Tag Archives: web marketing therapy

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
The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Do you know what the secret is to being a successful digital marketer? 

If I asked this question to a room full of professionals, most of them would guess that it’s being knowledgeable in the technical parts of marketing: knowing SEO, SEM, how to buy ads, knowing the best times to post on social media, how to build and manage a website, graphic skills for photos, and much more along those lines.

All of those are great answers and true. Having a handle on any of those skills is going to give your marketing career a big boost. That’s no secret.

But that is not the key to success. When I spoke with Matt Krumrie, Director of Content Management for Power Network for his article on marketing career success, I told him that the the number 1 skill needed to succeed throughout your marketing career is not tech-related, it is the ability to communicate clearly.Web Marketing Therapy: The Secret to Being a Successful Digital Marketer

Whether you are a college grad seeking to launch a successful marketing career or a professional who has decided to launch your own business and has suddenly found that marketing is now part of the job, being an artful communicator is just as important as knowing the technical stuff.

“The world we live in is phone/text heavy, but this ‘quick and dirty’ method of communication will only leave the marketing grad dirty career-wise. Whether it is an email to your boss, selling something, writing copy for a social media post or an ad, the ability to communicate in a compelling way (and online, that means pithy, powerful text) is critical.

Strong communication skills are needed at every level of online and offline marketing, from writing ad copy to emailing a boss or reaching out to a new client. I loved being interviewed to talk about the skills college grads need to succeed in Matt’s article titled Marketing Careers: Combination of Technical and Soft Skills Key to Success.

How do you sharpen your communication skills? Practice makes perfect. There are so many ways to practice your communication skills in everyday life – strike up a conversation with the clerk at the store, email your child’s teacher, write a thank you note to your neighbor. Sharpen your writing communication skills by writing more, listening more, and reading a lot. Take the time each day to read any book, magazine, newspaper, or online news story that catches your eye. The best part is that once your communication skills are sharp, they will rarely dull, instead they will only become even better with use.

Happy Marketing!

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“.

Anne Orfila
Web Marketing Management Tools Our Digital Marketing Agency Is Addicted To!

I have a confession.

Image via Pixabay.comThe digital marketing management team at Web Marketing Therapy would not be as organized, efficient, high-powered and streamlined without help from some super supportive web marketing tools. Through trial, error, and research, the following are some web marketing tools we are addicted to (healthy addiction, of course!) that help us keep our work tight and together.

Without further ado, I share with you some of our favorite web marketing tools – you can thank us later! 😉

ClickToTweet
If you have a message that you want others to share on Twitter, this is the tool for you!

Clicktotweet allows you to create a fully tweet-able link (meaning people just click and it tweets exactly what you want them to post!). You need a Twitter account to use this. When a visitor clicks on your link, the message gets auto-inserted in their Twitter status box. They click and – boom! – your message is shared. In addition, there is tracking and analytics of your messages.

Cost: This awesome tool is FREE. We made one for this post – click here to tweet it!

Hootsuite
If you want to save time managing all of your social media accounts on one easy dashboard, this tool is for you!

Hootsuite allows you to schedule unlimited social media messages and respond to messages across your social networks. You set it and forget it! Analytics reports also show you what is working and what isn’t.

Cost: Variable pricing structure depending on number of social media profiles you are managing.

Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of your inbox, this tool is for you!

Boomerang is your personal assistant for your email account. Write an email and schedule it to send later, check! Got an email that will be relevant in a few days? Click it away and it will be brought back into your inbox when you want it to be there, check! Don’t let any emails fall through the cracks. If you are sending out an email that needs a reply, you can select to be reminded if no one replies, check! And much more.

Cost: Varies by usage between $4.99 per month up to $49.99 per month.

Animoto
If you want your video to look professional, this is the tool for you!

Make great videos, easily. Choose a style and song, customize your video with photos, video clips, and text. Produce it and share. Animato is user-friendly. You don’t need to be a videographer to look like one.

Cost: Varies by what features you want to utilize. Starting at $8 per month up to $34 per month.

Hightail
If you want a more efficient way to manage hi-res emails between your team and/or clients, then this tool is for you!

Hightail gives you dedicated space for team members or clients to preview hi-res images and videos without downloading them. It also allows viewers to comment and provide feedback in context and lets people know when you need their input with actionable notifications.

Cost: Varies from $125 per month to $325 per month or customizable prices for larger options.

This last one isn’t really a tool, but more of a tip…

Share Buttons
Just like you learned in preschool, sharing is the best way to play together. 

If you want people to see your blog – and share with others – then having share buttons on your blog is A MUST! Read our blog post about the importance of making your content easily share-able.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New!

All of the above web marketing tools are tried and true. We know, because our WMT team uses all of them. I believe that they all offer some sort of free trial so if one – or more – jumps out at you, don’t be afraid to try it. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work for you and there is no money lost. The best that could happen is that it takes your business to the next level.

Happy, healthy marketing!

SaveSave

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.

Anne Orfila
How to Set Up a Facebook Messenger Auto Reply

While the web never sleeps, most companies are not (and cannot be!) online 24/7. While many business owners check their email and voicemail accounts religiously (ahem, we know who you are!), some may forget – or check less often – other messaging services like Facebook Messenger. Although you can’t always reply quickly to messages you receive via Facebook Messenger, you want to make sure that potential customers feel heard and don’t slip through the cracks. Slow is the same as stop on the web! 🙂

One way to make sure your potential customers voices are “heard” even when you are not online is to set up an instant auto reply to any Facebook messages that come through. Facebook gives you the opportunity to set up an auto response with the “Response Assistant” setting. Note that you have to be on a business template to have this service (learn more about Facebook templates in our WMT blog post).

The cool thing about setting up a Facebook Messenger auto reply is that it is customizable (up to 250 characters). If you are not a Facebook Messenger person, direct them to call you, email you, visit your website (or all 3!). You can also personalize it to reply with person’s first name (or last name) so the message seems less generic. Here’s an example of ours:

Facebook Tip: Setting Up an Auto Reply on Facebook Messenger

To set your autoreply, go to your Facebook page and go to to ‘Settings’ > ‘Messaging’ and choose ‘Response Assistant’.

How to set up a Facebook Messenger Auto Reply

 

Click ‘Yes’ next to Response Assistant (lower in the page) and start composing your message.

Setting Up a Facebook Message Auto Response
Setting up your Facebook Response Assistant is one of the easiest tasks that you can do. We recommend you utilize this feature – even if you are good about responding to Facebook messages – because it lets the sender know that their message is valued and that you won’t leave them hanging.

Happy Social Media Marketing!