Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: January 2014

Thank you, dear Smashing readers, for your support — it means the world to us. On behalf of the entire Smashing Magazine team, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. Let it be the best year of your life. — Ed.
We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendars: January 2014


Best of 2013: Responsive design, content marketing, conversion paths & more


2013. Google called it “a year of transformation.” Mashable declared it “the year of responsive web design.” And then there was Google Enhanced Campaigns, which was mandated across all AdWords campaigns back in July. If you weren’t ready for mobile, well, it didn’t matter, because it happened.

With smartphone sales expected to reach 1.81 billion…and double by 2015…compelling, intelligent, and integrated digital campaigns, and thus experiences, will be mandatory.

Not optional.

We’ve been preaching brilliant post-click marketing since 2007. But this year, highly relevant, smart, user-centered creative really took a front seat that will carry through 2014 and beyond.

So, to wrap up the year with a nice bow, we wanted to share our “Best of 2013″ — a collection of blog posts designed to inspire better digital experiences and help you provide more value (and conversions) in the new year.



9 Best Practices for Designing Responsive Landing Pages

Nine of our favorite best practices for designing stellar responsive landing pages. You can use these with or without a platform to ensure you are building landing pages that not only respond, but convert! Learn how to put the right content in the right place on the page for every user.

How to use conversion paths for a better digital experience

Humans click your ads and land on your pages. Seems obvious, but in our haste to put up an experience with the perfect layout, content & offer, we often forget to think about the human behind the click. Learn how to use user segmentation (aka conversion paths) for a better digital experience.

9 Ways to Drive More Leads From Your Content Marketing

Sure, you’ve used landing pages to ‘gate’ high value content such as white papers or ebooks, but there more creative ways to up-sell and cross-sell content to convert your audience’s attention into business results. Discover nine ideas for innovative ways to drive more leads from your content marketing.

Three awesome [infographics]

Content marketing, landing pages and testing…these are three of our favorite things! Download these infographics.

Happy Holidays from ion!

Read our 2013 holiday blog post series — ionians cover best practices for testing, responsive design, user segmentation, marketing apps & more! Read the series.

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Best of 2013: Responsive design, content marketing, conversion paths & more


14 Ways to Have Digital Marketing Success in 2014

2013 was a great year for conversion optimization. We saw digital marketers making it their #1 priority, tied with Content Marketing. Conversion Optimization moved up from 34 to 39% of marketers making it their top priority.
Top Priorities for Digital Marketers

Demand for knowledge about “conversion optimization” continues to grow since it emerged in 2007, as shown in Google Trends:

At the same time as “search engine optimization” is declining in popularity:

We’ve seen the industry evolve considerably. In the “early days” of WiderFunnel we spent much of our time educating companies about why conversion optimization was important. A lot of people understand that now.

Today, we get a lot of marketers calling WiderFunnel who are advocating for conversion testing within their companies and need help to get better results.

So, where will we see companies getting the best results in 2014?

Here’s what the most successful digital marketers will have in common in 2014

  1. They understandContent without conversion is just free publishing.”

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #1: Content without conversion is just free publishing

  2. Mobile is a big player in their plans, and mobile is different in 2014. Screens are bigger and more varied even than today. Successful marketers realize that mobile visitors are the same people as desktop visitors. They’re just standing in a different spot with different needs at the moment. Here’s a primer on mobile conversion optimization. Multi-device CRO is happening now, (yes WiderFunnel does that!) yet true multi-device marketing won’t be widespread until 2015.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #2: Optimize for mobile, but mobile is different in 2014

  3. They skip “big data” in favour of “smart data.” There’s always been lots of data, but size is less important than how you use it. In fact, there’s good evidence that “big data” is one of the lamest buzzwords of 2013. Don’t misunderstand me—the potential is real and we’re all about using data, but the hype will fizzle.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #3: Skip the big data buzz in favour of smart data

  4. Yes, testing is a tactic and it’s really just a mechanism that supports better decision-making for marketers. Testing alone is just a feature. To that end, they value all well-planned tests as winners (even the losing ones because they learn from them).

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #4: Testing is just a tactic that supports better decision-making for marketers.

  5. They abandon their website redesign plans. Instead, they use Evolutionary Site Redesign (ESR).

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #5: Abandon your website redesign plans. Instead, use ESR.

  6. They look at optimizing every layer of their websites: usability, branding and content. Looking at the experience holistically allows for more potential impact.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #6: Optimize every layer of your website: usability, branding and content

  7. They move beyond technophilia. Conversion optimization is not a technological challenge – it’s a set of people questions. Tools don’t solve problems. Smart people do.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #7: Move beyond technophilia. Tools don’t solve problems. Smart people do.

