Canva: Design made easy.

Canva: Design made easy.

If your brain freaks out at the thought of creating graphics in complicated programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, then Canva may be your answer.
It enables you to create beautiful posters, invitations, infographics, cards, website graphics, facebook ads or cover photos & even multiple-page presentations.

Canva is an Australian-made graphic design service that takes the headaches out of designing. All you have to do is choose one of the available templates or start from a custom-sized blank canvas. You then use the Layouts and Background tabs to get a rough idea of what you want to design. These tabs are chock-full of options to choose from, whether you want a complete template or just a nice background to build on.

Canva revolves entirely around intuitive controls such as drag-and-drop – so adding, removing, and editing elements on your canvas is simple and straightforward.. and actually fun!

While many Canva elements are completely free to use, some images you’ll see on search results are Premium, and will cost you $1 per image once you download your design. You can, however, easily upload you own photos or graphics, so while Canva’s Premium options are certainly tempting, they’re not a must.

After signing up to the Canva Newsletter, you’ll also get access to some great tutorials to help you master certain techniques, and learn new skills. If you’d prefer not to sign up, you can just check out their blog which is regularly updated with tricks and tips to help you on your way. They are consistently updating to add more templates and functions. It’s really not as daunting as you think!

Check out some introductory videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEDLeLo3HNQZiJOTR2svg2A

The Canva Blog: https://blog.canva.com

And if you’re still a bit confused about how to get started, get in touch – we’re more than happy to help.

Email Automation: Explained

Unlike email newsletters and one-off campaigns where you create and send to a bunch of people in one go, an automated email campaign means you set it up once, and then it’s automatically sent to one particular person, when they meet a certain trigger.

Take for example somebody signs up for an account on your website. The first email might welcome them to your brand and show them how to get started. Two days later you might send them another email with links to some popular resources or offer them a discount code for a fist purchase.

Rather than manually creating and sending email campaigns to every person when they sign up – and again two days later encouraging them to make a purchase – you can set up automated welcome emails that gets sent whenever a new person joins, and at the same time, set up your second automated email with a trigger point (e.g. 2 days after initial sign up) with their discount code for their first purchase.

That’s the beauty of email automation: You save yourself time and money by only needing to set up the email once, and as people meet the trigger you defined (e.g. two days after initial sign up) the email will send without any additional effort on your part. It essentially ‘automates’ your email marketing for you. How awesome is that?!

 

How to Customise an Email Template in 7 Simple Steps using Nextwave’s Mailer

How to Customise an Email Template in 7 Simple Steps using Nextwave’s Mailer

Thanks to modern email design tools and templates, the days of having to know HTML and CSS to create amazing emails are well and truly behind us. Phew!

With the Nextwave Mailer email builder the possibilities or generating beautiful emails (that your customers will actually want to open and read) are endless.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the 7 simple steps to help you design and build a custom email (from start to finish) using an email template and the drag and drop email tools.

Step 1: Choose a template to get started
The first step in customizing your email is to select a template from the Nextwave Mailer template library. You’ll find a wide variety of templates to choose from simply by clicking on a category under the ‘create new’ heading on the left hand side of your screen e.g. newsletters, events, feedback etc.

The template you choose will be partially based on the type of message you’ll be sending, such as a marketing offer, transactional email, newsletter, announcement, or event invite. Different objectives call for different formats and layouts, so consider which template will complement the message and objective of your email campaign.

For example, let’s say you’re sending out an email marketing campaign to announce a new collection of items in-store and online. For this post, we’ll pretend we are an email marketer at Liberty Trading Co.

screenshot2

NOTE: TO SELECT AN EMAIL TEMPLATE, MAKE SURE YOU CREATE A NEW CAMPAIGN FIRST!

Before you can select your campaign template, you’ll need to create a new email campaign by clicking on the big green ‘create a new campaign’ button to the right of your screen, define the campaign and sender details and click ‘next’. This is where you can select your campaign template.

screenshot1

Step 2: Add a new hero image
Once you’ve selected the template you want to use, click ‘Replace’ to swap out the existing image and insert an image of your own. You can use a big, bold hero image that goes full-width across the screen.

screenshot3a

Step 3: Edit your image
Once you’ve inserted your hero image, you can edit it right within the builder. Simply click on the ‘edit’ next to the thumbnail image in the left sidebar.

Editing capabilities include everything from simply enhancing the image, to adding effects, rotating orientation, resizing, cropping, colour correcting, lighting, sharpness, and removing blemishes.

In the example below, you can see how clicking on the lighting option expands into more specific features such as brightness, contrast, highlights, and shadows.

screenshot4
Once you’ve made your edits, click ‘Save’ and your new image will be updated in the template.

Step 4: Add alt text and links
Now that your image is set, you can add alt text – this is the text that will display when a subscriber has images off within his or her email inbox. To add alt text, simply click on the image and add the alt text in the appropriate box.

