Archive for the ‘Digital’ Category

Free Email Account

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Why Using Free Email Services Are Bad for Business

A free email account says “we’re not willing to take the relatively small expense to make sure we have reliable email”. “ This business doesn’t care about their public image, they don’t care about using real email, and they don’t seriously care about using the internet to communicate with their customers.”

The company which is using a free e-mail account might be completely committed to their customers, but using a free email account doesn’t say that.

There are lot of reasons why not to use free email accounts for business with some explanations on how it impacts your online presence, especially as more than 87% of all company communications are via email, outstripping postal mail, telephone and face-to-face communications to become the most used mode of business communication today. We focus on the top 10  as follows:

1. Hackers Love Free Email Services:

Since the group of people who use free email accounts like gmail, yahoo, hotmail, ymail, mymail, aol and so now. Hackers spend a lot of time trying to hack into these accounts. When a hacker gains access to your email account they will use it to send SPAM and even possibly adult content to your list of contacts which could include your clients, vendors, business partners etc. Protect your business and save yourself that embarrassment by getting your own email address.

2. Risk Getting your email blocked:

If you are using free email services for business and storing your business contacts and your account is hacked, spammers can send out malicious messages from your account. Not only will this annoy your prospects and clients, resulting in them ignoring further messages from you but it could mean that your email address would most likely be tagged as an email address that sends SPAM and blocked by SPAM software all across the internet.

3. Looks Unprofessional:

Despite arguments that free email services are easier to use the fact is a free email account just isn’t professional looking. What do you think of someone you meet online who doesn’t have a professional email address with a business domain name? Aren’t you wary of handing over money to them? You should be. This not only means far fewer responses and closed transactions for the effort and resources you assign to marketing activities but also lowers the perceived value of your products and services.

4. Brand Awareness & Consistency:

Using a free webmail account does nothing to help build your brand. When we use our business email that has the same domain as our website, it’s a shoe-in for people to see what your website is and visit on their own, instead of having to ask. Can you imagine companies like McDonald’s or Apple using Gmail for business?

5. Image

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you are building a business, you are building an image. The image is one of professionalism & consistency, no matter the industry. So, when you have an office/store location, and a custom domain name for your website, why use mybusinessname@hotmail.com to communicate with your clients

6. You Get Want You Paid For:

Because you’re paying nothing for the service, you’re getting exactly what you paid for: nothing.  The free e-mail service providers are under no obligation to do anything for you. They’re well within their rights to ignore you completely, and that’s what most of them do.

7. Separating Business from Personal:

It’s hard enough to keep track of all the emails we receive on a daily basis. With personal free email accounts, we deal with spam, forwards, social engagement invitations and details and much more. Having a separate business email account will ensure that all the emails that you send and receive will be business related only. For the same reasons you keep separate bank accounts for business and personal, it’s equally as important to keep your business communications separate. It would be a shame to miss an email from a prospective client because it was lost in a sea of social emails

8.    Advertising is more difficult

Most free email services have many users and it is unlikely that you will be able to register either your personal or business name with them without adding some other letters or numbers to it. If you have to use an email address like joedoereo@hotmail.com it will be very difficult for your customers to remember. Any time your customer has to recall your email address, or even just type it into an email there is the potential for error and it can be difficult to spot errors if there is no obvious sequence or meaning in the email address

9.    Email limits

Another major issue for businesses which operate a mailing list and send out regular mailings to their customers is the restrictions placed on accounts by many of the free email services.

Free email accounts are an obvious choice for companies and individuals who wish to send out 1000′s of spam emails. In an attempt to restrict this activity by spammers many email providers have introduced limits on the number of emails that you can send out at one time, or a limit on the number of emails you can send in a 24 hour period, or in some cases a limit on both. This creates a major issue if you are a legitimate business with a mailing list. You may not be engaging in sending out spam but you will have to deal with these restrictions. You could spend hours on your computer sending out emails from several free accounts but this is very time consuming, and you would probably be better employed actually running your business.

