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The Pros and Cons of Responsive Website Design

© Happy Art - Fotolia.comThe online world has moved forward rapidly and businesses need to keep up with the pace. Once upon a time, it was impressive to have your own website. Now visitors must be able to access your site on everything from a desktop computer to a Smartphone. Consider the pros and cons of responsive website design.

Pro: One Website Design for All

A responsive website design can be viewed on any type of device. It might take longer for images and video to load on certain devices, such as tablets and Smartphones. But a single website serves all purposes. There is no need to design separate sites because your website will “respond” to any device being used.

Con: It Costs Money for Convenience

Much like any other convenience, it costs a bit more to request a responsive website design. The initial investment might be considered steep by fledgling businesses. Either way, the issue of accessibility will need to be addressed in the future as more people access the Internet on various devices.

Pro: No Need for Multiple Websites

When you have a responsive website design, there is no need to manage and maintain multiple websites. Having multiple websites for various devices can also lead to issues about duplicate content. A responsive website design eliminates these problems because you are depending on a single site to get the job done.

Con: Sites With Many Images May Not Benefit

Sites with many images, such as a photographer’s website, might not benefit from a responsive website design. It can take longer for the site to load on a mobile device, which could cost the user precious minutes on their monthly allocated data plan. As a result, users might wind up getting frustrated and surf away. A dedicated website designer can advise your business about the most efficient website for your budget.


The Benefits of Automatic Email Reminders

© tashatuvango - Fotolia.comTrying to keep up with follow-up emails can be a challenge. Even if we know when to send them, we have to take the time to prepare a message first. Now this hassle is a thing of the past with software that sends email reminders for you. This is an essential way to stay on top of communications without spending a lot of time you don’t have.

According to Tickle Train, you simply send email and forget it. You develop a response that can be customized for each recipient. Then you schedule when you want follow-up emails send. It is that easy to create a well-organized email campaign without letting anyone fall through the cracks.

When you forget to send an email, it can have awful results. A key associate might think you don’t want them for the project and move on to work with another company. Clients could believe you forgot about them or rescinded your original offer. In the absence of any email updates from you, people tend to drawn their own conclusions.

Losing out on these connections with associates and customers can cost your company serious revenues. It is also a waste of money and time if you fail to follow up on your email marketing campaigns. Human nature often means people need to be reminded to take advantage of an opportunity.

Sending personalized follow ups emails can also help your business stand apart from the competition. While they may forget to follow up on their marketing messages, you continue to communicate with valued contacts. People are more likely to do business with a company that is communicative.

If you ever followed up on email messages manually, you can understand the hours and effort it takes. Now you can streamline procedures and have more time for other tasks when you use specialized software to get the job done.

The Benefits of Using Insurance Apps

© pichetw - Fotolia.comJust a decade ago, most people paid their insurance bills with checks that were sent via postal mail. Now many people go online to pay their bills and find out more about their insurance policies. Consider the benefits of customers using insurance apps to stay on top of their various types of coverage.

Avoid Late Fees

Paying an insurance bill late often means extra fees. Being able to access the insurance website via a mobile app makes it possible to pay bills when you are working, on vacation or on-the-go. Customers can check their balances, determine the amount of monthly payments and budget accordingly. Avoiding late fees can save customers significant money over time.

Be Prepared

Did you ever get pulled over by a police officer and discover you did not have the car insurance card in your wallet or storage compartment? Now people can gain access to a digital version of their insurance cards through a special app. This certainly comes in handy when you need to prove you have insurance coverage. It could even prevent someone from getting a costly ticket.

Memorialize Your Possessions

Certain insurance apps can be used to memorialize the possessions in your home. Instead of trying to remember to send a detailed list of your possessions for your homeowners insurance policy, customers can take photos and send them to the insurance agency via an online app.

Manage Insurance Policies

Sometimes a customer decides they need or want a different type of coverage. They might not want to go through a myriad of paperwork to change the insurance policy. Online apps give people an opportunity to manage their policies. They can change levels of coverage or put in a request for an insurance agent to do it. It is just another way to offer a greater level of convenience to insurance customers.

How Apps Aid in Home Improvement Projects

© Tyler Olson - Fotolia.comWhen someone hires a contractor to perform home improvements, they want to visualize what the finished product will look like. It can be difficult for homeowners to make decisions without knowing more about their various options. Apps help to educate homeowners about home improvement projects and what they can afford.

Get Creative

Sites such as Pinterest and Houzz give people plenty of creative inspiration. They can look at photos to help them decide how to renovate a certain area of the house or redecorate a room. There are countless options to consider. The homeowner can save the images to send to the contractor. This helps to improve communication between the contractor and the homeowner. Instead of trying to describe what you want, simply show the contractor a photo to see if it is possible in your home.

Calculate Costs

Home improvement projects can be affordable or costly based on many factors such as the size of the property and the type of materials being used. Online calculators make it easier for homeowners to determine how much they can afford. There are also financing options homeowners can consider for necessary home repairs.

Read Reviews

Often people read online reviews before hiring a local contractors. From getting new windows to a renovated bathroom, people want to trust the company they hire to get the job done. Online reviews are a way to find out what other customers have to say about the contractor. While there are always a few negative comments, it makes sense to hire a contractor with rave reviews.

A few basic apps can help contractors and homeowners come to a meaningful agreement about home improvements. From developing creative ideas to establishing a realistic budget, online apps take the mystery out of shopping for home improvement projects. They also make it easier for contractors to deliver the highest level of service.