Additionally, you may like to add a link so when your image is clicked, it takes the subscriber to your website or product page.

screenshot5

In the example above, clicking on an image of a cushion brings up the toolbar with these features on the left side of the screen.

Step 5: Tweak your template
Want to rearrange or add sections to your template? No problem, you can do so in a matter of a few clicks!

To add content sections such as text, images, spacers dividers, buttons or surveys, just select the appropriate button from the left-hand toolbar and drag it to the section of your email template where you want to place it.

screenshot6

Alternatively, if you want to rearrange sections (as seen in the example below) highlight the portion you want to move with your mouse (e.g. a product image such as the cushion highlighted below) and move it to the new spot. This is helpful if you don’t want to switch to a different template, but you’d like to see a different ordering of the sections.

screenshot7

Step 6: Add a CTA button and customize the copy
When it’s time to create a custom call to action button (i.e. SHOP NOW – as seen positioned under the product images in the screenshots above) that will drive customers to your website, all you need to do is to use the ‘Button’ option – located in the left sidebar. Then, when inserting your conversion-driving CTA button, ensure you customise it with your brand colours and text as well as size, style, corner type and alignment. All of these options will appear once you click on the button tool in the left sidebar.

screenshot9

The best part when creating CTA buttons now is that no HTML/CSS skills needed. Hooray!

Step 7: Preview on mobile
Before sending out your beautiful email campaign, be sure to preview it on mobile to ensure everything is displaying correctly.

You’ll see the mobile preview right within the builder simply by clicking on the ‘preview’ button to the right hand side of the screen. Scroll down to see how your template looks in this format from top to bottom.

screenshot10

Why is this step so important? Because research shows that about 53% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and it’s the most popular environment for a subscriber’s first interaction with an email.

Now you know how painless it is to customise your email marketing campaigns using Nextwave Mailer – and without the need for coding or CSS skills – there’s no stopping you!

Using customisable templates as your foundation, you can design a unique, well-branded email campaign in minutes.

ROBOFORM!! no more forgotten passwords.. PERIOD!

ROBOFORM!! no more forgotten passwords.. PERIOD!

IMG_20140804_150800Roboform is without a doubt the most time saving useful tool for your day to day computing life!

RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don’t have to! Just remember your one Master Password and RoboForm remembers the rest- it’s that easy! Our bookmark-style Logins automatically log you in to your favorite websites with one click.

Price: $10.00 USD the first year, then $20 every year after. Its the best value period! But please, don’t take our word for it, try for yourself! Download Now

We recently recommended Roboform to Allan from Careers Migration Australia. Here’s what he had to say a week later..

Matt, oh by the way that tool you recommended. You’ve changed my life, cannot believe it. Seriously though, you have. i was drowning in passwords, you have taken years off my life. Thank you! 

Allan Pitman, CEO Australian Educators

The best value period! But please, don’t take our word for it, try for yourself! Download Now

Video Marketing

Did you know, short 6 second brand videos are seen 4 times more than a standard brand video.

However, Video marketing involves more work. It has to be timely, relevant, memorable, and most importantly, optimized if you’re going to see any return on investment.

One of the latest trends is using Stop Motion Animated clips (which can be made through a wide selection of Apps) to boost your brands profile.

 

 

Google retires photo editing tool Picnik

Google just rained all over Picnik’s picnic. The photo editing site got the ax on Friday and will shut down in April.

Picnik — which said via its site that its last day will be April 19 — will be moving to Google+ in the future.

Picnik has been an extemely handy tool used by a number of people to edit photos quickly without having to use a software program like photoshop.

But, dont worry folks picknik has ALREADY been integrated into google+. Its called “creative kit”. click on one of your pictures in google+, top left hand corner.

Unfortunately you will need to join Google+ now to use the features!

UserEcho – Utilize Your Customers

UserEcho is a web-app that provides a useful way for companies to solicit feedback from customers online. Businesses of all sizes can get feedback from their clients, customers, and followers, and then respond directly to people who submit particularly interesting comments or insightful ideas. Companies that use UserEcho can interact with clients directly and potentially get help generating a few innovative business ideas in the process.

In order to start collecting feedback from customers and clients using UserEcho, you’ll need to create a customizable widget and embed it into your company website and now also your Facebook page. UserEcho also offers the option of adding a basic link to any website, which would direct clients to the place where they could submit comments and ideas online. When a client clicks on a UserEcho widget or link, they’re taken to a custom page with an empty box for typing in feedback or searching for similar suggestions that have already been submitted. Feedback is separated into various categories, making it easy for you – the business owner – to see all the business-related suggestions from your clients and customers in one list without getting sidetracked with various complaints and queries. With all these ideas coming in on a constant basis, you might think it would be hard to decide which suggestions to implement. UserEcho has an answer for that, too.

In addition to being able to leave feedback, customers can also vote on the suggestions left by other users. As a business owner, you can then go in and quickly see which ideas have received the most votes as a way to decide which new features to implement first. For businesses that want a better way to monitor their online communities and solicit feedback from interested customers, UserEcho offers an ever-expanding list of features that can be used to connect businesses to their clients online.