  8. They align their website goals up to their marketing and business goals using the goals waterfall.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #8: Move beyond technophilia. Tools don’t solve problems. Smart people do.

  9. They don’t chase after tips and tricks. Instead, they formulate powerful questions to ask their prospects, which are unique to their business.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #9: Don’t chase after tips & tricks. Instead, formulate powerful questions.

  10. Landing page optimization is just one subset of their marketing optimization strategy. They optimize all customer touchpoints throughout their marketing funnel with deep insights into customer segment idiosyncrasies.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #10: Optimize all customer touchpoints throughout your marketing funnel

  11. They are a strong marketing optimization champion.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #11: Be a strong marketing optimization champion this year
    Your organization needs a marketing optimization champion. Your company needs you to step up and be an influence for marketing testing. Fortunately, being your organization’s champion is very rewarding. Marketing testing is one of the most easily provable strategies, and the rationale for it is unassailable. When you stand as an advocate of the data-driven approach, you’ll reap the rewards in your career. Data advocates inevitably rise to positions of influence.

  12. They tie results to revenue.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #12: Tie your marketing optimization results to revenue lift
    When you present results, don’t just show the improvement in conversion rate or KPIs. Tie the result to revenue to give real cash impact. Percentages are intangible, but everyone relates to cash. What would you rather get: a X% conversion rate lift, or $Y,000,000 greater profit?

  13. They foster momentum and knowledge sharing throughout the organization.

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #13: Foster momentum and knowledge sharing throughout your organization
    Many of WiderFunnel’s clients have used our results analysis presentations to create an internal event in the organization. The champion invites members from throughout the company to see the results of tests, guess the winners, and discuss what was learned. Their entire marketing team is on a continuous learning curriculum (starting by reading You Should Test That!)

  14. They hire the best marketing optimization experts available (like WiderFunnel!)

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    2014 Digital Marketing Tip #14: You should hire the best marketing optimization experts available — WiderFunnel

What would you add?

What are your tips for digital marketers in 2014?

Add your thoughts below.

The post 14 Ways to Have Digital Marketing Success in 2014 appeared first on WiderFunnel Marketing Conversion Optimization.


14 Ways to Have Digital Marketing Success in 2014

The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last few months, you’ve already heard the news that Adobe is feature-freezing Fireworks. And Adobe is not offering a replacement tool for Fireworks users (at least, not for now.)
What does this mean for you if you use (and rely on) Fireworks to design user interfaces and screens? What are your options?
Further Reading on SmashingMag: Sketch, Illustrator or Fireworks? Sketch Vs.


The Present And Future Of Adobe Fireworks

A Little Journey Through (Small And Big) E-Commerce Websites

People don’t spend their money online easily. Think about it: If you had to answer a long list of questions or struggle to navigate a website, how much money would you be willing to part with? Online shopping is about convenience and comfort, and those of us who have at least once ventured into the realm of online shopping know how time-consuming and unpleasant it can be.
The online stores that stand out from the rest are those that go the extra mile for their users.

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A Little Journey Through (Small And Big) E-Commerce Websites

How Optimized Are Your Images? Meet ImageOptim-CLI, A Batch Compression Tool

Exporting images for the Web from one’s favorite graphics software is something many of us have done hundreds of times. Our eyes fixate on an image’s preview, carefully adjusting the quality and optimization settings until we’ve found that sweet spot, where the file size and quality are both the best they can possibly be.
After exporting the image — usually using a feature called “Save for the Web” — and having gone to all that care and effort, we would be forgiven for thinking that our image is in the best shape possible.

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How Optimized Are Your Images? Meet ImageOptim-CLI, A Batch Compression Tool


12 Holiday Landing Page Tips

No drummers drumming, or even a partridge in a pear tree here, just 12 of the very best tips and tricks for creating and testing digital experiences that generate leads, enhance brands and drives sales this holiday season.

From the basics of message match to progressive conversion strategy, we’re sharing 12 of our favorite posts from holidays past.

1. Santa Approved Landing Pages – Have You Been Naughty or Nice?

This year, make sure you’re on Santa’s (and your visitors) nice list to ensure your stockings are full of qualified leads with these quick, best-behavior tips.

2. A Very Merry Message Match

Message match is an important best practice to implement on your landing page campaigns. Promise something in your headline or ad? Make sure that’s what your viewer sees when they click on your link! This is one place that people do NOT want surprises, even during the holidays.

3. Ring in the New Year with Social Sign On

Eight in 10 consumers would prefer to login to sites using a social identity, versus traditional account creation. Given these numbers, will you be ringing in the new year with social sign on?