10. Email Analytics

To be able to improve your email marketing results you need to have a clear insight in your statistics. If you know how many people open your email, click your links and who these people are, you can detect weak points in your email marketing strategy. Statistics give you a great insight in what works and what doesn’t so you can keep improving your emails to maximize results! Free email hosts like Gmail or Hotmail do not provide these reports so you have no idea of your overall email results and possible tweaks in your strategy.


Fake Likes On Facebook

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Why Facebook Hates And Fights Fake Likes

Facebook is launching a campaign to rid its service of fake, or “low-quality”  likes. There are spammy businesses out there that prey on Facebook page admins with offers to get them thousands of likes to their pages.  In a blog post, Facebook site integrity engineer Matt Jones wrote that “The spammers behind fake likes have one goal — to make money off of Page owners without delivering any value in return.” He said that “They make their profit by promising and generating likes to Facebook Page administrators who typically don’t understand that fake likes won’t help them achieve their business goals.”

It’s not hard to locate these spammers. A Google search for “buy Facebook likes” yielded plenty of offers, including one company that posted an entire menu of options, including “10K Likes for $480.” For $1,200 you can buy like 50K likes.

Jones wrote that the company has a “strong incentive to aggressively go after the bad actors behind fake likes because businesses and people who use our platform want real connections and results, not fakes.” He said that businesses that buy these fake likes won’t achieve real results and “could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real.” He added, “Since these fraudulent operations are financially motivated businesses, we focus our energy on making this abuse less profitable for the spammers.”

Likes are great, but only if they're real, says Facebook

Likes are great, but only if they’re real, says Facebook

Facebook has both automated and manual systems in place to try to catch these types of fake likes, “including blocking accounts and removing fake likes all at once.” The company has also sued spammers in the past and has obtained “nearly $2 billion in legal judgments,” so far. A judgment doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook has been able to collect from the offending businesses that it’s gone after.

Others weigh-in

Having 10,000 fans in India is great, but they’re not going to buy anything or visit you if you’re a furniture store in Sydney, Australia.

Not just Facebook

Social media spam affects other services as well. It was just as easy for me find web pages selling “TwitterTWTR -8.84% retweets” such as 10,000 retweets for $45 or 50,000 for $150. There are also spammy services that sell YouTube views and Instagram followers as well as LinkedInLNKD -3.84% connections. In addition, there are companies that sell text-links to try to trick Google into upping the page rank of sites that are linked from other sites. A few years ago Google started punishing websites with these bogus links by reducing their own page rank, but — as a web site administrator — I still get plenty of offers from businesses wanting to pay me to place these links on my page.

Culture obsesses over popularity

We increasing live in a world where businesses, celebrities, journalists and just regular people, are judged by the number of followers, friends or likes they have accumulated. But sheer numbers of followers or likes don’t tell the real story. Even if they were obtained without paying for them, numbers don’t necessarily translate into genuine interactions whether that’s financial transactions, genuine retweets, clicks or just plain interest.

The reality is that there is a big difference between people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, versus those you have simply “collected” by whatever means are at your disposal.


 

 

Five ( 5 ) Steps to Successful Email Marketing

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

As well as attracting customers by sharing your news through SEO and social media, you should also connect with them directly.

Email marketing is one of the most effective online marketing channels, with a return on investment of $40 for every dollar spent.* Email helps your business stay top-of-mind, builds trust and customer loyalty, and is a great way of keeping in touch with both existing customers and new prospects.

But how can you make sure your emails aren’t deleted in the slew of spam that bombards customers every day? It’s just like everything else in marketing: have a strategy! Here are five steps to a successful campaign, each with a set of rules for making them happen. Follow them and you won’t go wrong.

1. Create a Plan

Know the goal of your email BEFORE you send. Who are you trying to reach and with what information?
Get to know your audience. Are you talking to customers or prospects? Are you reaching out to industry experts and peers, or to followers of your brand? What do they already know? Why would they want to hear from your brand?

Be purposeful. When you know who you’re talking to, the goal of the campaign becomes clear. Are you rewarding existing customers with a special deal or promotion? An introductory offer may be your route, for example.

