How To Sell Responsive Web Design To Clients

Designing and developing websites that work well on mobile devices is an important aspect of the work we do on today’s Web. This importance is reflected in the conversations I have with clients, almost all of whom list “support for mobile devices” as one of their top goals for a redesign — all except one, that is.
Late last year, I began a redesign project for a company that sells pressure-treated lumber products.

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How To Sell Responsive Web Design To Clients

Webinar: Landing Page Toolkit

10 Landing Page Exercises to Rock Your Digital Marketing Results

This webinar takes you step-by-step through ten practical, easy exercises to diagnose common problems and correct them fast.

What’s covered:

  • Why you need a landing page toolkit
  • How to use this toolkit
  • Laying the groundwork for beginners
  • How to improve your landing page design
  • How to execute sound testing
  • How to manage your program for agility & scale
  • And more!

We take you through 10 exercises that are guaranteed to improve your landing page results. Plus, get access to the downloadable toolkit, the comprehensive collection of interactive landing page tools, templates and resources covered in the webinar!

Sign up to receive the webinar recording and slides!

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Webinar: Landing Page Toolkit

Get Up And Running With Grunt

In this article, we’ll explore how to use Grunt in a project to speed up and change the way you develop websites. We’ll look briefly at what Grunt can do, before jumping into how to set up and use its various plugins to do all of the heavy lifting in a project.
We’ll then look at how to build a simple input validator, using Sass as a preprocessor, how to use grunt-cssc and CssMin to combine and minify our CSS, how to use HTMLHint to make sure our HTML is written correctly, and how to build our compressed assets on the fly.


Get Up And Running With Grunt

Recent Trends In Storytelling And New Business Models For Publishers

It is clear that the ongoing dramatic transformation of the media industry in all its formats (audio, video and text) leaves the door open for a complete reinvention of the publishing business. This transition has opened up opportunities for experimentation, and many players are trying to define the future of media in general, and journalism in particular.
In this article, we will discuss several recent such experiments, with special focus on new forms of storytelling, as well as new business models for publishers — a fascinating recent trend called “subcompact publishing” will be our main reference.

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Recent Trends In Storytelling And New Business Models For Publishers

Hidden Productivity Secrets With Alfred

Good developers are always looking for ways to be faster and to automate their workflows. Today, we present a series of workflows in Alfred that will boost your productivity and rock your world.
What Is Alfred? For those who don’t know, Alfred is an award-winning Mac OS X app that saves time when you search for files online or on your machine. The new version 2 brings a series of improvements and, with the Powerpack, enables you to create your own workflows.

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Hidden Productivity Secrets With Alfred


How to assess the quality of your campaign pages

A page that you send campaign traffic to can make or break campaign results. A poorly designed landing page will confuse, overwhelm or distract a visitor, and decrease the odds of conversion. When evaluating the strength of a landing page design, use this checklist to help determine if sufficient best practices are being leveraged, and sound conversion design principles are being followed.

Is there message match between the ad and landing page copy?

Look for words and phrases that are used in the ad to be echoed on the landing page. Message match should be extremely obvious, not hidden or inferred.

Is there motivation match?

This is a little more subtle than message match, but equally important. Every ad holds the promise of a ‘carrot’. That’s what gets the user motivated to click. The landing page needs to stay focused on the carrot and the visitor motivation. If the ad is a promise (“click here, get this”), the landing page should pay off the promise.

Is there visual match?

If the traffic is arriving at the landing page from display, social, email or other visually-oriented sources, ensure a tight visual match between the ad and the landing page.

Do you use directional cues?

The landing page needs to literally show the visitor what you want them to do. What’s the action you want people to take on the page? Directional cues are design elements that point the user towards the desired action. Don’t be afraid to make it very visually obvious—use cues such as arrows or fingers pointing to the call to action. Even a photo of a model with her/his body angled toward the call to action can be an implied directional cue.

Is the page focused and simple?

It’s easy to clutter up a web page. Much harder to pare it down and keep it focused. But clarity leads to focus and focus leads to conversion. Stay on point—both the content and the visuals need to be clear, simple and focused. Strip away unnecessary navigations or links away from the page, or anything that detracts from conversion.

Is the important stuff above the fold?

Instantly when arriving on the page, is it clear what action the visitor can take? Is call to action, offer conversion point and main value all located above the fold?

