Charitable Companies: Our 5 Favorite Brands That Give Back

Charitable Companies

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is one of the biggest times of years for consumers to bust out their wallets. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other crazy seasonal discounts and sales, it’s hard not to focus on buying things. The Thanksgiving season is also very much about giving back, though – I know, crazy right?

Charitable companies with rock-solid mission statements are among some of our absolute favorites. While much of this time of the year is racked with anxiety and stress and buying, buying, buying, it’s always nice to take a look around and appreciate those businesses that are focused on giving back. Putting your money into the businesses that give back on a local community, regional, or even international scale, makes your purchase all the more worth it.

Let’s take a look at some of our absolute favorite initiatives from brands that give back. 

1. Pura Vida Bracelets

Who doesn’t love stylish, handmade jewelry to complement a holiday outfit? Pura Vida Bracelets is one of our all-time favorite charitable companies, with a mission to help support simplicity in life and the incredible craft of artisan jewelry and other goods. “Pura Vida” means “pure life” in Spanish, a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Following in line with this philosophy, the organization gives artisans full-time jobs while also helping to fund close to 200 charities around the world. With each purchase, Pura Vida donates 10% of proceeds to important causes affecting our planet.

Head to the Pura Vida Bracelets website here

2. Sudara

Being a women-run agency, our hearts are always with the millions of women around the world who are being held against their will in many capacities. Sudara is one such business that is actively fighting against slavery and sex-trafficking in India by providing women with safe opportunities to learn skills and move towards long-term careers. By offering real hope and true opportunity to these women through living-wage jobs, skills training, Sudara is helping women to gain more control of their lives and open up their futures to even more possibilities.

Head to the Sudara website here

3. Warby Parker

Being able to help someone see is a true gift in this world. So many communities around the world don’t have access to the kinds of vision care that’s needed to support a healthy, happy life. That’s why Warby Parker has stepped in to help bridge that gap and offer better vision to more people in need. With their charitable system, when you purchase a pair of glasses through their store, a donation is made to one of their non-profit partners who will help get someone set up with a fresh pair who really needs them.

 

Head to the Warby Parker website here

4. House of Light Goods

In the country of Mexico, there is a poverty-stricken crisis going on, with unemployment, imprisonment, and other important elements playing a role in the absence of many fathers. Unfortunately, this leaves mothers without the right resources or funds in a vulnerable place in trying to care for their children; this is where House of Light Goods comes in. A non-profit small business that provides real employment opportunities to single mothers in Mexico, House of Light Goods offers a safe place to work, and spaces for children to learn and play, funded by the purchase of a handmade scarf.

Head to the House of Light Goods website here. 

5. Amazon Smile

While Amazon is one of the biggest, most high-performing companies in the world, we can’t deny their influence on giving back. When you shop through their Amazon Smile portal, you can automatically have .5% of your purchase donated to charities of your choice! With absolutely no change in the overall price for you, the buyer, Amazon is set up to help you give back to organizations like the ASPCA, American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, and many more.

Head to the Amazon Smile website here.

 

Are you a company looking for charitable activities to launch in 2019?

Get in touch with our team – we’d love to talk shop and help brainstorm ways for you to give back!

Creepy Meets Creative: The Best Halloween Marketing Campaigns We’ve Seen

halloween marketing campaigns

Halloween is here, and it’s the perfect time for businesses to get creative about dressing up their marketing campaigns. Whether through video, a challenge or even a well-orchestrated scare-prank to showcase the true quality of a product, really great marketing campaigns are interactive, engaging, and get people jumping into action — literally.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite Halloween marketing campaigns (of all time) just in time for the spookiest day of the year!

Burger King: The Nightmare King

What gives you nightmares? Is it losing your teeth? Falling into an infinite abyss? What about a burger that gives you actual nightmares? Burger King just released a burger for this year’s Halloween campaign that was scientifically proven to give their consumers nightmares. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this study. Over a period of ten days, scientists tested their “subjects” and invited them to try the specially combined ingredients and monitored their sleep. What they found was that REM cycles were definitely impacted. Nightmarish? For your own results, you’ll have to give it a try!

M&Ms: An M&Ms (Interactive) Ghost Story

In M&M’s Halloween Campaign last year, the candy giant created an interactive ghost story that was released in weekly installments. Why the weeklong delay?  The campaign, targeted at older kids, relied on a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style poll that allowed viewers to choose what happened next in the spooky tale. Whichever choice generated the most votes would be the next plot twist. Viewers shared the story all over social media in anticipation of the next week’s installment in the sweetest countdown to Halloween that we’ve ever seen.