2. Build a Contact List
Get permission. To avoid being relegated to the spam folder, get permission to send email. Include sign-up buttons on your webpage or put a sign-up book out if you have a store location. Use incentives to get customers to sign up.

Set up auto-responders. These can welcome people to your list, send out birthday reminders and special offers that go out on specific days.

Keep your list up to date. Segment your list. You can divide it geographically, demographically, or by purchase activity for greater relevancy.

3. Craft your Message and Image

Keep your message simple. Get to the point, and quickly. Be yourself. Write as if you’re having a conversation, and don’t be afraid to let the personality of your brand shine through! Put your company name in the “From” field. Use a compelling subject line. Avoid using all caps and phrases like “Click Here!” or your message will go straight to spam. Check your formatting. Check that everything appears as you’re expecting in the body of the email by sending a test email to yourself. Have a clear call to action. What do you want the reader to do? Tell them, and then make it easy for them to do it!

4. Hit ‘Send’ (after doing your homework)

Experiment with timing. Ideal timing of your messages will vary depending on your business and customers, so finding your groove may take some test runs.
Be consistent in frequency. As a rule, don’t overdo it so that people feel like they’re being stalked, but don’t go for months without sending an email.

5. Analyze and Improve!

Track your results. This is essential to making each email campaign more effective than the last.
Test to identify what works. Vary your subject lines, send time, and frequency to find what works best for your brand and customers. Test one variable at a time. Don’t measure everything at once. Three straightforward measurements to start with are bounces, open rates, and click rates. Benchmark against yourself. Compare your results to your own previous campaigns, not to competitors or industry averages.

Look for trends. Identifying trends in your data will point you towards what is connecting with your audience.

Email marketing may seem daunting, but it can be surprisingly easy with the right tools and it can deliver real results for your business.

7 (Seven) Ways Market Research Can Feed Into Business Activities

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Most commonly, market research is viewed as a method to improve advertising and marketing initiatives and to develop products that are friendlier to specific markets. However, the true range of uses for market intelligence is much larger than most businesses think. The results of surveys and opinion polls can also be used to inform various company departments to support their diverse activities.

Moreover, advances in technology have brought about sophisticated do-it-yourself (DIY) research products, which means that businesses have more control over the costs, reach, and timing of research solutions. Those DIY offerings also deliver the advantage of instantaneous results that can be monitored in real time, offering a competitive edge when time is critically important.

The distinctive characteristics of DIY market research solutions give businesses an impressive ability to influence operations across multiple departments, especially in the following seven areas.

1. Language and Tone of Communications
In the many ways companies engage with their consumers, language plays a crucial role. Market intelligence can be especially useful in shaping the tone and content of marketing collateral and company communications to appeal to specific groups of consumers without being irrelevant or offensive.

Research can also help organizations working in highly sensitive capacities, such as hospices or charities for terminal illnesses. For example, gathering opinions from a panel of leukemia survivors can help the marketing department of a leukemia awareness organization to focus on the issues most important to patients and to employ appropriately sensitive, supportive, and inspiring language in its communications.

2. Media Buying and Placement
Market intelligence can be used to discover the best arenas in which to disseminate messaging and launch marketing campaigns. Insights into the minds and media habits of consumers can help create a strategy using the most appropriate venues for marketing, public relations, social media, search engine optimization, and other campaigns.

Also, when businesses move into unfamiliar territories, market research can play a vital role in determining the best approach. Surveys could be conducted to learn more about the consumers in this new market. Do they use social media sites or news sites more often? Do traditional print publications still outperform those online? Is one social network more popular than another? The results of such reports could then assist in choosing the best strategy for media buys, article placement, social media content, and so on.

3. Crisis Management
Being able to access immediate results and observe reactions can be critical to proper crisis-response activities. Whether a business is coming to terms with a sudden drop in public opinion, grappling with an event that hurts consumer confidence, facing something that causes a publicity catastrophe, or responding to a natural disaster, the advanced capabilities of DIY research solutions allow for swift deployment of online surveys, improving a company’s image while providing information vital to the formation of the most appropriate response.

