

3. It will help you to interact and connect with your customers

4. It improves your SEO by creating more pages of content

5. It's a great way to get inbound links to your website

Don't have the time or resources to run your own blog? Let Jemco Logics help you by creating and managing a blog for you!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Your Website Should be Mobile-Friendly


1) Most websites now get 40% of their views via a mobile device.

2) Your highest paying clients are using mobile devices (about 30% of mobile users make over 100k/year).

3) If your site is hard to use on a mobile device, it will drive away customers.

4) Your customers expect your site to be mobile-friendly. If it's not, you may lose them.

5) Customers may likely be searching for your business while on the go rather than at home, which means they are definitely using a mobile device.

Go to www.jemcologics.com to get your mobile-friendly site today.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Use Social Media to Recruit Employees


1) Get the Work For Us app on Facebook: There are 1.23 billion people on Facebook. There's a good chance that one of these people is exactly the kind of person you'd like to work for your company. So, instead of just using job boards, try using the most-used social media tool in the world to post your employment opportunities. In addition to simply posting job opportunities as a status on your company's page, you can also use Facebook's free Work For Us app. You can easily download the app to your company's page and use it to post job opportunities to a huge network of employees. Just think, even if someone who isn't looking for a job sees your post, they might know someone who is perfect for the position and spread the word to them!

2) Utilize LinkedIn to its Full Potential: You probably know by now that LinkedIn is a great tool to network with professionals, but are you successfully using it to recruit new employees? When using LinkedIn as a business, here are a few things to remember: First, stay in touch with former employees who worked well with your company. By keeping these relationships, you can ask people questions, use their talents in the future, and potentially find new talent through their network of friends and colleagues. Next, use keywords to search for potential employees who have the skills you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for someone to manage social media at your nonprofit organization, you should search for people with experience in "social media" and knowledge of "nonprofits." Third, make sure that you're using all of your resources by asking other employees in your company to seek out new talent in their social networks. Finally, remember the differences between different forms of social media. For example, LinkedIn is helpful when viewing credentials while Facebook is more useful when seeking a candidate's professionalism and character.

3) Be attractive to potential employees: The recruitment process goes both ways; that's right, people are seeking out companies that they want to work for just like you are seeking out talented people to work for your company. If you want people to want to work for you, make sure your website and social media pages are informative and up-to-date. Then, try to think like an outsider. If you were a random person on the web, would you want to work for your company based on what you find?

Have you had any luck using social media to recruit employees?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

6 Social Media Tips You Can't Afford to Ignore


1. FacebookWhen posting, think about how your content will be viewed. For example, here is the same post in two different forms.
 
The first post received attention through comments, likes, and shares, while the second post received no interaction whatsoever.  Because full-size photos are often more attention-grabbing, small thumbnails can get overlooked. So, remember to optimize your posts by using the best method for your content.

2. Twitter: When tweeting, utilize hashtags without over-doing it. Using hashtags can be a great way to get the right people to read your content, but over-using hashtags can make your posts frustrating and hard to read. Remember, Twitter only allows you to use 140 characters in your post, so make 'em count! Stick to one or two relevant hashtags. 

3. Pinterest: Optimize your business’s Pinterest account by using keywords in your name and description, not just your business name. For example instead of just "Jemco Logics," our Pinterest account is titled "Jemco Logics| Grand Rapids Web Design and Development." This allows people to come across your account even if they don't know your company's name. 

4. Blogs: No one wants to read a blog that simply copies and pastes content from other sites, so get creative by creating original visuals with free sites like PicMonkey and LiveLoveCreate. It's fun and easy!

5. Instagram: Make your photos stand out by using different apps to edit them. Some cool and useful apps for this are: Retrogram, Rakuga Cute, PicLab, Diptic, and Frame Swag. If your photos are awesome enough, you might even be featured by Instagram!

6. Google PlusWhile social media management programs like Hootsuite are useful for businesses, sometimes it's better to post directly from the site. For example, when posting photos to Google+, do it directly from your Google+ account rather than Hootsuite so you can upload a full-size photo instead of a thumbnail. As mentioned earlier, this kind of post will receive more attention.

