3 email subject line phrases that work, and 3 that don’t

Piranha Designs - Thursday, April 20, 2017

Attempting to get responses to your marketing emails can feel like a very hit-and-miss effort at times – and yet, it’s not doomed to failure. Just take a look at these email subject line phrases that have been shown by research to work or not work. 

Three that do work... 

  • “Next steps”: these two words set up an expectation – specifically, that there are next steps to your relationship with this recipient. When one person sets up an expectation, it drives other people to act in a manner in line with that expectation.  
  • “Thank you”: sending a “thank you” email is far from the superfluous activity that many people imagine it to be. Such an email acknowledges to the recipient that their time is worth something, and when you show your gratitude for that, they tend to respond positively. 
  • “Today’s call”: the more immediacy the language of your email subject line communicates, the more opens you can expect to attract. If you give the recipient an easy excuse to shelve any reading of your email until later in the week, there’s a good chance they will never read it. 

...and three that don’t

  • “Can we chat?”: people lead busy lives, so as with a cold call, so often, the answer is “no”. “Check in” has been shown to achieve much greater open and reply rates. 
  • “Something of interest?”: this kind of language screams “sales email” and therefore isn’t something that attracts reads – people just don’t think you’ve made an effort. There should at least be some attempt to tailor the subject line to the value your email provides, as you can do by indicating what the recipient could achieve by reading it or taking advantage of the advertised product or service. 
  • “Invitation to join”: you might think that your use of “invitation” makes you seem welcoming, someone with something to offer. But an automated invite from a stranger is hardly the same as a party invitation from a friend, and that’s reflected in the open and response rates. Maybe something like “Meeting...” or “Introducing...” would be much more effective. 

Even the most seemingly minor changes can make a big difference to the impact made by your email subject lines. Here at Piranha Designs, we offer an assortment of design and marketing services to help your brand achieve a big impact across the breadth of its online activities.

How to boost conversions if your site doesn’t receive many visitors

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

As the saying goes, we all need to start somewhere, and if you have a small or start-up business, the likelihood is that your current website – if you have one – won’t be receiving much traffic. 

This presents various issues in terms of improving your conversion rate – after all, when you have no or very few visitors, it is difficult for you to gain a sophisticated understanding of those visitors and determine what does and doesn’t work in terms of attracting and engaging them. 

So, what techniques can you use? 

If your website is a low-traffic one, it may be difficult to undertake the A/B tests that your high-traffic competitors do, for the simple reason that it is difficult to measure any statistically significant differences when changes are made. However, a lot of the other techniques used by high-traffic websites can still be used by even the smallest online businesses. 

Possibly the most fruitful of these approaches is user testing, which doesn’t need to be any more sophisticated than asking a friend – or anyone else you can get hold of – to try out your site while you observe them, noting any issues that arise. 

You may even go as far as having usability tests carried out on the websites of your industry competitors and comparing the results to those for your own site. You may find through this process that there are certain issues on your own site that the competitor has found a good way of addressing on their site. 

Another potential approach for boosting feedback on a low-traffic site could be to increase the incentives for visitors to complete surveys to attract a higher percentage of responses. In addition, you could place your phone number in a prominent position at the top of all of your site’s pages to encourage a greater number of calls, and even possibly charm some of your callers into carrying out long-term usability testing for you. 

Testing doesn’t necessarily need to be out of the question 

Business owners with low-traffic websites often presume that testing isn’t the right way to determine what does and doesn’t work with their site, because it would take too long to generate genuinely significant results. 

However, that isn’t necessarily the case. By testing only the major pages of your site and testing the biggest and boldest possible changes, you often can get meaningful results, even from testing on a low-traffic site. In any case, it is good to get into an early habit of frequent A/B testing, so that you can also realise its benefits at the earliest possible stage.

Don’t allow yourself to be too fatalistic about your low-traffic website! Get experimenting with and testing your site on a regular basis, and you may well see quicker-than-expected results. With our own in-depth expertise in website design here at Piranha Designs, we are well-placed to cater to your needs in this area, including if you need a site to be designed from scratch. 