Although such application of market insight might not be commonly employed, they can be as valuable as the traditional uses for market research (such as others in this list of seven uses) and should definitely be taken into account.

4. Advertising Campaigns
Market research has traditionally been used to help agencies craft targeted messages in their advertising programs to ensure they are appealing to the right demographics.

Although the subjective nature of advertorial response is hard to measure, surveys and opinion panels have long been used effectively to pinpoint the specific aspects of a product or campaign that will resonate most with consumers.

5. Product Development
Another traditional use for research panels and target audience surveys, product development can be greatly enhanced via market investigation and input from key demographics.

Learning what the consumer believes, needs, and wants can help to create tailored products that satisfy demand. Conversely, maintaining a conversation with current users of a certain product via a managed research panel can help a company become aware of any issues that need improvement or product aspects that should not be altered during product upgrades.

For example, a car manufacturer wishing to update a popular model could deploy surveys to current fans of the car to gauge their opinions on various aspects. Perhaps most people think the car is visually appealing but they are frustrated by the way it handles. Those results could feed into the development process to ensure that the new model will perform well without alienating anyone.

6. Brand Perceptions
Brand outreach, too, has often drawn upon market research to inform strategies. Businesses can conduct investigations into the marketplace to determine which aspects of their brands are being properly communicated. In this way, they can avoid wasting time and money emphasizing brand characteristics that are already common knowledge.

On the other hand, examining a target audience’s opinions of a brand can reveal areas for improvement. For example, a luxury brand might discover that consumers affiliate its products with convenience rather than indulgence, highlighting an area of current brand messaging that possibly needs altering.

7. Service Improvements
Surveys have often been use to gauge whether consumers are satisfied with a company’s services. Now, technologies moreover enable companies to create their own consumer communities, forming a direct and constant source of feedback.

For example, a business could post information and a link on its website for consumers to join its research community. Those who sign up and participate in such a forum can form a valuable source of information for monitoring service performance. Moreover, owning a research panel can extend other customer service areas to enhance overall response to consumer needs.

18 Tips to Accelerate Social Media and Digital ROI

Friday, August 24th, 2012

1. Align your SEO efforts with cross functional marketing team strategies.
2. Focus on measuring quality, not just quantity.
3. It’s not always about the sale.
4. Claim and optimize your Google+ Local page.
5. Align social data with CRM.
6. Collect and leverage social data to make more intelligent, data driven decisions.
7. Build a social media command center.
8. Harness multi-attribution modeling with web analytics.
9. Think email series, not email blasts.
10. Deploy triggered email and dialog tracks.
11. Create landing pages that seduce and convert.
12. Take control of your data.
13. Be smartly efficient about campaign testing.
14. Connect to the search psyche of your potential buying customer.
15. Always test your landing pages.
16. Develop a video marketing strategy.
17. Secure proper budget for digital campaigns.
18. Focus on the right social media metrics.

11 friendly tips to help PRs write effective press releases

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Posted 20 August 2012 09:44am by David Moth

In general PRs and journalists have a decent working relationship, or at least I like to think we do.

But new research by Pressfeed highlights the fact that we have differing opinions over what should be included in a press release.

Almost half (45%) of the PRs polled said that visual elements with a news story are not important at all to journalists, while 39% said it wasn’t necessary to add images, videos or graphics to a news release.

But 80% of the journalists included in the survey said it was important or very important to have access to photographs and visual images and 75% wanted video content.

We get hundreds of press releases at Econsultancy, some good, some not so good.

So here’s 11 friendly tips on how PRs can make their press releases more effective, and more likely to be opened and read…

1. Spelling!
It’s an obvious one, but you’d be amazed at the number of press releases we get through with spelling mistakes in the subject line. A favourite of mine was one about ‘Ryaniar’.

We’re all guilty of spelling errors at some point in time, but a mistake in the subject line makes you look like an amateur.