LG: Fake Elevator Floor Prank

What better way to showcase a product than to show it in action? LG thought of a way to showcase the realistic color and sharp quality of its new IPS monitors by creating a fake floor, with picture quality so realistic it was actually terrifying to its users. As the saying goes: “So Real it’s Scary.”

Svedka: Halloween Curse

Can you think of anything more terrifying than being followed? Svedka can’t either, and it’s for this reason exactly that their creepy marketing campaign from last year works. Once you start scrolling through their site, the banner follows you everywhere you go online. Everywhere. The only way to break the curse is to pass it off to someone else by filling out their info in the creepiest lead capture imaginable. Creepy? Yes, definitely. But also scarily creative, and a tiny bit genius.

Oreo: The Oreo Laboratorium

Who says all Halloween campaigns have to be scary? In this adorable campaign from Oreo back in 2014, it relies on user-generated content (UGC) to drive its creativity. It’s as interactive as it is loveable and makes for a really great campaign!

Budweiser: The Budweiser Halloween Takeover

In one of the best campaigns we’ve seen, Budweiser is capitalizing on the fact that there is still a growing market for Halloween in countries outside of the US. In this campaign, it employs popular singer Kehlani to create a full Halloween anthem just for them, so that all 17 countries where Budweiser is sold can associate the whole holiday with their brand.

Ready to Knock ’em Dead?

If a marketing campaign isn’t getting your heart going, then it’s probably not going to inspire your clients, either. These Halloween campaigns are creepy, creative, and make the best use of the season.

Want some ideas on how to build up a marketing campaign for your business that kills it any time of the year? Don’t be afraid to get in touch with us!

10 Stunning Landing Page Designs for Inspiration

Landing Page Designs

Landing pages have a big job to do. They need to create a warm welcome for potential clients, they need to be interactive, provide valuable information, and perhaps most importantly, they need to inspire audiences to engage with businesses in about ten seconds or less.

In a way, they act as the hostess that welcomes potential clients through the front door of any business; to be effective, they need to be dressed for success, so to speak. In short, it all comes down to design. If a landing page is unclear, hard to navigate, unattractive, or just plain boring, it could make or break a lead or sale entirely.

What Makes an Effective Landing Page?

You may have an idea by now about what makes a great, highly converting landing page. There are quite a few basic elements that make up the components of an effective landing page. As a start, you need:

  • A clear call to action
  • A clearly identified audience
  • Easy navigability
  • Solid credibility with clearly marked branding

…and….

  • A really great design!

What’s Design Got to Do With It?

We get it. The world online is an infinite labyrinth of visual stimuli. There is so much to see, so much to do, and there are sooo many distractions to spend your time on… And when it comes to effective marketing, there are so many things to attract a potential customer’s attention, only to promptly lose it again. So, when businesses are looking to grow their client base and get conversions, how can they take that last crucial step even further?

Truly exceptional design uses a variety of elements to create a visual and emotional experience that affects not only the buying choices of established customers but is also shown to be effective when turning potential, browsing customers into long-term clients. If you’re looking for inspo on what makes for great-looking design in a captivating landing page, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve rounded up 10 incredible designs to get you inspired!

1. Plated

Why We Love It: Fresh Use of Color

Studies have shown that color plays a huge part in how humans engage with decision making around brands; color can inspire confidence, comfort, or even motivation. We don’t really know what could be more indicative of fresh, delicious food than these bright and vibrant colors.

2. Domo

Why We Love It: Color For Emphasis

Domo is masterful here in how they incorporate color to draw the eye toward the businesses that they’ve worked with, and then finally toward the CTA button to elicit action from potential clients.

3. Zingtree 

Why We Love It: Color in Action

Zingtree makes use of fresh, vibrant colors here to create approachability and fun to their landing page! The bright contrasts also direct the eye to very clear calls to action.

4. Stitch Fix

Why We Love It: Fun + Interactive

Who doesn’t love a good quiz? Outside of school, of course?  StitchFix uses a personalized style-quiz to lead users to use its platform and potentially contract their styling service.

5. Landingbot.io

Why We Love It: Fun Factor

A non-traditional landing page that takes a non-traditional approach. By it’s own admission Landingbot isn’t so much a landing page, but a chatbot that does what a landing page does. It rocks the tricky balance of being hilarious, fun, and functional by using funny images and engaging options to capture its audience! 

