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Email Privacy Changes on Apple Devices: How Apple’s Changes Affect Our Clients and Email Marketing

Email Privacy Changes on Apple Devices: How Apple’s Changes Affect Our Clients and Email Marketing

The new software update for Apple mobile devices recently rolled out, and we are paying close attention. The iOS 15 software update places its primary focus on data tracking and email privacy settings within Apple Mail.

The biggest thing we are concerned about is that Apple will now allow Apple Mail users to block the sender’s ability to track who has opened or clicked on something in an email when opened in Apple Mail.

Why Does This Matter?

For many years, we have been able to track who is opening, and who is clicking on emails we send for our clients. This is one way to gauge the most effective day and time to send an email, the most effective subject lines, and overall how well liked and useful an email is. For instance, a recent email we sent for a client was opened by over 50% of her audience but had very few clicks on the link inside. We can identify a problem and help her solve it by giving readers a more compelling reason to click through to read her blog.

Another way we can use this information is to make the most of every email. Knowing whether an email was opened or not enables us to send a follow-up email to people who have not opened it, which results in more opens overall for each message, which allows each effort to garner the most attention possible.

How Many People Will This Affect?

On average, 65% of the emails we send are opened on a desktop, while 35% are opened on a mobile device (this varies by client). Roughly 15% of users are using Apple Mail. For now, we can still get data from those who open emails on a desktop or Android device. Email services such as Outlook, Yahoo!, and Gmail have not rolled out new email privacy protection — yet.

With the recent drop of the new iOS 15, these new protections are not the default settings. Users will need to opt-in in order to hide their data. While not everyone will do so, it’s a fair guess that email campaigns will see a decrease in open & click rates.

It also makes repurposing for those who did not open more difficult…because we won’t be able to tell if those using Apple Mail on a mobile device have opened or not.

What Does This Mean?

While “opens and clicks” play a vital role in measuring email performance, it’s important to remember why email marketing is so great – this does not change because of Apple Mail privacy! There is no other marketing vehicle that allows you to get your message in front of every customer and prospect for pennies on the dollar compared to all other marketing tools. Even if your open and click rates decline, email marketing remains a very effective tool – an effective way to stay top of mind and to cultivate advocates for your business.

Have questions about this? We’re happy to answer.

Your Online Presence Checklist

Your Online Presence Checklist

Is your business doing enough on the digital landscape to keep current customers happy and new customers interested? Here is a checklist of what EVERY business should make sure they are doing when establishing their online presence.

☑ Have a fantastic, informative, and easy-to-use website that grows over time and is always up to date. This is easier said than done, we know, but we’re here to help.

☑ Make sure your information is correct and accurate in all “directories” and especially Google, Bing, and Apple Maps. For your industry, there will be other key directories to pay attention to.

☑ Pay attention to reviews and collect more over time. There are tools (we have) that can help you do this but at the very least, ask friends and family and clients you know well to review you online. Key review sites are Google, Facebook, and Yelp but there will be other industry-specific sites also.

☑ Be active (at least one post/week) on at least TWO social networks. The easiest is Facebook and Instagram because you can connect them to publish content once to two channels. But if you can do video, even amateur video regularly, then YouTube (the second largest search engine) is a must.

☑ Make sure everything above matches. The address and hours and information are the same everywhere. Good photos and consistent branding/images. Does your logo need a refresh? Design = Trust.

☑ Make it VERY EASY for customers to contact you. Phone, text, chat, forms, email, instant messaging. Someone in your organization can be put in charge of checking all the ways people get in touch with you and responding as quickly as possible. Technology has added a layer of “respond NOW” to our society. You can outsource some of this but do so very very carefully.

☑ Always be collecting. Even if you don’t do email marketing at the moment, still collect emails and text messages every chance you get. There are always strategies for this that can work wonders for your business. But at the very minimum, collect this information.

☑ Consider investing in digital ads. These can help with branding/awareness, building a network of followers, and sales. There are many ways to advertise online so you want expert help for this, but digital ads can take your dollar much further than other channels.

This may seem overwhelming but once set up, it’s not hard to maintain. Of course, we’re here to help and consultations/guidance is always free.

Avoid Email Scams | Common Cybersecurity Issue

Avoid Email Scams | Common Cybersecurity Issue

You may have been receiving two very common email scams tailored for businesses. One is about copyright for images on your website, and the other is about a domain renewal.

