Let’s Go Surfing

Written: April 18, 2014

One of my favorite web clients is surfer Nancy Emerson, and she teaches people how to surf in Hawaii, Australia and Fiji. Her newly remodeled web site is filled with gorgeous photos of sunny days, something that helps me muddle through a rainy Oregon spring time. The Home page features wide photos that rotate automatically, helping to tell the surfing story.

 

The theme for this web site also makes uses of columns and rows, almost like a newspaper or magazine, and that is something that helps to organize ideas and force the eye along a set path. Finally, most pages contain real testimonials from happy clients. A strong marketing principle is to let your customers sing your praise, instead of you telling everyone how great you are.

We had converted Nancy’s original site into WordPress a year ago, so doing this remodel meant that we had to update WordPress themes. The beauty of WordPress is that you can update your look, or Theme as often as you like. Visitors enjoy a visual change every year or so, almost like how the automobile industry comes out with new body styles and colors on an annual basis. Change catches our attention.

Mahalo.

What is a Bundle Builder?

Written: April 7, 2014

Telecom companies love to offer us lots of services and upgrades, but often the process to order these services is cumbersome or requires a phone call. Working with TCT West, we came up with an elegant way to accept orders online for:

It’s all done with dynamic forms and the following video gives a good overview of what the process looks like:

This ability is called a Bundle Builder and was delivered in WordPress, so that TCT can make their own updates to pricing without hiring a web developer.

The logic used for TCT West is unique to their business model, however the concept can be applied to any telecom provider wanting an online ordering system.

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Using Forms to Gather and Track Info

Written: March 17, 2014

I’m a member of the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce and we used WordPress to build most of their web site. Next month there’s an annual award celebration, so this month we needed to gather nominations for the awards. In WordPress we used the Form feature in the Jetpack plugin. Here’s what the form looks like in WordPress:

After I defined the form in WordPress, I viewed it in a browser to double-check that it looked OK:

Once a web visitor fills out this Form, then feedback is sent by email to the Tualatin Chamber, and they can also go into WordPress and see this one nomination or even export all nominations into a CSV file for use in Excel.

So it’s quick and simple to add forms to your WordPress site, view the results, and automate the process to save you time in organizing your association or business.

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Gathering Feedback after a Purchase

Written: March 14, 2014

Since September of 2013 I’ve been on a fitness kick and started to bicycle every week, which means that I visit my local bike shop Performance Bicycle on a regular basis.

Performance Bicycle

One really smart thing that Performance Bicycle does is to follow up your purchase with an email, asking you to write some feedback on their website about what you just bought. This feedback allows other cyclists to hear what you have to say about your purchase, and that in turn impacts their decision on what to buy or even avoid in some cases.

The theory of this is quite sound, and I’ve followed through and posted a handful of times on their web site about my experience with a new pair of cycling shoes, shorts or gloves. One area that Performance Bicycle needs to improve upon is the email message sent out, requesting feedback on a recent purchase, because their email has broken links to images that make the email look just awful:

One of the essential rules in email marketing is to run a test message, to double check that all is well, prior to sending out an email blast to everyone on the list. I’ve told my local store about this broken email message, however I’m not sure that they are telling their management about this glaring error. If you send out emails to customers, please double check that all is well in order to stop an embarrassment like this.

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