Category Archives: Marketing Interventions

Anne Orfila
You Only Need One Space After a Period. Period.

Are you guilty of double-spacing after a period? Or a question mark? Or an exclamation point?

Congratulations! This means that you were a conscientious student in school (ahem, over 25 years ago) – typing class specifically – and your typing teacher would be proud. Today, no teacher would probably sing your praises doing this because the practice of inserting two spaces after a period (or other punctuation mark) is no longer necessary or the norm.

One space after a period does not mean you are lazy, but it does make you look old-school! 

Dropping the extra space after the period is not due to a time-saving effort or because people today are lazy. There was a legit reason behind the practice, so before you enter modern times, let’s take a little walk back in history to learn why double spaces existed.

Typewritten documents actually needed the extra space. 

The typewriter has a monospaced font. This means that each letter, number, or punctuation mark is allotted the same amount of space before and after the character (i.e. the skinny letter “i” has just as much breadth of room as the chubby letter “m”). In short, sentences from a typewriter look long and the act of using two spaces after a sentence gives the reader an easy-to-see break between sentences.

Computers, and word processors, are much smarter creatures.

The characters used in computer fonts are spaced proportionally. Therefore, words look more “joined together” and the space in between is more defined. And individual sentences are easier on the eyes to tell apart. Thus, the extra space is not needed.

There are still a few fonts available that have monospacing, such as Courier and Lucida Console. Here is an example which illustrates the difference between a monospaced font (Courier) and a proportional font (Arial).

Web Marketing Therapy One Space After a Period

Not entirely convinced to drop the extra space? Read this:

If you continue to use that pesky extra space, you are aging yourself!

Whether you are writing website copy, a business proposal, a resume or CV, a blog post, or your profile on a dating app, using that double space will mark you as middle-aged. Let’s put it this way, I was the last class in high school to learn to type on an actual IBM typewriter (that was waaaay back in 1989) where the double spacing was drilled into my typing repertoire. The class after me and beyond used computers (and no double spaces). So anyone who uses the double space is someone who learned on a typewriter ages ago! If you are trying to maintain a certain “arbitrary” age in this youth-oriented world, that double space will “out” you faster than it takes for your Botox to set in!

The bottomline: One space after a period is a simple way to update your writing and maintain your youthful reputation. 😉 

Lorrie Thomas
Sometimes A Simple One-Page Website is The Way to Start

Does the idea of building a new website or redoing your current website stress you out a little?

Or, maybe a lot?

You aren’t alone. I’ve been there myself. In 2013, I hated our company website so much, I pulled the ENTIRE site down to provide a blank slate allowing us to focus on a simpler, cleaner website, it was one of the best marketing moves I ever made. Here is a post I wrote about it.  When I have clients in fear of starting or redoing a website, I often advise the same simple solution:

Start with a temporary one-page website.

When I suggest this, I often get responses like: “but what will people think?” “Will this hurt my search visibility?” “Shouldn’t we wait until the whole site is ready?”

If you don’t have a site, having something up is better than nothing. People are searching for your business online, and if you aren’t there, your customers aren’t happy…or think something is wrong.

Especially in today’s mobile-centric web world, you do not need a big fancy website. What you need is something simple, informative, targeted to your demographic and requires little to no maintenance. Why not start with a one page website? Say who you are, what you do and whom you serve. Make sure your contact information is visible, include an image(s) if it helps and have links to your social media. Capture email addresses if you have a good reason to.

Simple information paired with clean design that is on-brand and on-purpose is the best foundation you can have.

For those of you struggling to redo your website, remember that it isn’t just about being on the web any way you can, it is about being on the web in a precise manner that speaks true to your business and your brand. A website doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be!) complicated. A simple one page site has given so many of our clients the opportunity to be seen and heard while they work on the bigger website behind-the-scenes.

And if you are still stressing, reach out. I’m happy to talk with you. I’ve been there. I still remember the stress of yanking my old website, but what a blessing it became!

Virtual marketing hugs!

Anne Orfila
Email Etiquette: Reply Required

Do you have a friend, colleague or client who never responds to your emails? 

In this web world, I believe that everyone knows someone like that. (Insert eye roll here.)

Email Etiquette: Reply RequiredWhen this happens to me, I begin to wonder: Did they get my email? Are they giving me a passive okay to proceed? Did my email get stuck in their spam folder? Maybe it’s a passive no? And so on. As you can see, it would’ve just been better if they had answered my email!

Working virtually in the web marketing world for many years, I have learned that responding to an email as soon as you can is really the right thing to do. The trouble is there is no Emily Post book of etiquette for web behavior so if someone doesn’t respond, it’s not “wrong” or “rude” but in my book of etiquette it’s just annoying! But I digress . . .

With 99% of my business dealings done online, I know that the way I respond to an email, and the timeliness in which I do so, is a reflection of me. My clients don’t get to see my salon-styled hair, my punctuality to a meeting, or my chic shoes so what they basically have to judge, for lack of a better word, me on is my interaction with them over email. So I better show them my best side, so to speak.

I have one rule – feel free to adopt it – when it comes to client emails:

Respond to the email whether or not I have the reply they need.

That means that even if I don’t have an answer to a client’s question, or if I haven’t completed their project, I will still reply to their email with something as simple as “Hi XXXX, Confirming receipt. This is in my work queue.” I do this so often that now my clients expect a response and in a few rare occurrences when a client’s email did not make it into my inbox – and therefore I did not respond – they have contacted me via phone to follow up. (Insert applause here.)

