Monthly Archives: October 2015

October 2015 Free Printable 2016 Calendars

Spotlight – Free Printable 2016 Calendars

Have you started your 2016 Planning?

Each year we print and snail mail calendars to customers who are interested in staying connected throughout the year. The printed 2016 calendars are sold in our Etsy shop and local retail. However our customers and e-news recipients can receive one free. Please be sure to send us your snail mail address if you would like one mailed to you.

The 2016 print calendars are underway. For those already setting appointments into 2016, get a jump start with free printable 2016 calendars to download and use. Choose from a variety of designs. Each month is on a letter size sheet for ease in printing to a desktop printer. Share the link with friends and on social media!

Looking for a custom client give away?
Let us design a print or downloadable calendar that will include your logo and contact information. 

Give us a call today and get in the schedule.  Receive a 15% discount on calendar designs ordered by November 30 , 2015. Be sure to mention the discount when you order!


On the Blog:

How much do you LOVE those pop up forms when you land on a Website?

connectivity enews graphics

How about pop up video advertisements you are forced to watch before getting to the website content you really want to view?

They’re everywhere. At first they were an occasional annoyance as we traveled around the internet. Then national brands and publishers began forcing pop up advertisements to play before they let you see the web content you want. Don’t they know we don’t like it? Haven’t they joined friends for coffee or a beer and heard the moans and groans about the ‘stupid pop up’?  Read More…


Taking Care of Business

Business owners and managers can always benefit to take some time to look at core elements of business. Last month we talked about the appearance of your workplace or shop. This month let’s take a look at your email etiquette:

E-Mail Etiquette:
1. Include a clear, direct subject line.
2. Use a professional email address
3. Respond promptly
4. You don’t always have to ‘reply all’
5. Use professional salutations

That’s not all, find 10 more email etiquette tips and details here.

How much do you love those pop-up forms when you land on a Website?

inbound-marketing-tactics-samples
They’re everywhere.
How about pop up video advertisements you’re forced to watch before getting to the website content you really wanted to view?

At first pop-ups were an occasional annoyance along a few stops on the internet. Then national brands and publishers began forcing pop up advertisements to play before they let you see the web content. Don’t they know we don’t like it? Haven’t the in-bound marketing experts joined friends for coffee or a beer and heard the moans and groans about the ‘stupid pop ups’?

They’re almost as annoying as the pre-recorded sales call that have become the norm for cold calling on business land lines.  With robo-calls you can hang up right away (it’s not rude if it’s not a live person, right?).  With the pop-up internet ad you have to sit through to see desired  content- well, unless you are as impatient  – I mean busy – as I am and you click over to check email while the ad is playing. (Don’t judge, you’ve done it.). Cursed pop-ups.

But if people are irritated by the pop-up alerts and pop-up email subscription forms why does it seem like every website is doing it?

It’s called inbound Marketing and it’s the hottest thing online.

To explain it simply, inbound marketing attempts to capture visitors, customers and prospects who have inquired about a product or service online. Pop-up forms grab the data and a list is born.

When visitors come to your company website:

  • Do you know them by name?
  • Do you know why they chose your site?
  • Did they contact you or buy from you?
  • Will they ever come back again?

When you study the Google analytics or other website tracking software for your small business you see all these website hits but you have no idea who they are. The ISP tracking isn’t associated with real people. (we do have a tool to track companies who come to your site, call or email about B2B website visitor tracking) You may be able to track pages that individuals visited on your site and the site or URL that referred them, but that’s it.  True ships that pass in the night. Every sales representative and small business owner and manager wants to find out who their website visitors are, talk to them, thank them for stopping, and sell to them. But how?…

inbound marketingg form graphicsYou guessed it, inbound marketing forms.

Of course we all know why nearly every website out there is demanding our email. We know it’s because they want to stay connected to us. But how can it be working when so many of us feel violated each time that pop-up flies on the screen?

In-bound marketing banks on those times you visit a website and love the product or service so much you want to stay connected with them. Subscribing to the RSS feed of a blog, subscribing to an e-mail list, or completing a contact form for the company to reach out to you via phone, snail mail or email allows this. Your information feeds their database and you get to hear from them on a regular basis. Your inquiry came into their site and they have put systems in place so they may communicate with you in the form(s) you have selected, email, phone, etc.

Now you’re probably thinking, wait a minute, Connection Group is an integrated marketing firm, that uses inbound marketing tactics, and responsive website design solutions. Haven’t you jumped on the in-bound marketing wagon and start pushing pop-ups?

  • not all in-bound marketing tactics are for everyone or every business
  • we don’t push trends just because it’s the hot new strategy
  • we don’t like the pop-up tactic interrupting our web experience

 There are ways to integrate inbound marketing tactics into internet marketing efforts without being intrusive to the viewer.

example of an exit pop up formSome ways pop-up could be used more effectively:

  • when a visitor has been on a page a while. – They must be interested because they’re still on the site, maybe they like you and want to stay connected?
  • when someone is leaving the site – Thank them for visiting and suggest related pages based on what they have viewed.
  • on exit  – The exit pop-up can remind them to stay connected and leave their email, phone number, etc. to receive updates, coupons, warranty information, etc.
  • custom to audience – design inbound marketing tactics and pop-ups as an integral non-intrusive website element.
  • When inbound marketing works

    There are times when a pop-up comes up on a website with great content and I sign up willingly.  I am grateful they have a newsletter or a list I can join.  I can continue to receive their content will little to no effort – love that. I may get reeled in by a free download of an e-book, or e-news sign up. They give me something of value and exchange my contact information. A relationship is born.

    Why do many pop-ups rattle our cage?

    • on websites that are serving as distractions for the moment
    • on websites with products and services that we don’t use often
    • on websites (brands} that haven’t earned our trust yet

    Build a relationship first. Jumping in and pushing for personal information when the visitor first arrives is like proposing marriage on the first date. Slow down there bucko. 

    There are many facets to inbound marketing, pop up forms are just one small feature. Integrating inbound marketing as an online marketing strategy for business to business (B2B) companies and especially business to consumer (B2C) companies can be highly effective. It can also be be very costly depending on the company you choose to work with. Companies such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot (used within Salesforce the popular CRM software) have software and contracts available. These companies provide the software but you still have to do the work – and there is a steep learning curve. The time and cost investment can be higher than many small business owners and managers can add on.

    Share comments, is inbound marketing a good solution for your business or customers? Or shoot a call or email with questions. We promise not to throw a pop-up in your face.

    Of course, if you already know you want to continue our relationship subscribe to our email for small business tips plus marketing and design tips you can use.

    Stay connected!