Is the call to action positive?

Users don’t want to ‘submit’. Don’t make your call to action a command, make it something they want to do. Make it about the promise of your conversion. For example, use “Get started” instead of “Submit”. Or “Download tips to boost performance” instead of “Download”.

Is the copy scannable?

Copy-heavy pages are dense. Dense looks like work, and work doesn’t convert. Use bullets and keep them short. Use subheads and short copy blocks. Vary your sentence length. Make sure your copy looks easy to scan and easy to read. Based on a quick scan of the page, will the visitor get the point?

Is the experience device specific?

Visitors expect a great experience regardless of the device they arrive on—desktop, tablet, phablet or smart phone. Use responsive landing page design to automatically adjust the page to the visitor’s screen size, or create device-specific versions of the pages.

Is the page trustworthy?

Use trust assurances to indicate to the visitor that you are worthy of having their trust. Include social proof such as customer testimonials, customer & partner logos, community ratings, or social plugins for Twitter & Facebook. Also, make sure the page includes a privacy statement, or link to a privacy policy, and any third-party verification that’s applicable, such as TRUSTe, Verisign, etc.

Is the value clear?

Don’t assume the visitor is going to automatically want what you’ve got to offer. Remember to merchandize & pitch it. Emphasize the value of the offer and use a strong value proposition with features, benefits and offer details, when applicable.

ls the barrier to conversion low?

A big, long, complicated form or registration process feels like work to the visitor. Create the appearance of a low hurdle to conversion. Break up long forms into multi-step experiences, using a simple 1 or 2 field form as the first step. For longer registrations, set visitor expectations by giving progress bars and/or written & visual indicators of what to expect.

Does the page make the user feel good?

This is subjective, but important. Is it visually appealing? Does it make sense? Is it awesome? Don’t underestimate the power of the landing page brand impression—visitors are likely to landing & leave if the page isn’t appealing. Often the landing page is the first impression a visitor has of your company—make it a great one.

Landing Page Scorecard


Landing Page Toolkit

Get this handy checklist, along with 12 additional landing page tools in our 28-page Landing Page Toolkit. The toolkit includes tools for design, testing & management.

Register to receive the toolkit via email!

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How to assess the quality of your campaign pages

Automate Your Responsive Images With Mobify.js

Responsive images are one of the biggest sources of frustration in the Web development community. With good reason, too: The average size of pages has grown from 1 MB to a staggering 1.5 MB in the last year alone. Images account for more than 60% of that growth, and this percentage will only go up.
Much of that page weight could be reduced if images were conditionally optimized based on device width, pixel density and modern image formats (such as WebP).

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Automate Your Responsive Images With Mobify.js

Smart Transitions In User Experience Design

Some websites outperform others, whether in their content, usability, design, features, etc. Details of interaction design and animation make a fundamental difference on modern websites. We’ll share some lessons drawn from various models and analyze why these simple patterns work so well.
When we design digital products, we often use design applications such as Photoshop and Sketch. Most people who have been in the business for a few years obviously know that design is more than just about visual presentation.

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Smart Transitions In User Experience Design

How eHealthInsurance Delivers Great User Experiences for Paid Search Campaigns

Meet Ian, Vice President of Search Marketing at eHealthInsurance.

Not only is Ian a successful search marketer, he is also a loyal ion customer, and all-around awesome guy! eHealth and ion work together to create & test great user experiences for eHealthInsurance’s paid search campaigns. Here is Ian’s story…

Life before ion.

Before ion, we were testing landing pages, but it was a manual process and very slow. Overall, we would probably test one, two, maybe three new templates per year, because of the manual work involved.

Life after ion.

Since implementing ion, we’ve been able to test many more experiences — several per month. We’ve freed up a lot of time. Leveraging ion’s managed services (basically an outsourced landing page optimization program), allowed both the Search and Product Marketing teams to focus on other key department projects. ion has given eHealth a lot of scale and agility in our landing page testing.


We are more agile than we’ve ever been. We’re able to test new templates every month. Say there is new product, or something is happening in the market, or maybe an executive has a new idea…we are able to take those and bring them to market very quickly. ion has supercharged our efforts in digital marketing. We are able to test new concepts, see if they work (or if they don’t), we are able to iterate on them and multivariate test to refine our messages.