2. Get to the point
When sifting through press releases of a morning I don’t have time to read loads of preamble, so get to the point in the first paragraph.

If your first two paragraphs go on about how your client is a ‘leading cloud computing software supplier’ your audience will quickly lose interest and dispatch your email to the recycling bin.

More often than not your client isn’t the story, the research they’ve commissioned is, so lead with juicy stats rather than the client’s biography.

3. Keep it short
Even if your report is groundbreaking stuff, I don’t want to read a massive email listing every single detail.

Try to limit the email to four paragraphs, maybe five at a push, and use bullet points to make the interesting stats easier to read.

4. Send me the report
If you’re sending out a press release to promote a new piece of research then make sure to attach the report or include a link to it.

It’s extremely frustrating and a waste of time having to go back to a PR to request a copy of the report. And the same goes for charts and images – if you have them, send them through.

Journalists and bloggers are generally up against the clock so we don’t want to waste time by going back and forth for content that you’ve hinted at in your press release.

5. Know your publications
As far as I’m aware we’ve never published a client-win at Econsultancy and a quick scan through our blog would tell you that. Yet I still get sent several of them a day.

While it may seem like a good idea to send press releases to as many publications and blogs as possible in order to ensure coverage, in reality it is likely to severely undermine your reputation if you keep sending out irrelevant content.

6. ‘Big News’ is subjective
What is big news to one person is irrelevant spam to most other people. Think hard before including any terms like ‘exciting news’ or ‘big news’ in the subject line.

7. Keep the headline short
Think about how the subject line will look to the recipient. Email clients have a limited amount of visible space, so keep it concise otherwise half the headline will get chopped off.

8. Bear in mind that people will be reading it on mobile
Smartphones are nothing new, so try to take into account the fact that most journalists check their emails on a mobile device.

This makes concise writing and punchy headlines even more important.

9. DON’T USE CAPS
Nothing says “I’m spam, send me to the recycle bin” quite like a shouty, capped up headline. And the same goes for exclamation marks!!!!

Caps make the subject line difficult to read and it looks unprofessional. Do you cap up emails to clients? I hope not. So why do it in a press release?

10. Avoid jargon
When writing a blog post time is of the essence, so I don’t want to spend ages translating press releases into plain English.

We have a list of banned words for the Econsultancy blog and if I had my way ‘learnings’, ‘reaching out’ and ‘thought leader’ would be at the top of it.

11. The personal touch counts
There’s a huge amount to be said for building a relationship with bloggers and journalists and personalising emails. If a press release is obviously just part of a massive mail merge then it’s unlikely to get read.

But more importantly, if I recognise the name of the sender and have had some contact with them outside of simply being included on a press release list then I’m far more likely to open their emails.

Creative Ways to Use Twitter for Business

Monday, August 20th, 2012

These tips are designed to help you better organize and structure your Twitter strategy to get noticed.

1. Create a Conversation List. Who you follow defines your Twitter experience. A conversation list helps to organize people based on why you started following them in the first place. Make private lists of who inspires you in business, who inspires you in life, who has great tips for crowdsourced innovation. You can keep your lists private or go public with them.

2. Update your profile picture. This little square associates your business with an image in the minds of followers, so be mindful of its look, and follow these sub-rules:
• Make sure your logo fits the square. Obviously cropped or distorted ones look unprofessional. For PC users, the free tool Irfanview enables you to crop and resize photos in a snap. Mac users should try EasyCrop or GraphicConverter (our personal favorite)—both paid services, but relatively inexpensive. Free browser-based tools like Pic Resize will also let you crop or resize online.
• Ensure your logo is readable. Don’t use the space if the words in your logo can’t be read.
• Consider using a headshot. It’s easier to connect with faces than with logos. Or you can make like Uber Paris and use both a face and a logo in a creative way that matches your company’s spirit!
• If you use a photo, focus on the face. There isn’t room in a Twitter photo for whole-body shots on the beach.
• No animals or kids! We’re trying to connect with you, not your favorite things.