3 of the key trends in ecommerce site design in 2017

Piranha Designs - Friday, March 17, 2017

Ecommerce website design is expected to see considerable continued change this year – not least the move to a firmly ‘mobile-first’ approach. Web design may be a slow-moving discipline, but we certainly expect significant evolution – at the very least – in how designers think about the design process. 

Here are three of the trends we anticipate. 

  1. Web design becomes mobile design 
  2. Articles about web design written a few years ago frequently mention the importance of creating a responsive or adaptive design for your site, so that a site intended to be viewed on a desktop computer can be accessed and used easily on a mobile device as well. 

    That idea is increasingly being turned on its head, with many ecommerce sites being designed to be mobile first and then made responsive for larger screens, in acknowledgement of the tendency for many customers today to shop on the mobile rather than desktop versions of online stores. 

  3. Hamburgers head left  
  4. A hamburger menu, in case you aren’t aware, is the button or icon consisting of three horizontal lines that can be clicked or tapped to open up a side menu with various navigational options. 

    While a hamburger menu can appear on either the far left or far right of a page, there is an emerging tendency for Google and other leading sites to prefer the left. This makes the menu one of the first things a user notices about a site, even when they are using an assistive device such as a screen reader.   

  5. Long scrolling and continual loading 
  6. When you are designing a site for mobile users, it can sometimes make the most sense to have objects added to the current view as they scroll down, instead of loading a completely new page or view. 

    This is increasingly leading to web designers creating pages that scroll to considerable lengths, with portions of a page only being loaded as and when the user scrolls down to them. 

    In the case of your own ecommerce site, you may do this with your product category pages, having 100 or more products on one page but only loading 10 products at a time to keep page load times short and site performance high. 

    With these and so many more ecommerce website design trends likely to affect how you should approach the creation of your own new site, here at Piranha Designs, we can advise you on the most relevant of them when you take advantage of one of our ecommerce site design packages. Simply enquire now to find out more. 

3 characteristics of the perfectly designed icon

Piranha Designs - Monday, March 06, 2017

Whether it is to be used on your website, social media profiles, printed marketing materials or somewhere else entirely – perhaps more likely a combination of the above – an effectively designed icon or logo can make a bigger difference to your organisation’s success than you might imagine. 

As the most seasoned icon and logo designers know, there’s also a thin line between a perfectly designed one and one that’s merely “OK” or “sort of good enough”. 

Here are three of the attributes to be guided by when designing an icon or logo.  

Form 

This attribute can be defined as the icon’s underlying structure, or how it is made. If you ignore the icon’s finer details and merely draw a line around its major shapes, what forms emerge? Are there circles, squares, triangles? 

Primary geometric shapes like the above provide a visually stable foundation for the design of your logo. It is on such a foundation that greater detail can be provided, but we would advise against any more detail than what is needed to communicate what you need to communicate with your logo. 

Aesthetic unity 

The elements contained within your icon or logo together determine its level of aesthetic unity. These elements may include the likes of square or rounded corners, the size of the corners, the line weights, the colour palette and more. 

Aesthetic unity may be a factor of particular concern to you if you wish to design a set of icons tied together by a consistent visual language – for example, a tendency towards rounded corners or ‘earthy’ colours such as browns and reds. 

Recognisability  

This attribute is about the ease with which the viewer can identify the object, action or idea that the logo is supposed to depict – in effect, the essence of the logo as a whole, rather than merely its component parts. 

You may design a logo that most viewers would recognise as representing an animal such as a fox or an owl, for example, due to the inclusion of the visual elements that would generally lead them to this conclusion. 

Are you anxious to ensure that your organisation’s logos and icons represent a good fit for your desired visual identity and wider objectives? If so, contact the Piranha Designs team today about our highly rated brand identity and graphic design services and expertise.  

How ecommerce sites can tap into the potential of user-generated content

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

While most online business owners today recognise that we are in the age of the empowered customer, many have not yet properly considered the merits of the customer doing their selling for them. 

