spam, marketing, website errors blog

Beware of Spam Marketing Messages: “You Have Errors on Your Website”

spam, marketing, website errors,
Don't be fooled by spam marketing messages.

Periodically we hear from clients asking us about emails they’ve received citing several “errors” on their websites. These are not reliable companies and in most cases the emails are scripted. They’re trying to sell you their services. No matter where the email comes from, it usually mentions several things, so please be AWARE.

We came across your website and noticed the following
…(This is completely random and they’re casting a very wide net hoping they can get someone to take the bait)

We’ve found several errors on your website! (“errors” is a completely inaccurate word. We design your website using best practices & run reports regularly)

We are offering you a FREE website analysis...valued at $200! (we always offer FREE website reports - just ask us anytime!)

Get your business on the first page of a Google search! (Google is a pay-to-play operation where much $$$ is spent on ads. Look at which listings say “sponsored”. If you have a huge advertising budget, you too can get higher in the rankings. If you want to spend more on advertising, we can definitely help you get the most for your money, but this also requires A/B testing for the best results!)

Emails that come from a personal account (These aren't legitimate companies)

I have some quick fixes that can help you start ranking better in just a few minutes! Good SEO takes time & testing! There are a lot of moving parts and there is no “Quick Fix”. (If you believe that, we have some land for sale!)

We’re here to help - just contact us if you would like to discuss some options for improving your website’s security to filter out spam & solicitor emails.

Why design matters in marketing

Why Marketing Design Matters

Why design matters in marketing

It’s easy to neglect updating the marketing content & design in your materials. Many times, companies use the same design for their marketing materials and just plug in updated specs and product information.

Over time, it’s easy to fall into complacency and lose that critical eye towards pieces that have been working for you. After all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Many companies are satisfied as long as the information is correct. Unfortunately, that’s not enough! Compete for your prospective customers’ attention, with their shrinking attention spans, by staying on top of your marketing materials. Individuals are becoming accustomed to making snap judgments. Your product information could be saying you are leading your industry, but your marketing materials may be telling a different story.

Print Materials

Most B2B companies understand the continued need for print materials in their marketing mix, but even those marketing staples have evolved to incorporate updated marketing design. People now spend less time than ever digesting what’s in front of them – about seven seconds! Gone are the days when individuals sit and read large chunks of text they are handed or receive in the mail. It’s all about bullet points, sub headers, and an appealing design. So, bare this in mind whenever you need any Promotional Signs or any other marketing materials printed for your business

If you are taking your updated information and plugging it into the same brochure, sell sheet, or postcard template your company has been using for years, your materials likely aren’t as effective as they could be. People have complained about the amount of advertising they are exposed to since 1759, and the advertising clutter continues to grow annually. There are two ways to increase your odds of prospective clients paying attention.

  1. Get to the point. Companies have to assume their materials are only given a cursory glance before a reader decides to put it aside or to delve in and read more. Give your readers the information they are looking for as quickly as possible in a straightforward manner. It doesn’t matter if you’re using 858graphics banners, leaflets or flyers, you need the key information to be bold and eye-catching so that readers know what they’re reading about before they have read any of the fine print. Provide easy options for them to get more in-depth information, should the want it. Your layout should be easy to follow; colours and font should be crisp and clear.
  2. Get creative. How many postcards and flyers do decision makers receive in year? A month? A day? Make sure yours are standing out and not getting lost in the shuffle. This doesn’t mean gimmicky. Some well-placed images, a less common size, or a memorable and fitting cutout or insert could be all it takes.

Use a printing perth service to ensure your marketing pieces are produced to the best standard and quality, once establishing a unique design for your materials. Even with a robust print material campaign, most prospective clients will check you out online before calling to make an appointment or purchase. Which leads us to…


Even if you don’t know anything about the technical aspects of websites, you know an outdated website when you use one. It’s hard to navigate, it’s difficult to use on phones, and overall takes a long time to find specific information when you have a question. Companies that continue to have a website that is not “mobile friendly” are immediately creating an unnecessary barrier for prospective clients, since 42% of B2B decision makers use their mobile device for research.