Hopefully you can take at least one of these tips and use it to improve your business's social media strategy. Now get out there and be social!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to Achieve Your Daily Goals

Does your pile of to-do's seem like it only grows every day and you don't know how to tackle it? Try these tips to help you accomplish your short-term, daily goals.

1) Start the day right: Try not to have one of those days. You know the days I'm talking about. The ones when you oversleep because your alarm didn't go off and you're so flustered that you throw on a dirty shirt, skip breakfast, and forget to grab your lunch on the way out. If your day starts like this, it becomes a million times harder to focus, organize, and get anything done. Therefore, think ahead by getting enough sleep so that you'll wake up with plenty of time to relax in the morning, shower, eat breakfast, and maybe do some reading. By doing so, you've already set a good tone for the day, helping you to accomplish more later.

2) Make a to-do list: Whether you're overwhelmed by duties at work or looking to get things done on your Saturday, making a to-do list truly is a helpful way to achieve your goals. Something about seeing your goals written out gives you a starting point to accomplish them instead of scrambling to remember everything you want to get done. To get the most out of your to-do list, try to organize your goals by importance, give a specific time-frame for each goal, and cross off each goal when you've accomplished it.


3) Think big, but realistic: While it's good to aim high with your goals, setting unrealistic goals for yourself will likely lead to frustration and disappointment if you can't meet those standards. Instead, try prompting yourself with smaller, more achievable goals, then, when you're able to get those done, raise the bar. For example, if your goal for this year is to lose weight, it's probably unrealistic to say that you're going to work out every single day when you currently don't work out at all. Instead, make a goal to work out for two days a week, then, once you make this happen, you can push yourself to three or four days a week.



4) Have some accountability: As human beings, we can be very proud creatures. So, when we tell someone that we're going to do something, we're more likely to do it just so we don't have to tell that person that we failed. Now, a good accountability partner shouldn't make you feel horrible if you don't achieve your goals, but they shouldn't enable you to blow them off either. To get the most out of an accountability partner, choose someone who is not extremely close to you to tell your goals to. Knowing that they will ask you about your progress should motivate you to get moving!



5) Reward yourself: Let's be honest; we all work harder and faster when we know that we're going to be rewarded at the end. So, decide ahead of time some specific way to reward yourself for achieving your goals for that day. To make sure that you don't cheat, tell your accountability partner about your reward. Whether your reward is big or small, it just has to motivate you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why You Need a Professionally Designed Logo


You want to give a good first impression
Whether walking into your store, searching your website, or looking at your ad in the newspaper, customers are seeing your logo and immediately making judgments about your business. Just by looking at your logo, a customer can decide if your business is professional, if it's trustworthy, and if they want to shop there. Consequently, a bad logo is likely to lose you valuable business. To prevent this, contact the graphic designers at Jemco Logics today to design or redesign your logo.

You want it to be memorable
Think about the most well-known and iconic logos out there such as the Nike swoosh, the Apple apple. These logos don't need to explain what their business does. In fact, these two examples don't even contain any text. The simple image itself does the job of making the company easy recognizable. If you want people to remember and recognize your logo, allow a professional designer to create a logo that is simple, yet creative.

You want it to be relevant
Once you have logo and are finally getting some brand recognition, the last thing you want to do is have to redesign. You want your logo to accurately portray the work that your company does and you want people to be able and you want it to look fresh. The best way to have a fresh-looking logo without having to redesign? Make it timeless. Look at the logo history Ford Motor Company:


As you can see, the Ford logo has changed slightly over time, but has seemed to keep the same general design in the last century, keeping its brand recognition. If you'd like your business to have a timeless logo, call Jemco Logics to start the process!

Just for fun, type "logos gone wrong" into your favorite search engine. What you find should be reason enough to hire a professional. Plus, you'll get a good laugh.
 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Are you Content with Your Website's Content?