3. Rethink your visual branding. Create a custom graphic for your Twitter background to freshen things. Here are examples of Twitter backgrounds, and instructions for creating one.

4. Use Twitter to solve business challenges. Offer Twitter specials, reward retweeters, organize Tweetups in order to rally troops around your brand and motivate them to listen when you throw serious questions out there about your product or service. Better yet, put the product in their hands at the Tweetup!

The Point: Don’t tweet into a void. Organize your Twitter presence with greater purpose, and you’ll find a panoply of ways to make it work for you.

4 (Four) Tips for the Perfect PPC Landing Page

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Five years ago, Joel Chudleigh’s team managed to boost a client’s online conversion rate by 11% over a six-week period.

“After seeing those results it is fair to say that I have been interested to the point of obsession in how much difference the right layout, the right copy, and the right design can make to a website’s performance,” he writes at Deep Footprints.
He offers this advice for creating the perfect PPC landing page:

Understand your audience’s needs. Your landing page shouldn’t try to be all things to all people. Why is someone clicking on an ad? Your landing page should respond to that, and only that.

Be very specific. You have—at most—five seconds to make your case. So don’t lose a visitor’s interest with vague language about unspecified savings. Instead, intrigue her with a concrete reason to learn more: Save two hours per week, $500 per month.

Provide a credible reason to work with you. Why should someone choose you over a competitor who sells a similar product or service? Establish social proof with testimonials, case studies, and a list of impressive clients.

Create pleasing copy and design that complement each other. “We make snap judgments based on the way things look,” notes Chudleigh. “I have walked out of plenty of restaurants after taking a look around and just getting a bad vibe about the place before I am actually presented with any food.” Always remember that visitors will judge your landing page just as severely.

The Point: Make it a happy landing. Your ad has done its job; now it’s time for your landing page to urge a visitor onward.

PPC Ads Don’t Cannibalize Organic Search Listings

Monday, August 13th, 2012

One theory that some search marketers hold is that purchasing Google AdWords does not make financial sense because the ads will cannibalize organic listings. The theory supposes that the two forces, AdWords and SEO, are killing each other, and it is a bad strategy to spend money on both at the same time.

As an experiment, Google “paused” search ads to measure the effect that such a cessation had on organic search result clicks. What the study found was that users did not suddenly start clicking the natural results in the absence of AdWords results.

Those findings prove wrong the notion that any significant increase in clicks on organic listings would result if marketers were to decrease spending on PPC ads, with Google deducing that 50% of the time ad clicks are incremental when there’s a corresponding natural listing in the top rank.
Pay-per-click is here to stay

In 2011, when Google claimed that 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused, it may have been a bit hard for the Internet marketing community to believe that statistic. After all, Google would say something like that to protect the reputation of AdWords, its main money spinner.

Cutting costs on advertising does not increase natural clicks
What the Google experiment tells Google advertisers is this: If you reduce your ad spending to zero, you can’t expect for 89% of those clicks that would have gone to your ads to now be redirected to your Web page results in the natural SERPs.

Also, a Google report a month later showed that, most of the time, paid ads and natural listings seldom appear on the same page together anyway.

How often do paid and natural appear together?

A follow-up Google analysis in March 2012 found that 81% of the time, when there is a paid ad being displayed, no corresponding organic listing is on the first page.

The chances of finding a top-ranked listing paired with its paid counterpart on the same page is very slim. The possibility of the organic listing’s appearing on the same page at all as the paid listing is still a very rare occurrence.

If you have the top-ranking natural result, your chances of having a corresponding ad on the same page is just 9%, but that drops down to only 5% if you’re in positions 2-4, or a measly 4% in cases where you have a low-ranking site.

So, if you have a high-ranking website, you have a better chance of having both an ad and an organic result, but that may be related more to bigger budgets than anything else.

Averaging all of the different rankings, the study found that 66% of clicks were not associated with a related organic result.

We need both paid and unpaid results
The lesson to take away from these studies by Google is that search engine advertising is still a vital part of your online marketing portfolio, even if you are ranking highly for your keywords in the natural listings.
As both results (paid and natural) are very unlikely to ever appear together, you will be covering both bases by spending time and money on both.