User-generated content – otherwise known as “earned media” or UGC – comes in a broad range of forms, including social media posts, blog posts and online reviews, and can make all of the difference to the achievement of greater awareness and sales for your ecommerce site. 

What are your options for making use of UGC? 

Some of the increasingly popular ways of incorporating user-generated content into a brand’s online presence may seem contradictory to the traditional means by which ecommerce sites have invited users to participate in their story. 

Displaying unmoderated customer reviews on your homepage, for instance, may seem risky, but it also helps to engender greater trust among your visitors in what is presented on your site. 

Similarly, you might launch a product review programme, whereby you supply expert bloggers with free products of yours to review. This method doesn’t merely expose your brand and its values to the readers of those blogs, but also helps to create a stream of organic search results that users will feel they can trust, and which will guide them in their buying decisions. 

At the very least, it assists in creating the impression of your brand as one that is well-known, popular and trusted. 

Hashtags and incentives can also work nicely 

Another approach may be to include social media hashtags and ‘calls to action’ (CTAs) on the packaging of your products to encourage social media users to share content related to your brand. 

Sometimes, it only takes such modest prompting to push social media users into sharing content that they may have been tempted to share anyway. 

Alternatively, you may choose to give the customer an incentive to share content about a particular new product or service that you have just launched. You may, for example, enter them into a prize draw that will enable them to win free or discounted use of the given product or service. 

There are plenty of possibilities and platforms out there 

While platforms like Olapic and Curalate give you various interesting and easy options for incorporating “earned media” into your ecommerce site, it’s also important to bear in mind certain ‘etiquette’ for the use of UGC. These include always giving fair credit to your customers who share content and not ignoring dissatisfied customers. 

After all, if expressions of discontent are not dealt with sensitively and promptly, you may find yourself with a wider reputation management disaster on your hands. 

Is now the time to set up an ecommerce site that will push your online retailer firmly into 2017 – and beyond? Simply contact the Piranha Designs team today to learn more about our full breadth of experience and know-how.

10 Differences Between A Good And A Great Landing Page

Piranha Designs - Friday, January 27, 2017


10 differences between a good and a great landing page 

What came first, the mega-successful landing page or the mega-successful company that features such a landing page on its website? You can bet that in many cases, it’s in large part due to the former that the latter exists. 

Here are just 10 ways to turn your landing pages from good to great. 

  1. Compelling icons 
  2. Yes, even the icons that you use on your landing page – such as graphical exclamation marks or pointed fingers – can help to induce that much-needed urgency in your landing page visitor. 

  3. Make it look educational, not salesy 
  4. If your landing page is geared towards providing guidance on a particular subject, make sure it actually lives up to that promise, instead of immediately shoving sales content into the visitor’s face.

  5. Include a ‘Johnson Box’ 
  6. A ‘Johnson Box’ is a staple of direct marketing emails, containing such details as the page’s key message, contents or even a quote. It may be used at the top or further down the page. 

  7. Refer to positive press you have received 
  8. It might be easy to forget that time your business was favourably mentioned in The Guardian or a local or industry publication, but your visitors will certainly be reassured to know of it. 

  9. Offer several buying options 
  10. Providing a choice of packages or subscriptions at different prices helps to switch the reader’s focus from “Should I buy?” to “Which one should I buy?” 

  11. Publicise ‘risk reducers’ 
  12. Settle the nerves of those dithering over whether they should buy from you, by prominently mentioning a ‘risk reducer’ – such as the option to cancel at any time with no minimum term. 

  13. Show the logos or photos of past clients 
  14. If you’ve catered to brands or people that visitors may have heard of (or even ones that they haven’t), it really helps to build your reputation if you include their logo or photo, not just their names in text.

  15. Focus on benefits, not just features 
  16. Sure, you can’t avoid talking about the features of your products or services, but this should be done in a way that is expressly aimed at answering the potential customer’s ‘pain points’. 

  17. Put the emphasis on “you” and “your” 
  18. Even when faced with a seemingly relevant landing page, many visitors will still think “But my situation’s different”. So, emphasise that whatever their specific needs, you can cater to them. 