6. Teambit 

Why We Love It: Feel-Good Factor

Teambit keeps it fun and friendly with adorable illustrations that feel relatable! Businesses are more likely to achieve higher conversion rates when they have elicited positive feelings from buyers and potential clients. What’s not to love?

7. Instapaper

Why We Love It: Keep it Simple, Sweetheart

Sometimes you don’t need to say a lot to make your point effectively. In fact, the most effective conversion rates happen when businesses can make their message clear, and keep their landing pages simple to navigate! Instapaper has the right idea here. There is nothing to distract the audience from doing one simple thing: subscribing to their service.

8. Strikingly 

Why We Love It: Still Keeping it Simple, Sweetheart

Visitors don’t need to spend a thousand years combing through your landing page to figure out how to take action. Strikingly gives us a great example of how to keep a landing page gorgeous, colorful, and simple. To demonstrate this, they make it super-simple to get started (in one click!) and demonstrate credibility with vibrant examples.

9. Fiverr

Why We Love It: Imagery in Action 

When used effectively, imagery can be highly impactful and highly converting. A single, strategic image actually serves as a great opportunity to make a personal connection with your audience.

10. Masterclass

Why We Love It: Effective Imagery

Highly impactful and simple, using the image of a well-known celebrity creates instant recognition and engagement. Not to mention how clear and easy to navigate this landing page is once they’ve captured the attention of the audience.

Inspired to Create Your Own?

Always keep in mind that having a truly incredible landing page doesn’t have to be boring or formulaic to still be effective! To create an incredible, fun and highly converting experience to capture clients and potential clients, don’t be afraid to let your brand personality work for you! The key is knowing your audience, keeping them engaged, and using your brand voice to keep them interacting!

If you’re still strapped for ideas, or would just like a bit more inspiration, get at us! We’d love to connect and get you going in the right direction!

Co-Marketing Strategy for a New Age: Dunkin’ and Dove are Teaming Up

Co-Marketing Strategy

In the history of great co-marketing campaign duos, we’ve seen a handful of truly memorable collaborations over the years. From Uber and Spotify’s long-term relationship to power customer music picks on rides to marketing BFFs Red Bull and GoPro’s record-setting adventure videos, it can feel like these match-ups were meant to be; but, there’s always a team behind the magic… some deciding process that sets the wheels in motion.

Now, Dunkin’ and Dove Hair are teaming up in what we’d categorize as an “unlikely” co-marketing effort. No judgment over here, though – we are actually super impressed! Anytime the marketing teams from these respective companies get together and come up with something tailored and special to reach out to new audiences, it’s incredible the types of ideas that can come up.

In their campaign together, Dunkin’ and Dove are working together for National Coffee Day (9/29) to engage with on-the-go (mostly female, woot!) consumers, offering up the chance to win a year’s supply of coffee and dry shampoo. Like we said… coffee and dry shampoo aren’t typically things we’d combine in our minds. But, for this campaign’s purpose, we think it’s absolutely brilliant to target busy women who need to get their caffeine and hair-do on every single day.

Here’s what Marketing Dive had to say about it:

The Dove x Dunkin’ collaboration may seem like an odd pairing, but the brands are embracing the “running on coffee and dry shampoo” message that has become a slogan on apparel from Aéropostale and across Etsy. The campaign is part of Dunkin’s newly announced rebranding that drops “donuts” from its name and focuses on reaching on-the-go consumers with coffee, in an effort to compete with Starbucks.

Calling the coffee and dry shampoo combo the “ultimate life hack” — and the sweepstakes to win a year’s supply of the products — could resonate with consumers and give the brands a social media boost, as many social media users often already post and share photos about their hectic lives. Younger consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, appreciate how-tos or “life hack” content that helps them live more balanced lives. Partnering with celebrities, who will share their own tips, will also broaden the campaign’s reach.

The pop-up styling café is part of a trend that more brands are embracing to engage with consumers in real-life settings to build brand awareness. Experiential events typically resonate with younger consumers who appreciate unique, branded experiences and the ability to try new products. The events often give brands a social media boost, since they usually feature interesting visuals that inspire attendees to snap photos and selfies to post on social media.

What are your thoughts on this co-marketing partnership? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

The Secret to High-Converting, High-Value Products Is…. Copywriting?