4 Keys to a Successful Mobile Web Marketing Strategy

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Does your business have a mobile site that is designed with your mobile customer in mind? Is it a branded, usable, engaging experience?

If the answer is no, or if you’re not sure, you are not alone. According to Google, four out of five websites are not optimized for mobile consumption, and the bounce rates of such sites are typically over 80%.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly now, it’s time to make it so. People love the mobile Web.

Nearly three-quarters of smartphone owners access emails, and subsequently link to content, via their devices. And many of them like to shop using their smartphones, prompted by fellow users with whom they interact by phone while shopping.

Such mobile interactions push the user through to a website, and if that site isn’t optimized for mobile, then the opportunity to engage with that consumer is lost. Consider that 50% of users abandon a page if it hasn’t loaded within 10 seconds, and three out of five of those users never return.

You can’t afford to lose that many potential customers. And marketers now realize the enormity of this new channel’s potential for their business, but few have the knowledge of “how to mobilize.” So, I am glad to share with you some key steps to implementing a successful mobile Web strategy.

1. Understand the mobile consumer
Do some market research on mobile consumers. What information are they looking for, what are their specific habits and interests, what do they want to find out or do, what triggers them to do so, and where and when are they doing it?

Understand that people always have their mobile on and to hand. That personal relationship with a mobile device is what makes the mobile Web so powerful. Mobile consumers are using their phones for instant interaction with brands. This is great for you because if they see your ad campaign in print or TV, they want instant engagement and will reach for their mobile phone.

2. Analyze your mobile consumer—you have the data now
Analyse your website traffic and specifically mobile device users, the 20% of mobile users who patiently waited for your desktop Web pages to load on their mobile browsers.
Where did they go, what questions did they ask, what content was relevant to them, when did they use it, how long were they there? Analyze the 50% who bailed out: What were they trying to view, and where might they have gone instead?

Begin building a picture of the behaviors and needs of those who visit your site via a mobile device, and use that information as a foundation for your mobile strategy.

3. Optimize your content for a small screen
Find a strong mobile Web technology platform provider (or an agency that uses such technology) that has already addressed the problem of delivering the same experience across the scores of different mobile devices out there. You’ll want one that handles rich media and rich, interactive mobile experiences; delivers HTML5 (but also mark-up for older devices); collects user data; and has reporting and campaign management built into it.

Avoid using simple/quick site builders such as screen scraping or transcoding, which do a poor job of rendering your existing Web content. If you are serious about your brand, don’t compromise it on mobile.

If you plan to go it alone, then you’ll need a really smart Web team in-house who understand mobile best-practices.

4. Apply what you’ve learned
Apply the findings from your Web analysis. If you’ve discovered 90% of mobile visitors to your desktop site are simply looking for your physical location, then prioritize developing an easily discovered map and some geolocation functionality, then embed other content around it.

That’s a simplified example. Here’s a more complicated one, from a recent client, a baby food brand. We discovered that mobile visitors to the client’s site were, not surprisingly, new or expectant mothers. A large majority of them were accessing the site after midnight looking for feeding advice (presumably with baby in arms). Based on that information, we helped the client build its mobile experience around advice and support, thereby strengthening the client’s relationship with its site visitors and increasing purchases with tracked “special offers.”

Learn from the best

Take inspiration from these businesses and brands that have optimized for mobile and gained tremendous results:
• Amazon has made mobile accessible and trustworthy; it has integrated mobile with the Web experience, and the process works quickly and reliably.
• eBay reports processing one mobile transaction every second.
• Domino’s Pizza published recently that it had received 50% of UK orders via mobile and topped £1million sales via mobile in a single week.
• McDonald’s has been highly innovative with its mobile approach, using localized voucher codes and offers to drive customers in. Think about ways in which your own business could tap into the location-based capabilities that mobile uniquely presents.
• Since launching its dedicated mobile site, BuySpares (UK) recorded a 31% increase in revenue.