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Your Website, Written Perfectly

The first rule of writing for your website is easy: Think of your audience.

Who are they? Why did they come to your site? What should they do once they’re on it? 

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Over the Irish Moon: Meet the Winner of the Everything Holiday Sweepstakes

by John Habib
John Habib

Congratulations to the winner of the 2016 Everything Holiday Sweepstakes! Marie Rochele Devenny, the owner of Irish Moon, LLC, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was randomly selected from nearly 300 entries. Marie will receive a free year of Pro email marketing. 

Irish Moon is an online shop specializing in gifts, apparel, and other specialties imported from Ireland and Scotland, or created by artisans of Irish or Scottish descent. Marie had discovered how fulfilling it was to spend her weekends working at a local Irish import store, in contrast to her banking career. “People would leave with such a smile on their faces. I loved working there,” Marie said.

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The Perils of Free Shipping

by John Habib
John Habib

E-commerce is an ever more integral part of consumers’ lives. This year alone, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $1.9 trillion, with an estimated $4 trillion spent on e-commerce by the year 2020.

As the number of online deal hunters grows, many e-commerce companies are offering shipping discounts to capture all of those sales. With its Prime program and enormous scale and reach, Amazon has probably done more than any other retailer to cement the concept of free shipping in customers’ minds. In fact, 88 percent of customers say that free shipping is what prompts them to make purchases online more frequently. Other large retailers like Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s have followed suit, using free shipping to tempt their customers during the holiday season, and sometimes all year long.

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Small Business Stories: Eclectic Shoppe

For small independent retailers, store traffic can be everything. That’s why the traditionally slow months following the holiday season can be such a challenge each year.

Of course, Mike and Maria Smyth knew about such challenges in 2015 when they opened their fun and charming store in historic downtown Wabash, Indiana. The Eclectic Shoppe showcases the work of local artists ranging from pottery and paintings to hand-painted tees and jewelry, in keeping with the Smyths’ passion for local goods. “We are giving artisans a place where they can survive,” notes Maria.

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Ready to build your website? Answer these 3 questions first.

website-designAre you thinking about building a website?  Do you have an idea for what that might look like?  Is there a picture in your head?  Before you move forward, I would like to suggest stopping for a minute and thinking through a few things.

Your website is really an extension of you.  In many cases, it is your first exposure to your audience.  When they visit your site for the first time you get about 5 seconds to convince them that you are what they are looking for.  Given this short window of time, it is essential to make deliberate decisions to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your intended audience.

To do this, think through the following questions it is a good start to creating an experience that will resonate with your future customers.

1. Who is your audience?

Ask yourself:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Who do you want them to be?
  • Who do you think will be visiting your website?

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Brand Positioning: Why it matters and how to trump the competition

Brand-positioning-Thriftalicious_heroimgBrand positioning is similar to a first date. When you meet someone you want to know better, you put on your best behavior and try to impress them. At least, that’s the goal. You aim to convey who you are, and what you are interested in. If you are genuinely focused on identifying whether or not you are the right fit for one another, you will be true to your character, your interests, and your values.  The same is true of your brand.

You cannot be all things to all people, although at times, it does sound appealing. The purpose of positioning your brand is to go a step beyond telling the world about the products or services you offer. Your goal is to create an emotional connection with the customers you want to attract.

In an article in Entrepreneur by Jim Joseph, the president of a New York-based communications agency, Jim discusses the importance of identifying what your customer is looking for, beyond what they need from your product or service.

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The Pros and Cons of Offering Coupons: A Retailer’s Dilemma

pros-cons-coupons

The decision to offer money-off coupons can be a tough call for retailers, especially small businesses.

Advocates say couponing is a relatively easy way to attract new customers and make a brand more appealing in the face of competition. But naysayers point to the possible loss of profits from continually discounted purchases.

Both sides have valid points, but studies indicate businesses offering coupons do have a competitive edge. Among those customers who aren’t driven by a need to “replenish” products (a segment representing half of all brand purchases) the availability of store coupons is the top influencer for why they shop in a certain store, according to Nielsen.

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Marketing that Matters: Small Business Revolution Lessons Learned from the Road

Marketing the Matters_Deluxe Blog Image_1200x628

After packing so much into one year, I still find it hard to believe 2015 is over. From launching the Small Business Revolution documentary series to celebrating Deluxe’s 100th year in business; from building a massive social following from scratch to conducting two national media campaigns with Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec, we truly accomplished a great deal in 365 days. I am exceptionally proud of our team.

Of course, those four milestones do not even do justice to all that was achieved and learned in 2015. This time last year, when the Small Business Revolution first kicked off online, we were thrilled with each new follower, with each news story about our love of small business. Personally, I was humbled and gratified that the public was resonating with our “big idea” – creating a movement to celebrate the importance of small businesses in this country.

We knew that celebrating our 100th anniversary at Deluxe was an opportunity to do something bigger than just celebrate ourselves. We wanted to do something purposeful…and meaningful to honor the kinds of businesses we love working with every day – the small businesses that make up the rich fabric of our communities. Turning the spotlight away from ourselves and onto the small businesses we support through mini-documentaries and photo essays gave us the chance to share authentic content that truly celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit.

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