  19. Appeal to the visitor’s need for immediacy 
  20. We all like a bit of instant gratification from time to time. Leave the visitor in no doubt that if they buy or sign up now, they can expect an instant benefit – and be sure to define that benefit clearly. 

There you go – just ten ways in which you can transform your good landing page into a truly great one. Don’t be afraid to contact Piranha Designs’ experts today to discuss in greater detail how you can make your own company’s landing pages as effective as they can be.

Embrace Google AMP

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Now is the time for your mobile website to embrace the Google AMP format

Google has recently unveiled Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which it now considers its flagship format for mobile websites. Here at Piranha Designs, we would urge you to move your company's mobile site to Google AMP. 

Here are several reasons why making this move can make an appreciably big difference to your company's fortunes.

An introduction to Google AMP

Google AMP is a standard of design and coding that, when employed for websites, can substantially boost the speed at which their content loads for user viewing. Not only is Google AMP lighter than its predecessors, but it also makes use of caching for a faster and more fluid experience when the user repeatedly clicks through to different pages of a mobile site.

Nonetheless, Google has certainly put the cat among the SEO pigeons, as the search giant has revealed that when it crawls a site, the basic index it now focuses on is the mobile index. This means that if you have long followed a particular SEO strategy for your company's mobile site, you might want to rethink it in light of Google's changes. 

The biggest implications for your company

With Google now declaring AMP its best format for mobile sites, more and more businesses could opt to integrate it into their sites and so enjoy the speed benefits. This could make your own site's loading speeds an even greater influence on its success – after all, you don't want to fall behind the competition because their AMP-based sites load noticeably quicker than yours.

You also need to consider the implications for SEO. Here at Piranha Designs, we offer search engine optimisation and marketing services through an array of packages for different priorities and budgets. Whichever package you choose, our team will draw upon its knowledge of AMP and how it changes the game when it comes to SEO.

Don't fall behind in the mobile space

Even before you consider our knowledge of AMP, our website design services include the delivery of mobile-friendly designs that can help you to reach out to avid smartphone users. 

You must not underestimate how big a strategic blunder it can be to neglect the optimisation of your mobile site – so why not get in touch with our team today to ensure that your own organisation’s mobile presence is truly ‘2017 ready’? 

Content Marketing

Piranha Designs - Thursday, December 15, 2016


Some great content marketing ideas for the New Year

A new year provides an ideal opportunity to start something entirely new or make a big change - and for furthering the prominence of your company, revamping your content marketing efforts can be as good a change as any. 

Perhaps the only obstacle could be coming up with good ideas for things to write about; however, the following ideas could really help to get your imagination into gear.

Mark Chinese New Year

The annual Chinese New Year celebration is far from an obscure occasion that insufficiently warrants your attention - even in the West. After all, globally, roughly one in every six people is either Chinese or of Chinese descent. It’s a vital part of the calendar in Chinese culture, not just China itself.

It’s therefore worth providing special content for the event, which takes place over 15 days from the second new moon following the winter solstice. That means a start date of 28th January for 2017 – and ahead of that, you could post content detailing the event's history, recipes for dumplings or long noodles, or how to make suitable decorations for the occasion.

Make checklists

Checklists can be wonderfully convenient for their simplicity and accessibility. It's hard to be too bewildered by a checklist, as it can provide even the most complex information in small, easy-to-digest chunks. So, checklists on your website can be an especially great idea if descriptions of what your firm offers often include obscure jargon.

Having said all of that, the checklists that your own business produces should be genuinely relevant, helpful and enjoyable for your target audience, fitting in with your company and its ethos. A computer games retailer, for example, could put together a checklist of all of the necessary products to buy for a great virtual reality gaming experience.

Start the New Year with exciting new content

Providing fresh, New Year-focused content for your website can be especially well done through regular blog posts. This is an ideal format for posting timely information - and here at Piranha Designs, we include guest blogging in all of our monthly SEO marketing packages

We can also craft your content with one eye firmly on SEO (search engine optimisation), thus bettering the chances of that content achieving visual prominence on the search engine results pages. So, why hesitate to get in touch with the Piranha Designs team today? 