4. Get in the Spirit of A/B Testing

The results received from drastic A/B testing (followed by iteration) can be extremely powerful, just like the holiday spirit that comes over us this time of year. A great New Year’s resolution? Commit to testing radical new ideas, destroy all assumptions, and never stop learning!

5. Directional Cues to Sway and Seduce this Holiday Season

As we close out 2013 and move into a brand new year, what fun and creative ways can you seduce your audience to convert on your landing pages? Will you be testing implicit and explicit directional cues?

6. A Very Mobile New Year

Users are savvy and expect single touch interaction, easy calls to action and checkout experiences. App-like experiences, that are tightly message matched to your ad, and load as fast as Santa’s sleigh, are the way to go to ensure engagement from your users, and of course, conversions.

7. Resolve to be R.E.A.D.Y

Use the guidelines of the R.E.A.D.Y framework when creating your digital experiences and you will be able to produce highly relevant pages that are engaging, authoritative, directional and that yield optimal.

8. All I Want for Christmas is a Clear CTA

Wait, what? Your goal for the page is to get viewers to click your call to action? Sorry, I got distracted by all the other toys…

9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town With Dynamic Keyword Targeting

Yes, you can create unique landing pages for each keyword with very little effort on your part. Dynamic keyword targeting is as close to “magic” as you’re going to get!

10. Interactive Content: Best Gift Under the Tree This Year

Four things to consider as you get ready to give and receive the “gift” of interactive content.

11. Joy to the Progressive Conversion!

As we move into the new year, think progressive. Remember how important it is to give all visitors a good experience, because today’s non-converter may be tomorrow’s conversion win.

12. Thank Your Visitors Ever Day of the Year

Three quick tips for creating a valuable and thankful post-conversion experience on your landing pages.

More inspiration: Marketing Apps Idea Book

Register to receive our newest idea book.

It provides nine ideas for app-like digital experiences — calculators, configurators, wizards, games and more — that not only engage and convert, but also provide marketing with highly valuable segmentation and sales enablement data.

Get inspired. Provide more value. And reap more in the new year conversions as a result.

Download the idea book.

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12 Holiday Landing Page Tips

Using Brainwriting For Rapid Idea Generation

When a group wants to generate ideas for a new product or to solve a problem, you will usually hear the clarion call, “Let’s brainstorm!” You assemble a group, spell out the basic ground rules for brainstorming (no criticism, wild ideas are welcome, focus on quantity, combine ideas to make better ideas) and then have people yell out ideas one at a time.
Brainstorming is often the method of choice for ideation, but it is fraught with problems that range from participants’ fear of evaluation to the serial nature of the process — only one idea at a time.

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Using Brainwriting For Rapid Idea Generation

Wunderlist: Trends Come And Go

As one of the top designers on Dribbble, Jan Martin attracts many followers with his visual design skills. Unlike many designers, Jan is incredibly humble about what he has achieved. “Stop following what the visionary designers think,” he says. “There is no wrong or right way. We need to create our own things and always design with our heart.”
Jan grew up in the small city of Brandenburg, about 70 kilometers south of Berlin.

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Wunderlist: Trends Come And Go


Deck the Halls with App-Like Games

‘Tis the season to be online shopping. Gadgets, winter boots or ugly Christmas sweaters, whatever it is you fancy, it’s sure to be found somewhere on the web. For some, the task of online shopping can be an irritating and tiresome feat. But if you’re anything like me, you get a thrill out of finding the best deals and getting the biggest bang for your buck! However, the process of online deal hunting is not always an enjoyable one. That is why whenever I come across a page that finds a way to make my online shopping fun and entertaining, I take notice!

While waiting for valet to bring my car around after work (this process has been known to take up to 20 minutes sometimes!), my mind wanders to my holiday to-do list. My younger cousin, Samantha, is next on my gift list. Unsure what to get her; I start checking out different mobile shopping apps such as Victoria Secret’s junior apparel line, PINK Nation. Next thing I know, I had spent several minutes playing games, such as PINK-O, all while racking up points to put towards different items and prizes!

PINK takes their visitors on a short, but effective, conversion-focused journey. They engage their mobile visitors at a higher level, which as a result, gains them more online leads.

Games are an entertaining way to engage and convert prospects. From the look and feel to the overall messaging, PINK’s mobile app and landing experiences are perfectly tailored to appeal to their target audience.

Thanks to my stellar gaming skills and my exquisite fashion sense, my cousin’s gift was all squared away with time to spare — all before my car arrived. Now, that’s what I like to call savvy shopping!

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Deck the Halls with App-Like Games