Subject: Copyright Images

The subject line for these scam emails or forms submitted on your website is something like: “You have no legal rights to use my images without my approval! It’s illegal! You’re committing a legal offense! You must remove these images NOW!!!!!”

This can get the adrenaline running pretty quickly. But rest assured, this is a scam. DO NOT click on the link in this email or reply to it in any way.

But AM I using copyright images on my website?

Maybe (unless we made it. 🙂 The very best thing to do is to have your website images all be unique to you – taken by local photographers or your cousin Pete who loves photography – or created by a website designer you employ (like us!).

The second best option is to BUY stock images. We like Adobe Stock. It’s affordable and we source many images there for websites we build. There are a lot of “free for use” sites that are good for social media and websites…but it is harder to prove if ever asked, that you sourced your photos from these sites. If you don’t know if you own the rights to use an image, the best idea is to use something else.

But again, the spam email like the one referenced above is nothing to worry about.

Subject: Domain Renewal

The subject line for these scam emails or forms submitted on your website is something like: “IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REGARDING YOUR DOMAIN IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.”

First and foremost, registrars of domains DO NOT use website contact forms to alert you to your domain expiration. Is the email from your registrar? If not, it’s a scam. This is a good rule of thumb for emails of all sorts that might come through a contact form. No legitimate business will contact you that way unless they are selling something.

Do you know who your registrar is and when your domain expires?

You should. No one likes it when their website goes down unexpectedly and this is the most common reason. The real notices could be in your spam folder or going to an old email address so take the scam above as a reminder to double-check you’re getting registrar emails and that you know when your domain needs to be renewed. 🙂

Tip: Your domain should never be registered in anyone’s name other than the business owner. If this is the case, you can have the domain transferred easily.

Last word: Always run a potential scam by us or your IT contact before clicking or downloading anything that looks unusual! Better safe than sorry. This is how cybersecurity failures and extortion happens.

For more cybersecurity tips, check out this previous blog post.

Women Business Owners – A Tribute

Women Business Owners – A Tribute

Did you know that 40% of businesses in the US are led by women business owners? There are 114% more women entrepreneurs than there were 20 years ago. That’s remarkable!

In my field, the numbers are lower — less than 15% of “tech” companies are owned by women. I started in “tech” in the 90s and the percentages were under 5%.

I personally never thought I would become an entrepreneur. My parents owned a business that did not end well and also, it scared me to try to support a family without a steady paycheck. So it was not a thought-out decision…but more a forced hand when I could not find a job during a recession. I’ve made so many mistakes but somehow am still here, bumbling through, and thankful for a team of rock stars – both men and women – that surround me. And after 12 years, I cannot imagine doing anything else. I love my work and the people I work with and for.

I’ve especially appreciated being able to help women start and grow their businesses. I always walk away from those projects a better person. Some of my best female friendships have been formed from those experiences and the camaraderie we share is very special to me. Especially during the last year when times have been so tough.

To my fellow women business owners…what I see in you is not fearlessness, but immense bravery. As you struggle with balance and having enough energy to do All. The. Things. ― know you are at the same time inspiring others ― young and old. Hold on to your optimism as you continue to work on keeping all those balls in the air and know every day, you are enough. You are more than enough.

A friend of mine (Randy) once told me Progress is Success. This has honestly been my mantra ever since and it has helped me more than anything else to get over any disappointment in myself…any question of whether I’m successful or not. It’s helped me through some VERY tough times and humbling experiences. I hope you will use this and every other motivation to overcome your obstacles and achieve your dreams in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Love,
Deanna

Here are a few of my favorite quotes by other women business owners and leaders to remember:

 

“Your value will be not what you know; it will be what you share.”― Ginni Rometty

 

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” ― Marissa Mayer

 

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” ― Arianna Huffington

The Launch Of Lane Leaders New Website

The Launch Of Lane Leaders New Website

Last week, we launched a new website for Lane Leaders! Lane Leaders is an exclusive “one business per category” referral and networking group that we were honored to become a part of a little more than a year ago.

In just a few months, Deanna earned an award for being “Rookie of the Year” and throughout the pandemic, she has been moderating the ZOOM meeting sessions once a week (at 7am), working hard to help ensure that everyone stays connected.