So, my fellow readers, if you take anything away from this post, I hope that you realize “silence is golden” in some circumstances… but not when it comes to replying to emails.

– – – – –

Now, if someone is cold emailing you (like to sell something) then do not feel obligated to reply, this netiquette is focused on people you know!

For more web etiquette, see my past blog post about “Old School Rules in the New Web World“.

Lorrie Thomas
If You Build It….They Won’t Come

In the movie Field of Dreams, the protagonist (played by Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his Iowa cornfields…”If you build it…he will come.”

It doesn’t work that way with web marketing.

If you launch a new website, blog, Facebook page or anything online, people will not come unless you make an effort to get people to come!

Marketing is about making relationships. This is not a passive act. Relationships take effort, energy and enthusiasm.

Web marketing includes online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing and content marketing. If you don’t act, don’t expect anything to happen.

If you want results, you must be genuinely enthusiastic about what you are offering. You have to be willing to put in the effort (which might include hiring help to delegate some of the work). Lastly, you need energy…positive, proactive energy. While this might sound a little woo-woo, in the 10+ years I have run my digital marketing agency, my most successful clients are the ones who radiate energy and put energy into voicing their value and values.

Web Marketing RxNeed a Healthy Dose of Marketing Rx? Take 3 V’s:

1) Offer Value to your customer by sharing content (that has value to them) and communicate your value
2) Marry your with content with your Values (this will help you attract your ideal client)
3) Publish content consistently to solidify your Voice

 You will have a great voice online when your web marketing communicates your value and your values!

Virtual Marketing Hugs!

 

 

Anne Orfila
Old School Rules Still Apply in The New Web World

I have been in the wild web world longer than many of you who are reading this. I’m a Gen X, not a Millennial. Most likely, the biggest differentiating factor between me and a Millennial who is doing the same type of web marketing work as I currently am, is that I worked in an office. Sure, sure, you’re saying that so have you. But my first job was in a serious mega corporation that wasn’t full of young people aspiring to hit it big with IPOs and stock options. My employer was already on the stock market and I had the bigwigs from New York breathing down my neck for sales revenue reports, forecasts, and whatever else they needed. This also happened to be my first job out of college. I was young, but eager to be a team player, and a fast learner. What I learned in those 3 years of corporate life was something I have taken with me to every job since. Old school office etiquette works wonders. Even in this current fast-paced web world.

Mind your manners in the wild web world. What is old school etiquette in the office? Basically, it’s using proper manners in the workplace. Etiquette applies to “netiquette” too! Show respect to your coworkers and their privacy, speak (or email or call) politely, mind your (political, religious, controversial) opinions, use “please” and “thank you” whenever appropriate, keep your voice down, ask to borrow other people’s office supplies, keep team members in the loop, show up to meetings on time, stay at home when you are sick (unless you are already home, then just be thankful for your work-from-home job!)

I’ve been working at home for more than a decade, but I never let my etiquette slip. Since my clients, and Web Marketing Therapy coworkers are all over the U.S., all of my work and most of my correspondence is done electronically so my office manners have been transposed a bit to fit the web world, but the gist is still the same.

Follow These Old-School Rules in Today’s New-School Web World:

  • Keep your emails clear, polite, to the point, and prompt. If there is something you need, be clear to ask for it…nicely!
  • Emails should not be one word or in all lowercase. I don’t care if you reply from your phone! You don’t talk in one word sentences (and even if you do), your emails should not just be one word sentences.
  • Address the recipient with a pleasant greeting such as “Dear xxx”, “Good Morning, xxx”. Not “Hey”
  • Confirm receipt of work emails from clients, even if you haven’t completed it. Occasionally something doesn’t get delivered and if your client is used to a confirmation, than they’ll know if you haven’t received their email.
  • Use “please” and “thank you” whenever necessary.
  • Your email subject needs to reflect what your email is about.
  • Don’t forward anything personal (jokes, political statements, funny cartoons, chain letters, etc.,) to clients, even if you are on “friendly” terms.
  • Stick to a basic font (Arial, Helvetica), in a “regular” size, and use black.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS, EVER.
  • No profanity belongs in any client email.
  • Temper the exclamation points, the bolded words, and underlining.
  • Avoid shortcuts for words: “u” for “you”, “bc” for “because”, “gr8” for “great” and so forth.
  • Use emoticons sparingly.
  • If there are multiple people on a message you receive, decipher whether it is appropriate to “reply all” or to just reply to the sender.
  • Keep your client or coworkers in the loop. You may be half way through a project, but it’s always nice to send them a brief status email update so they know that you are working on it.
  • Sign off your emails with a pleasantry such as “Sincerely”, “Warm Regards”, “Kind Regards” and include a signature with your contact information.
  • Notify clients and coworkers of vacations or times when you are away from your office.
  • Use your out-of-office assistant when taking extended time away from work.

Whether you are Gen X or a Millennial, don’t be afraid to throw in some old school office etiquette in the new wild web world. After all, courtesy, respect, and professionalism never go out of style.

Lorrie Thomas
Define Success On Your Own Terms

When I support entrepreneurs with web marketing at Web Marketing Therapy or work with women on their web-based businesses though Wild Web Women, I’m often reminding these wonderful passionate professionals to stop comparing themselves…

You CANNOT compare yourself to others! 

The sooner you break down the habit of comparing yourself or business to others, the sooner you will start to pave our own path and see business breakthroughs.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules,
and build a life you’re proud to live.

– Anne Sweeney