Tom Kubinski
Printing Consultant
tkubinski@sextonprinting.com
Direct: 651-255-1225
Fax: 651-457-7040
Cell: 612-760-3700

Sheila Stai
Customer Service
srs@sextonprinting.com
Direct: 651-255-1222

www.sextonprinting.com
250 East Lothenbach Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55118
Phone: (651) 457-9255
Fax: (651) 457-7040
Toll Free: (800) 388-2914


Branding - 22 Laws Of
Brand Warfare
Creative Coatings Techniques
Desktop Techniques
Digital / Variable Printing
Direct Mail Raise Response, Lower Costs
Duotones-Tritones-Quadtones
FSC Certification
For Direct Marketers
In House Mailing Capabilities
Ink Tour
Microsites
Paper Mill Tour - Coated
Paper Mill Tour - Uncoated
Picking the Right Paper
PDF Formats
PDF Info & Quark vs. InDesign
PODi - Digital Print Success Story
Postal Changes, Mailing Requirements & Rates
Post it to the Web vs. Print
PURLs
PURL - Avoid Dog House Campaign
QR Codes
Save Disk Space
Social Media -- The Basics
Social Media vs. Print
Top File Issues
UV Burn
Ways to Save Money
What Sets Sexton Apart?
Why Print in a Down Market?
Why Work With TK?

April 2011 TK's Korner
Emerging Media Solutions - Microsites

You may be asking yourself, "What is a microsite?" Well, it's not part of your old high school chemistry SLUDGE test where you need to find out what exactly is in the jar. Yet, it is something filled with many possibilities for your marketing efforts. Read on...

Technical definition;
found on Google - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsite

A MICROSITE also known as a landing page, minisite or weblet, is an Internet web design term referring to an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. The microsite's main landing page most likely has its own domain name or subdomain.

Microsites are typically used to add a specialized group of information that is either EDITORIAL or COMMERCIAL. Such sites may be linked into a main site or not or taken completely off a site's server when the site is used for a temporary purpose. The main distinction of a microsite versus its parent site is its purpose and specific cohesiveness as compared to the microsite's broader overall parent website.

Microsites used for EDITORIAL Purposes may be a page or group of pages that, for example, might contain information about a holiday, an event or similar item which gives more detailed information than a site's general content area may provide. A community organization may have its main site with all of the organization's basic information, but creates a separate, temporary microsite to inform about a particular activity, event or similar.


    Microsites ARE A GREAT WAY FOR YOU TO:

    DATA MINE

    CLEAN UP your database

    GAIN A VOICE of customer

    FIND OUT WHAT products or services your customer is interested in

    FIND OUT HOW the customer would like to be marketed to

    FIND OUT WHICH vehicles the customer prefers so your marketing dollars may be spent wisely

    AND A WHOLE LOT MORE.

Often, microsites will be used for EDITORIAL Purposes by a commercial business to add value. For example, a retailer of party goods may create a microsite with editorial content about the history of Halloween or some other holiday or event. The COMMERCIAL Purpose of such editorial microsites, (beyond driving product sales), may include adding value to the site's visitors for branding purposes as well as providing content and keywords allowing for greater chances of search engine inclusion.

Microsites may be used for purely COMMERCIAL Purposes to create in-depth information about a particular product, service or as editorial support towards a specific product, such as describing a new technology. A car manufacturer, for example, may present a new hybrid vehicle and support the sales presentation with a microsite specific to explaining hybrid technology.

    The content may -
    • Be static
    • Have a personal greeting
    • Contain pre-populated contact information for customers to confirm, change or add to, etc.
    You can have -
    • A Sign Up page
    • Surveys
    • Calculators
    • Registration for a seminar or other events
    • A Redirect to other micro sites
    • Drip Campaign ie. IF THIS ANSWER=come back with the next question or, IF THIS NEED= send out this product or literature, etc.
    • A Thank You page
    • Email Notifications
    • Auto Reply's
    • Streaming Video
    • Animation or Flipbook
    • Video Conversation
    • Tracking

(Opinions expressed in the article below are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.)

7 ways to make a good Microsite, even from a distance:

    1. The total number of pages in the microsite is small (one to five)
    2. Making sure that the content is indeed meaty, telling its story with rich details-- more than a paragraph and a few bullets
    3. There's a strong, consistent visual theme binding the pages together
    4. You can make other pages accessible via simple tab navigation
    5. Each tab could focus on a specific deep-dive subtopic (e.g., wellness)
    6. Make sure that there is a clear call-to-action form (best if replicated on all pages)
    7. The graphic design of the page is compelling, but not overwhelming

    If done correctly, you should obtain very favorable conversion lift metrics. Also, it may cause you to pursue additional microsites for additional information.

Making content deeper and easier to consume -
For optimizing a visitor's experience, there are 2 underlying forces that make microsites so effective:

The first, are the principles of conversion content marketing. More than anything, visitors are searching for good content. They don't want fluff, they don't want teasers-they want the goods. And then, if they like what they see, they want a clear (but optional) next step to take.