The new website became a labor of love for our entire team and we’re very proud of it. It will promote and support the myriad of small businesses that are fellow members, and who we have become very fond of throughout the past year. We are now moving on to phase 2 of this project, which is for members only.

The new site features an awesome Business Directory. If you are searching for a service, restaurant, consultant, and more — start with Lane Leaders. Every business is vetted and highly recommended! See it here.

January Launches!

January Launches!

In January, our team launched four new websites and two new logos that I’d love to share with you today. The best thing about doing this work is that our team can see the impact that our work makes on the businesses that trust us with this honor. Some of our goals for this include:
  • Search — attracting a larger quantity of qualified traffic.
  • Image — improving user trust and impression through impeccable design and strong content.
  • Usability — ensuring each potential user can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
During this time, it’s more important than ever to have an amazing online presence. We hope you’ll agree that each of these businesses have met that challenge with our help. We look forward to showing you many more beautiful new websites in the weeks and months to come.

With gratitude, Deanna Rivera, CEO
 

Jazzy Ladies

Eugene, OR

A local cafe and coffee house specializing in gluten-free options. We also created their new logo.

 

 

Federal Security

Eugene, OR
Lane County’s #1 security service provider for over 25 yearsWe also created their new logo.

WACAI 

Eugene, OR
A non-profit cultural art institute that shares Guinean culture.

 

 

ProKleen

Eagle Point, OR
Cleaning company specializing in emergency services and premier cleaning.

Building a Responsive Branding Package

What is the current state of your branding package? Is your logo responsive? Just like a website, a logo will benefit your business the most if it responds to mobile devices. If a website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing 91% of customers will turn to a competitor. 

In a world where screens come in all manner of shapes and sizes your logo will benefit your bottom line the most if it is recognizable and memorable everywhere. However, this means much more than making your logo larger or smaller to fit the screen. Your logo will best serve your business if it is responsive and adapts to any use-case accordingly. 

a branding package graphic showing responsive logos from Coca-Cola, Chanel, Disney, Heineken, Warner Brothers, and Kodak 

Image Source: https://medium.com/@jackanto/responsive-logo-must-to-follow-4901cb0cfcbc

Creating Trust

A branding package is much more than just a set of pretty graphics made for your business. Logo packages should be designed to serve a purpose. A brand that functions well is like a digital storefront: When your brand is attractive, updated, and appealing it will help create a foundation of trust between you and your customer.

Even as late as 2015 most small businesses could get away with one version of their logo in one place: on the sign in front of their business. Today’s logos have to function better and accomplish much, much more than they used to. Over 50% of consumers surf the net on smartphones. If your logo can’t scale down to smaller screens you’re potentially turning away over half of your business. 

Over 80% of customers view your digital storefront before they visit your actual business or make a purchase decision. For a website to scale effectively you need a logo that scales as well. Customers are more likely to trust you if your business is well-represented in all scenarios. 

Responsive Logo Attributes

Every logo that has been designed to be responsive shares a few specific traits. Those traits, in order of importance are:

  1. A responsive logo is recognizable in black and white, even if the mark has color it must be recognizable and clean without it. Why? If your logo doesn’t work in black and white it won’t work well on different mediums such as laser engraving, wood and glass etching, and vinyl cuts. 
  2. It must be recognizable at sizes as small as 32 pixels wide. Why? Because your logo needs to be recognizable from a distance as well as on small devices.
  3. There must be different versions for different media types in addition to versions that work well on any background. Why? Because your logo should be easy to use, it should look great on a photo, solid color, or on black or white.
  4. There must be an icon and a wordmark that can stand separate from each other and still be recognizable. Why? There are times where it isn’t appropriate to put your entire logo on a document or product. This is why it is best to have both text and an icon that can stand apart and still represent your business. 
  5. There are versions that scale to large sizes effectively and add meaning as a logo gets larger. Why? Small marks, when scaled up, can often dominate space and be the center of visual attention in a bad way. They’re optimized for contrast at small sizes, but that contrast can be too much at large sizes. A great example of this is the Warner Brothers logo above.

Improve Your Customer Relationship with a Responsive Branding Package

A responsive logo and branding package can work wonders to improve the relationship you have with your customers and even increase the value of your product. Contact UplinkSpyder and we’ll make sure to set you on the right path with a logo for your business that communicates, is responsive, and is beautiful. 