Following My Favorites on Social Media

© Sergey Furtaev - Fotolia.comRecently I attended a corporate show despite my hesitancy that it would be painfully boring. Usually corporate shows are dry and make you want to take a nap. I was glad I decided to attend this key client’s event because the entertainment was outstanding. I discovered a fantastic comedy hypnotist and now follow him on social media.

I have never seen a show featuring a comedy hypnotist before. I thought it would be silly but it was incredibly motivational. Unlike other comedians, Gavin Hooper did not degrade anyone during his show. He actually made the audience feel happy and empowered by the end of the set. His unique blend of comedy and hypnosis was insightful and amazing.

Right after the show, he took a few minutes to talk to everyone. I made sure to get his business card so I could keep up with future events. I discovered he was a motivational speaker as well as a comedy hypnotist. I look forward to attending some of his shows in the future. After a long day at work, I can always use a good laugh and a healthy dose of inspiration.

I decided to ask my business associates how they found out about his show. One of them had discovered him through the social media account of a key client. They asked about his show and thought it would be an innovative way to motivate their intended audience. I let them know the show was a complete success and thanked them for the opportunity to attend. I could not believe I almost skipped this event!

Social media has become a powerful way to connect with people, businesses and the things that matter in your life. I am following Gavin Hooper on Facebook and Twitter so I can find out more about his future shows and see him again in the near future.


How the Internet Changes the Way We Shop for Cars

© tigatelu - Fotolia.comWhen you needed a car years ago, it meant spending endless hours reading ads in the newspaper to find something decent. The alternative was to visit several car dealers and face the high pressure tactics of seasoned sales staff. The advent of the Internet changed the way we shop for cars. Instead of searching local ads for weeks or months, now you simply surf around online for a couple of hours to find a variety of options.

If you want a certain make or model, innovative car dealer websites offer an automated vehicle finder feature. Shoppers simply register and enter the type of vehicles they prefer. When these vehicles become available, shoppers receive an alert. This can help you be one of the first to know when a popular type of vehicle is on the market. Instead of missing out on the opportunity, you can go online to schedule an immediate test drive.

As you peruse various websites for a car or truck, use other online resources to educate yourself. Look up the Kelley Blue Book value of your favorite vehicles to make sure you are really getting a good deal. This is also a savvy way to find out the true value of a vehicle you want to trade in. Make every penny matter when you know the actual worth of what you have and what you want to buy.

Online shopping is particularly convenient if your car is broken down. Trying to find a ride to various car dealers can become a huge hassle. Websites make it possible to check out the inventory before you go anywhere. You can even apply for financing online so you know exactly how much money you have to spend. While we often miss the old days, modern conveniences such as shopping for a car online make the future a brighter place to be.


Discovering the Power of Social Media for Professionals

© Marek - Fotolia.comIn the early days, teens and adults looking to connect were the people most often found using social media. Soon businesses discovered social media was a great way to connect with customers and promote their latest offerings. Now professionals are harnessing the power of social media to boost their reputations and provide essential updates.

Dedicated Social Media Accounts

Professionals such as doctors and lawyers realize they cannot use their personal social media accounts for business purposes. Many of them are creating dedicated social media accounts to promote their practices. Doctors, accountants and lawyers are all creating professional profiles on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. They realize this is where their clients are hanging out during their free time.

The Latest Information

While a professional website is typically devoted to timeless facts about the practice, social media is more informal. Professionals can post the latest updates about their industry to keep clients in the loop. From updated laws to the hottest technologies, people visit professional social media accounts to learn more about what is happening right now.

Building a Brand

Engaging with clients on social media helps to build a solid brand. Professionals engage in conversations with key clients and show they are ready to help in any possible way. Being present on social media also gives people another way to contact you when they need assistance.

Gathering Information

Savvy professionals are using social media to conduct polls, ask questions and find out more about what their clients want. Social media is an excellent way to gather information without paying for detailed research studies. You can conduct your own online research and reveal the results to your clients. This helps to position you as an expert in your field as you continue to use social media to provide useful facts to your clients.



Social Media Complements Marketing Campaigns

© Lowe Standards - Fotolia.comMarketing campaigns can be time-consuming and costly to create and implement. You want to make the most of all of your well-planned marketing strategies. Social media efforts complement your current marketing campaigns. Maximize your investment by focusing on social media updates, interaction and sharing.

Engage, Don’t Bark

Nobody wants to sit next to the person at a party who talks about their own life the entire time. The same is true on social media. A monologue soon gets ignored. It is essential to make contacts and interact at least two or three times per week. Post your updates on blogs and website and encourage others to share them. View and like posts at social media to let people know  you are engaged. Conduct surveys and ask questions along with commentary from the company along the way.

Promote Social Media Everywhere

People won’t know you’re on social media unless you tell them. More people are joining social media to keep up with key businesses, family members and friends. Promote your social media account on your website with sharing buttons on your content to leading sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Include your social media accounts on promotional materials including business cards and brochures. Encourage people to connect with you on these social media accounts.

Be a Participant in Social Media

People want to share your content when you comment and share theirs. Be honest and only share content that pertains to your line of business or offers some unusually useful information for your visitors. Be a participant in social media and reach out to others. Make alliances with customers and related businesses. Have your own voice that reflects the rand and mood of your business. Social media gives you a chance to customize and personalize your approach to marketing to reach your target audience.