We’ve been able to use the ion platform beyond search as well — in addition to running tests on our website, we’ve created landing pages for partnerships and for customer care.

The ion platform has truly given us a lot of versatility.


We’ve seen great results. Since we have been using ion for the last 2 years, we have seen an increase in our conversion rates. Testing dozens of landing pages has helped us improve our customer experience — customers are excited about eHealth and the online buying experience.

eHealth loves ion.

We love the ion technology. The platform is easily to use, yet highly sophisticated. We can A/B & multivariate test, customize pages for unique streams of traffic using advanced logic, build responsive design pages and more. The platform is truly one-of-a-kind in the search and digital marketing industry.

ion loves eHealth.

Also, leveraging ion’s managed services means that we have a dedicated account and creative resources working closely with us to reach our goals. We have a whole team helping us every day. We truly value these relationships.


eHealthInsurance is the nation’s first and largest private health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 200 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies.

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How eHealthInsurance Delivers Great User Experiences for Paid Search Campaigns


You’re too good to have a boring landing page

You. You want to be the best. You want to do work you can be proud of. You want to deliver amazing results to your organization. You don’t want to settle for less. You’re too good for a boring landing page.

Landing pages are often synonymous with a flat, uninspired single page format with a headline, sub-headline, bullets, image and call to action/form. Ho-hum, so boring, so ineffective.

With user expectations for great experiences increasing at the speed of light, and the pressure on marketers to improve campaign performance mounting, a routine landing page will rarely deliver the kind of conversion results an organization needs in order to achieve high campaign ROI. Here are some ways to go beyond basic landing pages to drive higher conversions by serving up targeted, specific, relevant landing experiences that engage your audience.

Keyword insertion. For paid search landing pages, incorporate the visitor’s search query in the page content to increase relevancy and make an immediate match between their natural language expression and your content. Keyword insertion can be done in a landing page platform, or with custom script you have written for your pages.

Personalization. For in-house email campaigns, incorporate the visitor’s name (Welcome back, Anna), or content that is more targeted to them based on data you have available. The familiarity can signal that they are important you, you know their needs, and have something of interest to them.

Behavioral personalization. If you have data on visitor’s behaviors, such as things they clicked on your pages in previous visits, dynamically alter the content on the page to appeal to those interests or previous behaviors. For example, if a visitor clicked on a button for “Family friendly vacations” in a visit, on their subsequent visit, the page can feature an image of a family having a great time on vacation.

Geolocation. If you have locations, or regional differences in audiences, consider automatically sensing the visitor’s location and serving up localized content, vernacular, imagery on your pages.

Dayparting. Do you have one audience segment likely to visit during the work day, and another likely to land in the wee hours of the night? Do you have offers that you’d like to feature during one part of the day, but not another? Consider day-parting, where different experiences, content or offers are served up at various times of the day to appeal to the likely audience arriving during that time, or feature time-sensitive content and offers to create a sense of urgency.

Segmentation. Conversion paths signal to visitors that you ‘get’ them and have something specific for them. Allow visitors to segment themselves into buckets based on need, role, industry, gender or age demo, then serve up relevant content targeted to them. The experience will feel more personalized and the specificity of the content boosts your odds of conversion.

Microsites. Microsites can be a great way to serve up a very conversion focused experience while allowing visitors to explore offer & topic specific content. A microsite can education the audience, help address questions and drive a visitor further down in your consideration/buying funnel. Keep a call to action, form or ‘buy now’ button on each microsite page to maintain a strong emphasis on conversion.


Interactive content. Increase your opportunities for visitor engagement on a standard landing page by adding interactive content elements. Small tabbed content elements within a page, rotating images, and accordions can help you bring a conversion-focused page alive, streamline content presentation and allow visitors who want more information to interact with the content. Also consider video, social elements (allow visitors to follow you on Twitter on the page, or Like you on Facebook) and interactive calculators.

App-like interactive experiences. Visitors love web experiences that give them instant feedback, or feel like “create your own story” adventures. Offer interactive calculators, wizards, configurators, assessments and quizzes that provide personalized scores, tips or content at the end. Visitors will be highly motivated to interact with your app-like experiences—put a reg form in front of the experience, at the end (before you reveal results), or even smack-dab in the middle.

So go on —get out there and do this thing!

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You’re too good to have a boring landing page