Top 3 Cybersecurity Tips for 2021

Top 3 Cybersecurity Tips for 2021

The whole world is spending more time online these days and that includes people who have nefarious intentions. So, here’s a quick reminder of the top 3 things you need to do to protect yourself. Starting with the most important.

Cybersecurity Tip 1. Password Security 

Did you know that a very long password is better than a password that is complex? For instance: goatcheesetrampolineuncleocean is better than C0mpl3x!ty! But regardless, don’t use anything personally identifying in your passwords like your name, your job, your address, your kid, your dog. You get the idea.

Cybersecurity Tip 2. Password Security. So important it is on our list twice 

Create a unique password for every single thing you log in to. Every single one. No, really. Use a password manager like LastPass to help you create and keep track of them (free). If you just rolled your eyes and said you never will do that, you aren’t alone, but you are at risk. At least follow our advice for any accounts that have your bank account, address, social security, or credit card information.

Cybersecurity Tip 3. Check Sender Identity

Most devious plots are hatched through email and, these days, mobile messages. So, take care to verify the sender before clicking on links, opening attachments, forwarding a message, or replying. Check the email address it is coming from. Check that any links are taking you to the place stated by hovering before clicking. Use a really good spam filter (or email program with a really good spam filter) in order to block most of the attacks. Most importantly, just take the time to think critically before acting.

There’s a reason why “Spyder” is spelled with the “y”. Security is important to us. We’ll send more tips in the future and if you’d like to schedule a ZOOM presentation for a team or group on the subject, let us know.

2020 Websites of the Year

2020 Websites of the Year

There are countless stories to tell. We feel honored and blessed to help other small business owners during these times and we are so excited for the years ahead. In the above video, we highlight 5 of these stories. 

jazzyladiescafe.com   •   bethesdalutheranchurch.com       coburgfit.com   

riverhouseflorence.com   •   old-town-inn.com   •    bubzgrubhub.com

Our Spyders have been working hard lately, but that hard work has paid off in the form of several beautiful new websites! Check out our latest website launches below. 

Eugene Film Society

Eugene, OR

Community arts organization that
supports regional filmmaking.

eugenefilmsociety.org

Old Dominion

Eugene, OR

Impeccable auto repair services with excellent customer service.

olddominioncollision.com

Chamber Connector Storage

Eugene, OR

Connecting you to affordable storage.

chambersconnectorstorage.com

 

Studio Tru Salon

Eugene, OR

We go above and beyond to make you feel like a king or queen while visiting our professional hair salon & studio.

studiotrusalon.com 

Fir Grove Cemetery

Eugene, OR

Fir Grove Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and peaceful memorial settings in Oregon.

firgrovecemetery.com

Armored Storage

Eugene, OR

We go above and beyond to make you feel like a king or queen while visiting our professional hair salon & studio.

armoredstorageeugene.com

Fairway Estates

Florence, OR

Come live in Oregon’s
coastal playground.

fairway-estates.com

LifeSlice Photography

Eugene, OR

We bring the art of photography
to a new level.

weddingphotographyeugene.com

Pediatric Dental Associates

Eugene, OR

Specialized dentistry for children and adolescents in a warm and fun environment.

eugenepediatricdentist.com

Cummings Tree Service

Eugene, OR

No tree is too big or too small.

jamescummingstrees.com

HouseTrucks

Eugene, OR

Some turtles have nice shells.

housetrucks.com

Applegate Counseling

Eugene, OR

Support for Individuals,
couples & families.

applegatecounseling.com 

Action 911

Eugene, OR

Emergency restoration services for homes and businesses in Lane County.

4action911.com

Agape Families

Eugene, OR

Oregon-based non-profit that aims to provide hope and stability to families impacted by incarceration.

agapefamiliesoregon.org

Advanced Mobile Wash 

Eugene, OR

Mobile pressure & truck washing for your truck fleet, RV, business
or residence.

amobilewash.com

4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Small Business SEO

4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Small Business SEO

You have probably noticed we’ve been talking a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) lately, but you probably don’t know why. Well, it’s partly because small business SEO is vital to the success of your business. However, we’re talking a lot about it because it’s becoming clear that most small business owners already know how important SEO is. The problem is, they try to either do it themselves or they hire that guy in some basement who sounds like he knows what he’s doing and charges less. What we’re seeing is a lot of common mistakes made that harm instead of help business’ online presence, and that results in lost revenue.