Practical Uses:

§ Find out what new features your online fans would like to see

§ Let customers vote on which new brands your company should sell at its store

§ Impress customers by responding quickly to their feedback and ideas

§ Gather insight into what your clients are looking for in an online company

Insider Tips:

§ Sort feedback based on type, to see a list of only ideas or only questions

§ Administrators can delete duplicate ideas and merge similar suggestions

§ Users can subscribe to receive notices when customers have left new feedback

§ Limit which clients can participate by setting the UserEcho forum to ‘private’

What we liked:

§ UserEcho automatically searches for similar feedback when clients begin typing in their ideas to prevent duplicates

§ Tagging certain ideas and suggestions makes it easier to find relevant information

§ Voting system helps business owners know which ideas their customers really like

§ UserEcho’s widget can be customized to blend in with any existing website

Feedbackify – private real-time feedback from your website visitors

When you run a web-based business, customer satisfaction is key. Users who have an unpleasant experience on your website are unlikely to return or recommend the site to their friends, which is why a web-app called Feedbackify has come up with a system that lets online entrepreneurs get feedback on their websites in real-time. Visitor feedback that’s delivered through Feedbackify is private and quick, just the way it should be.

Sign up for Feedbackify and get started creating your very own feedback form using the web-app’s form editor tool. In addition to adding written questions, you can also add ratings-based questions that encourage visitors to rate certain elements of your website on a numeric scale. Create question categories, reorder those categories until you’re satisfied, and then upload your company logo to give your Feedbackify form a custom look. When you’re ready to deploy your new form, you can use Feedbackify’s feedback tab configurator to make a custom tab to appear on your existing site. When visitors click the tab, they’ll be transported to your Feedbackify form, where they can let you know how your site is functioning and whether there’s any room for improvement.

When the time comes and you’re ready to take a peek at what people have been saying, head to your Feedbackify dashboard page. In addition to being able to see the answers and ratings that your visitors put in, Feedbackify will also add context to the feedback by supplying you with your visitors’ geographic locations, operating systems, and browsers. Based on this information, you can begin to sort through feedback based on category and subcategory until you’ve really dug down into the opinions of your most valued online visitors.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out immediately if there is a problem with the way your site is functioning
  • Keep track of common complaints made by your online visitors
  • Make it easier for customers to purchase the products they want onlineUse the ideas you’ve gathered from visitors to improve your customer experience
  • Find out immediately if there is a problem with the way your site is functioning
  • Keep track of common complaints made by your online visitors
  • Make it easier for customers to purchase the products they want onlineUse the ideas you’ve gathered from visitors to improve your customer experience

Insider Tips:

  • See the IP address and geographic location of any user who leaves feedback
  • Feedback can be filtered by category and subcategory
  • Use the feedback tab configurator to create a custom web tab in any color
  • Copy and paste the generated code to add a Feedbackify tab to your website

What we liked:

  • Feedbackify delivers feedback in real time, so problems can be addressed immediately
  • Adding a tab to your existing website is a great way to bring people to your Feedbackify page without interrupting your site’s flowFeedback forms can be set up with as many, or as few, questions as you want
  • Users can create their own custom feedback categories

Email the Leading Driver of Visitors to Top Retail Sites

Interesting article about the power of email marketing, not the least of which is that 19 percent of shoppers surveyed said they visited a top retailer’s online storefront after receiving a promotional email from the company. Eight percent said they were driven there by search engine results, and only five percent said their decision to visit one of the top 40 retail websites was primarily influenced by social media channels such as recommendations on Facebook or Twitter.

Read the full article

We offer a self-serve email marketing system that makes newsletters and promotional emails a cinch. Join 200+ clients using Nextwave Mailer for their email marketing strategy, see the website for more info, or get in touch with us today if you’d like to discuss this effective marketing strategy.

Build your link popularity attract more free website traffic, heres how…

Build your link popularity attract more free website traffic, heres how…

Build Links to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings Introducing Wordtracker’s Link Builder Tool

The surest way to improve your website rankings in the search engines is to get quality links pointing to your site.

With Wordtracker’s powerful new Link Builder tool, you’ll be able to:

  • Find hundreds of top quality link prospects
  • Uncover your competitors’ linking strategies (and beat them at their own game)
  • Analyze sites that rank well for a particular keyword
  • Plan and create your own high impact linking campaigns
  • Drive more traffic, sales and revenue for your business

This Link Builder tool offers 7 day free trial (credit card required), a 30 day money back guarantee and the cost is $59 per month, not much if you consider other forms of attracting traffic. And unlike pay-per-click improving your search rankings means you dont have to pay for every visitor delivered to your site. Yes it takes some time and effort but in the long term its a must to not have to rely solely on paying for visitors.
Follow this link to find out more info and/or sign up for the free trial

Start building your link popularity, improve your search engine rankings and attract more free website traffic