Are your products not selling? Are they sitting on the shelf just waiting for someone to buy them? I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s probably because of your copywriting. Your product copy is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s the sales pitch that turns dithering consumers into converting customers.

High-converting and high-value products are achievable for any store — if you get your words out right. Read our handy guide for some secrets on how to achieve quality copywriting for your eCommerce store.

Identify who you’re writing for

The likelihood is that your product isn’t targeted for all and sundry. Different people have different tastes, so first and foremost, you need to find out exactly who it is you’re writing for. Once you’ve identified the customer segment you’re selling to, you need to tailor your copy to their tastes and interests. Catering to these specific needs is perfect for hooking your customers and reeling them in.

For example, if you’re selling cushions with cats on them, then your target customer is probably going to be an avid cat lover. That means referencing our feline friends in a way that relates to them, maybe even dropping in a purr-fect pun or two.

Do some research on your target customer by using sites like Quora or Reddit to get an insight into what they talk about and how they talk about it. As a rule of thumb, think about how you’d speak to your customer if you met them in real life. Once you’ve got that down, apply that to your copywriting. Personalization sells, so target your product descriptions and you’ll see your conversions shoot up.

Stick to your brand voice

Dull copy is a cardinal sin when it comes to your product descriptions. No matter what you’re selling, you need to write about it in an engaging, lively way. Uninspiring copy repels customers because it doesn’t stimulate them, and they ultimately just switch off. To avoid this, don’t be afraid to inject a little character into your copy. Your brand voice lets you convey this personality to your customers, and turns a basic sales pitch of a product into an animated and appealing description of it. Check out the example below from AYR:

Image via AYR

Their brand voice is edgy and conversational, and it makes the description pop. It really conveys their brand personality, making them stand out against their competition.

Tell a story around your product

One of the best ways to sell something is through storytelling. It’s subtle, indirect, and lets you talk about your product to your customer in an engaging way. To get started with this, think about your product and its genesis. Maybe the idea for your boutique vodka came about during your struggles to find a delicious drink that suited your palate? Or perhaps you couldn’t find a coffee that’s strong and tastes good, so you started your own online coffee shop?

That’s how Death Wish Coffee got their start:

Stories are a great way of compelling someone to take action and can breathe new life into your product. They make it real and tangible and will help engage your customers and persuade them to make a purchase. You can add value to even the most simple online store with high-quality product copy. Your copy is the glue that holds it all together, and without thoughtful and well-written product descriptions, you simply won’t make any sales.

Use sensory language to hook and persuade

When you’re selling something online, it can be difficult for your customers to really ‘feel’ what you’re selling. In a brick-and-mortar store, shoppers can pick up a product, experiencing it first-hand. Not so with an eCommerce store.

Instead, savvy copywriters need to use language that recreates that experience in their mind. This means using sensory language that seduces the customer into buying. Words like crispy, gooey or smooth can help your shoppers connect with a product, motivating them to make a purchase. You should also extend your eCommerce content strategy to writing great product blogs that help ‘fill in the gaps’ when it comes to how your products help people navigate their lives.

Talk about benefits, not features

This is a simple one that lots of people are guilty of at times. When you’re selling something, it’s easy to talk about the hard facts about the product. Color, size, functionality — these things are all relevant, but they don’t let the customer connect with the product. Customers want to know what they stand to gain from your product, how their life will be better because of it. Instead of focusing on the features, you should focus on talking about the benefits that those features offer.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a car that has a rearview camera installed. Simply stating this isn’t enough. Instead, elaborate on how the camera will prevent rear-end accidents, or how it’ll make parking so much easier. These benefits appeal to the concerns and pain points of the customer, and focusing on these in your product copy will help give them value.

Use adjectives sparingly

Overuse of adjectives and phrases like “the world’s best” or “the most advanced” is one of the most common copywriting mistakes in product descriptions. It’s tempting to pepper your copy with lots of adjectives because it makes your product sound great, but more often than not it just sounds too salesy.

Instead, only use them a handful of times and justify those descriptors. For example, if your t-shirts are made of the softest fabric around, explain how and why they’re so soft. Or if your chocolate is silky-smooth, elaborate on what processes went into making them that way. It’ll add value to your product and help convince your customers to buy.

You know your products have value, but you need to convince your customers of that too! Follow the tips above to make your product copy shine, and see your conversions grow with a strong brand voice, benefit-centric copy, and compelling storytelling.

Patrick Foster is a writer and eCommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading eCommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.