4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Small Business SEO

It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: SEO is a beast of a skill to learn. There are a million and one ways to do almost everything. Every day, someone else comes up with a fresh new hack or trick. What we teach you in this blog, are things we know work from 10 years in business and over 20 combined years of experience in the industry.

1. Use WordPress

Yes, that means a switch from Wix, Weebly, Square, Drupal, or whatever else it is you’re using and use WordPress. And if you can, we even recommend that you START with WordPress. Even if you have a small budget and those “drag and drop” sites are “cheaper.” While we know there are many web-hosting platforms, WordPress is bar-none the best for SEO. It has the ability to grow with you and your business. Here are a few things we like about WordPress:

WordPress Is Best for SEO

A big part of this is due to free plugins like Yoast. Yoast allows you to set the SEO Title, Meta Description, and URL, so they are all optimized. It also uses the Flesch Reading Ease to score the readability of your content—something that’s incredibly important. Yoast checks for duplicate content throughout the site as well. It alerts you if you have two or more pages competing for the same keyword (something you want to avoid).

We could go on and on, but we’ll leave our love for Yoast summed up in an image of pure happiness: posts with all green happy little dots. For Yoast, red is bad, orange is OK, and green is perfection.

WordPress Is Best for Design

We use WordPress exclusively. That’s in part because of the freedom it gives our designers in creating beautiful and specialized websites for our clients. If you want a beautiful and straightforward 4-page website, you got it! If you want an intricate e-commerce site, you got it! WordPress will make it easy to allow your website to grow as your business does.

2. Focus on Mobile First

A couple of years ago, Google announced it would favor mobile-friendly websites. Another term used for “mobile-friendly” is “responsive.” That means the site conforms to the size of the phone or device it’s on. The user experience on mobile is just as good, if not better than on a desktop computer. Since mobile use accounts for over 52.2% of all website traffic, you can understand why Google, and now us, puts such an emphasis on mobile. Your mobile site should load fast and be user-friendly.

A simple way you can optimize the mobile version of your website is to make sure you avoid large images.

That’s right—while the desktop version of your website has the space and storage for videos and large graphics, the phone does not.

A great example of this is the website we recently completed for Jurassic Storage, here in Eugene. On the desktop version, the site opens up with a video in the header that goes over the property. It’s fun and gives viewers a birds-eye view of the storage facility.

However, if you’re on your phone looking for a local storage unit, you’ll see a more straightforward website that still gives the consumer the information they need.
You can see with the mobile version of their site, the button is larger. In addition, the information people are after most is front and center.

3. Blog Consistently

Yes, that means you, Mr. Plumber, and local HVAC company. Every single business that wants to dominate their market online absolutely needs to be blogging. We’re not talking lifestyle blogs but educational and informative blogs that don’t just bring value to your customers but also are optimized to bring in more website traffic. More website traffic means more business. Simple as that.

When you read the 2018 State of Inbound Marketing by HubSpot, you will see that 61% of marketers say that growing their SEO and organic presence is their top priority, and 55% of marketers make blogging their second-most important priority.

Here’s a secret (that’s not a secret): You can’t have good SEO and a strong online presence without excellent and consistent content. Investing in high-quality and optimized blog posts is a wise way to spend some of that marketing budget.

Here are just a few reasons we are huge fans of blogging:

1. They keep working for you, even after you pay, unlike ads that stop working the second you stop paying.
2. You can rank for multiple keywords from one 1,000-word blog. That means one blog has the potential to bring in hundreds/thousands of website visitors you usually wouldn’t get.
3. Blogs help you build brand trust and loyalty.
4. Blogs help you convert readers to buyers.
4. Hire an Editor

We have a handful of freelance writers from all over the country who help us keep up with the demands of content. However, no matter how good they are, we forbid them (and even us here in the office) to edit their work. That’s why we have a few high-quality editors we use for all content.
While nobody is perfect and typos happen, you significantly reduce that risk by hiring a professional editor. Just like we all cringe when we see grammatical errors or typos, so does Google. So, clean up that site and make sure your grammar is top-notch.

Contact Us Today

We know all these simple steps to improve your small business SEO seem simple to us because we do it day in and day out. If you’re not feeling adventurous or, don’t have the time, reach out to us, and one of our SPYDERS will be happy to do the heavy lifting for you.