In 2014, most businesses are aware that having a good website is essential to being successful. Even if you have a professionally designed site, however, your website content (what your website is saying) may be scaring away customers. You may need to do some updating if your website:

1) HAS DULL, UNPROFESSIONAL PHOTOS
You may have the best product or service on the web, but if your pictures aren't enticing, customers will search for a more professional-looking company. Therefore, it's worth the cost to hire a professional photographer to take the photos that will be posted on your website. Or, simply use a program such as PhotoShop to edit your own pictures to make them look professional.

For example, these are photos of different rooms in the same hotel. As you can see, just by changing the lighting, the photo on the right looks fresher, cleaner, and more appealing. For  this hotel, having a good picture on their website may make all the difference in their success.


2) HAS SPELLING AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS
Nothing looks less professional than when a company doesn't even take the time to double-check the spelling and grammar of its website content. These kinds of errors can make your company look careless, lazy, and unintelligent. So, make sure to have your content proofread constantly or use a web tool like grammarly.com which does all the editing work for you.


3) USES ILLEGIBLE FONTS AND COLORS
If your website is hard to read, or worse, hurts the reader's eyes, customers won't stay on it for long. Always use simple, easy-to-read fonts such as Arial or Veranda and colors that complement your font, not compete with it.



4) IS UNINFORMATIVE
Your customers should easily be able to answer any question that they might have about your company by reading your website. If your site goes on and on about how great your product is but fails to give essential information such as operating hours and contact information, your customer will get frustrated and leave. On the same note, big blocks of repetitive text will also send your customer running. The solution? Say everything that you need to say in as few words as possible and be sure to break up large blocks of text by adding a photo or starting a new paragraph.


5) IS DISORGANIZED
Do your customers complain about not knowing where to find something on your website? Do you yourself sometimes forget how to get to a certain page on your site? If so, you should probably think about re-organizing. Make the browsing experience as simple as possible for your customers by having organized tabs that allow for easy navigation.

Don't let poor website content drive away another customer. Let Jemco Logics help your business by creating appealing, easy-to-read content that you can update whenever you want!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is Your Business Ready for E-Commerce?


The holidays are over and, as expected, more people than ever skipped the long lines and crazies by doing their shopping online. And why wouldn't they? It's just plain easier. Yep, that's right-- People would rather sit at home and shop online in their pajamas than have to travel to your store. It may be heartbreaking, but it's reality, and if you plan on continuing to make a profit with your business, you had better start thinking about incorporating e-commerce into your website. Are you thinking about it yet? Good. Now, before you go any further, stop and ask yourself these 5 questions:

1) Do you have the time and resources to keep up your e-commerce site?
Don't be fooled-- Just because your transactions are happening online doesn't mean that products magically appear on people's doorsteps. Be sure to have a business plan that addresses issues such as packaging, shipping, return policies, and payment methods.

2) Have you checked out the competition?
One of the most basic things you can do to plan for your e-commerce site is to research what your competition's sites look like. When deciding between competitors, customers tend to go to the site that is most informative, organized, easy to use, and visually pleasing. Make sure it's yours!

3) Do you know who your target audience is? 
Think about who you are selling to, then be sure to cater your graphics and content to the demographic that you are trying to attract. For example, Modcloth.com, a retail site targeting young women in their teens and twenties, appeals to their target demographic by using clever product names and girly descriptions. This helps the shopping experience feel more personal and exciting for the customer.

4) Have you put yourself in your customer's shoes?
Ask yourself, "What are my favorite e-commerce sites and why do I like them so much?" Make a list of these features and be sure to incorporate them into your site. Additionally, don't forget to make your site mobile-friendly so that customers can shop anywhere, anytime.

5) How do you go about creating an e-commerce site?
If you've addressed the first four questions, the next thing you need to do is decide if you will attempt to create this site yourself or allow a professional web-solution company to do it for you. . If you'd like to save your time and sanity, click here.

We hope these questions help your business to begin the process of a successful e-commerce website. Please feel free to send comments and questions!