In addition to the mobile friendly aspect, load times and content layout dramatically impact how long a prospective customer stays on your site. In fact, if your load time is more than three seconds, many people could leave your site before ever seeing the content. (Remember that 7 second attention span?) Of course, outdated information is sure to be noticed. As prospective customers gain information on their options, they are sure to check you out online. Make sure they like what they see! Current marketing design practices for websites include ensuring your site is responsive and contains relevant images and videos to further engage prospective clients.

Many companies find themselves stuck with a webmaster who built their site, but doesn’t do great updates, or are unwilling to keep up with best practices. This can make it necessary to bring in someone like Apica Systems to do load testing to see just what needs updating to keep things functional. Building a new site can seem daunting and even impossible. That said, it is well worth it to invest in a responsive website that will be easy to update and make changes to in the future. The internet will continue to evolve; if you are already behind, it will only get worse until you make that investment.

Regardless of what industry you are in, the design of your marketing materials matters. Your marketing design is as important as the machinery or materials you use for your products. You wouldn’t go years without considering an update or evaluating best practices, and the same should be said for your marketing efforts.

If you are concerned your marketing materials don’t align with today’s best practices, contact us for a free discovery appointment, where we will evaluate your current materials looking for opportunities – with no commitment from you.

Website Design Tips

Dressing your Website for Success

Website Design Tips

“Dress to impress.” “Dress for success.” “Always look your best.”

There are various sayings such as these that emphasize the importance of looking your absolute best in order to make a positive first impression. Whether it be an important job interview, a romantic date, or your first day of school, a first impression is crucial to how someone thinks of you. Similar to a job interview, your website will make a strong first impression on it’s viewers, but instead of wearing a nice outfit, your website must have an updated layout, theme, and color scheme.

An updated website can mean multiple things to your customers in the manufacturing industry. Most importantly, it means that your company cares about its image and always wants to look its best. If you care about your company, then future customers will see that and want to work with your company. Another bonus to dressing your website for success is that an updated website allows viewers to easily navigate throughout various pages and links. By having easy-to-use navigation features, your potential clients will have a positive experience, wanting them to return to your website, leading to potential business. Lastly, an updated website can ultimately give off the impression to potential clients that you are modern in the manufacturing world and ready to change according to what is the best for your company. Clients want to work with a manufacturing company that is always moving forward.

For more information on how to keep your website current, contact 360 Direct at 262-289-9210 or fill out our contact form here.

Importance of good images

Website Trend: The Importance of Images

Importance of good images

Google+ suggests using imagery in posts. The popularity of Pinterest shows that people love images and that image sharing is viral. This and more suggests that images are important now and for the future of websites, even more so than words. However, this isn’t a recent idea.

Human culture has always valued images, and the Internet is aware of their importance. The human brain operates photographically rather than linguistically and therefore images help save time by conveying an entire concept in one glance. Sears and Roebuck’s great success came partly from using illustrations in their catalog. Magazines began to thrive from their inception because of great visuals that took precedence over copy. The success of television goes almost without saying.

The 1943 Sears News Graphic wrote that the Sears catalog “serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living”. Years from now, the same will be said about our Facebook posts, our Pinterest pins, and our Flickr accounts.

The biggest difference today is that content is most successful with a captivating image plus a catchy phrase––as long as that phrase and image tag are keyword-rich. You have to write copy like you design a scavenger hunt––how is the image going to be found? You also need to think about a message that connects interest. Connection is about searchable words and answering an information need, or providing entertainment. The iconic Absolut ads could be a good example that still applies on the digital platform–limited copy, use of brand name in limited copy, visually striking and interesting which may encourage sharing.

How can you apply this to your business?

  • Look around you, use your smartphone to take photos, and learn Instagram.
  • If you don’t have a smartphone, use your digital camera and some photo editing software.
  • Start thinking, “How can I use an image of this day to promote my business?”
  • And sometimes, hire a professional photographer.

Design Myths

20 Web Design Myths from Lean Labs

Design Myths

There’s a lot of work that goes into a website – and in some cases, too much work. The SlideShare below helps dispel some the most common web design myths and mistakes companies make that unfortunately turn out to be wasted effort.

Thanks to Lean Labs for creating this great SlideShare!

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