Why you should steer clear of free website templates

Piranha Designs - Friday, December 02, 2016

These days, there are numerous companies out there offering free website templates to clients looking to get online as soon as possible. 

These templates are very simple, allowing you to get your site online in just a few clicks. This method of web design can prove particularly useful for companies with limited resources, but does it provide the room for growth and personalisation?

Here are three good reasons to ‘just say no’.

Anyone can use website templates

The vast majority of website templates are incredibly simple and have been designed to be as accessible as possible - even to website owners with zero design experience. 

The process is often as simple as choosing a template, changing the words and pictures and then going live. If you go with this method, you risk selecting a template that thousands have used before you and that thousands will use after you. 

Standing out is so important in the crowded online world, and your visitors may lose interest if they are greeted by a website design that they have seen numerous times before. 

You will not be able to get your branding across as effectively

A good brand is one of the most difficult things to create. It's a complex mix of ideas, visions, content and graphics coming together to show your visitors what your business is all about. 

Sometimes, the complexity of your ideas just cannot be catered to by a simple, pre-packaged web template, and you may need to secure the services of a professional web designer to turn your ideas into a site that does your business justice. 

With a website template, you will essentially have to work within a pre-determined structure, and could therefore be incredibly limited in terms of the features you can include to get the key messages of your brand across to your customers. 

Poor scalability 

As most website templates are free, the resources that are provided by the host company are often incredibly limited. 

Resources on offer usually include bandwidth and storage space, but are often capped unless you upgrade to a premium service. These limited resources could cause your website to run slower when faced with increased traffic. Sometimes, your site might even crash, which will severely impact on the quality of the user experience.  

The template provider is unlikely to be able to offer greater free resources as your company expands, which could hamper your future growth. 

All in all, while there's no doubt that website templates offer a quick-fix solution, you may need to redesign the whole thing again when your company expands. 

To save you this hassle, why not let the team here at Piranha Designs create an optimised, industry-specific and powerful website for you that provides an excellent user experience and gets across the key messages of your brand? 

Simple steps you can take to create a great call to action

Piranha Designs - Monday, November 28, 2016

Whether you're thinking about creating an online advert or sending out some marketing emails, a call to action is vital. It's your way of convincing the reader to take another action once they've viewed your content, whether that's entering their email address to receive additional relevant content or clicking onto your website. 

However, there are certain style issues that you need to keep in mind if you want to create a CTA that drives up your conversion rates.

Use active language

A CTA should encourage the user to do something right now, so you need to use words and phrases that encourage this urgency. If you just use terms like 'download,' 'find out more' or 'free trial,' you may not get the results that you desire, as they may be a little too bland and sales-like. 

Phrases like 'generate more leads today' or 'drive up your website traffic' give readers an incentive to enter their details right now. Of course, you will need to alter the text to make it relevant to your company and the needs of your audience. 

Keep your promises

If your CTA promises to deliver additional content to your readers instantly, you need to make sure this is actually the case. 

If your readers enter their details in response to your CTA, that means they are intrigued by your business and services. However, if the content takes a while to arrive despite being promised instantly, this could seriously harm your brand in the long run. Not only that, but the reader may have lost interest in the content because it took so long for them to receive it. 

Include the CTA more than once on a page

This is a good habit to get into, especially if your emails or website pages are particularly long. Using just one CTA increases the chances of it becoming lost among your other text and images. 

It's a good idea to try to include a CTA in the middle of the page and then reinforce the message at the end. However, you need to think carefully about doing this. If you include too many CTAs on a short page, you risk spamming the reader, thereby cooling their interest in whatever you're offering. 

The team here at Piranha Designs can assist you with all aspects of email and online advertising, including by offering practical advice on how to create a great call to action. If your CTAs are not pulling in the leads and sales you need, contact us on (+350) 200 45599 or (+44) 845 056 3703 to find out how we can help.


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

Follow Us

We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
Send us an email, stay in touch and follow us on facebook/twitter/linkedin.