However, there's a paradox with such deep content. People want depth of information, but as Nicholas Carr and Gord Hotchkiss keep reminding us, they also want instant gratification-they don't want to dig through a lot of raw material to find the gems that are relevant to them. One big page of content, such as a long blog post or product page, isn't as helpful as a collection of organized subtopics that lets the user quickly dial in on what is most important to them.

Microsites provide this lightweight structure by offering a few simple, interrelated navigation choices-the tab metaphor is common and intuitive-without getting bogged down with the baggage of your main website's navigation or being constrained by its existing page layouts. By breaking your topic into several subtopics, you can simultaneously deliver deeper content while making it easier for people to consume.

Enabling transparent audience segmentation -

The second force, closely related, is audience segmentation. Using multi-step landing pages (also known as "conversion paths") to enable visitors to self-select the content that's most relevant to them-one or two quick choices on the landing page, followed up with a highly targeted presentation. Hundreds of experiments have shown that these conversion paths often convert much higher than regular landing pages because the choices give visitors a strong "information scent," leading to a more personalized experience.

However, depending on the circumstances-such as campaigns designed for SEO or social media marketing-that "guided flow" architecture may not be best. The microsite design pattern offers an alternative way of organizing choices, while still allowing people to deep-link into a particular subtopic, regardless of the page they first link into.

As with conversion paths, these segmented microsites deliver two key benefits:

  1. Visitors can quickly navigate to the content most relevant to their search
  2. Marketers can use the data from those choices to naturally segment their audience

Such segmentation is transparent to users and accurately reflects the choices they make in their own self-interest. The resulting data-learning which traffic sources bring you which audience segments and how well you perform in converting each of them-is pure analytical marketing gold.

As pure HTML, they're only a little more work to construct than stand-alone landing pages. And, like professional landing page programs, you can build them around a set of reusable templates that let you leverage the design assets of one microsite concept across a number of campaigns.

Because such microsites, like landing pages, live outside the formal framework of your main web site, they can often be deployed quickly and without death-by-committee-supporting agile marketing practices. You can easily use your favorite A/B or multivariate testing tool to experiment with different variations of the content, presentation and conversion offer. You can even use A/B testing to compare the performance of such a microsite against an alternative single-page landing page.

Sexton has been working with and managing Microsites for many years with great success. We can assist you with obtaining critical data, managing it, sorting it, and strategizing for future campaigns. Please keep us in mind for your next campaign or contact Tom Kubinski at 651-255-1225 to learn more and how you too could incorporate Microsites.

In this issue, we have covered one element within the Response Mechanism. Future issues of TK's Korner will cover the other Emerging Media Solutions as they pertain to:

Database-

  • Acquisition
  • Processing
  • Analytics
  • Consulting

Delivery Mechanisms-

  • Variable Direct Print (VDP)
  • Email
  • SMS (Texting)

Response Mechanisms-

  • GURL (General URL) Landing Page (Micro site) with Surveys
  • PURL (Personal URL) Variable Landing Pages with Surveys fall within Response Mechanisms
  • 1-800 Tracking
  • SMS (Texting) with Opt-in Keywords and Leased Short Codes

Tracking and Linking Mechanisms-

  • Redirect Pages-Web Media
  • QR Code
  • Short URL Creation

Dynamic HTML and Publishing-

  • Microsites
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Documents
  • Photo Galleries
  • Web Apps

Social Media-

  • Consulting
  • Tracking
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Dashboard-

  • Tracking
  • Reporting
  • Data Access

Services-

  • Domain Name Registration
  • Short Code
  • Keyword Registration
  • QR Code Creation, Quick Response Codes, aka QR Codes
    (These can be general or personalized and are a great way to break into mobile marketing)
  • Return Mailbox
  • Media Hosting (For file downloading or streaming)

All of these elements are provided by Sexton (Sexton Strategic) and have greatly influenced many of our clients marketing efforts. Why don't you contact me for more information on how we may assist you with your marketing efforts?

If you would like more information for your next printed project, to see some of the really cool samples I have or regarding this article, please give me a call at (651) 255-1225.

Stay tuned for the next issue of TK's Korner. You just might be surprised!

Please refer back and visit often the entire library of TK's Korners where you will find information on subjects that may be of interest to you like:


BE SURE TO CHECK THEM OUT!

If you have a production issue not discussed above that you would like me to address, or a project that needs to be looked at, please give me a call or send me an email. I will do whatever it takes to ensure you get the best value for every marketing dollar invested.

You can also check out my profile, join my network and view more client comments on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tomkubinski

Referrals are greatly appreciated, if you know someone I could help, or who might like to receive TK's Korner, please let me know.

Take care and have a great day!

Successfully,
Tom Kubinski, Printing Consultant
YOUR Eighth Wonder of the World

Printing Consultant Who Helps You Make Good Impressions

tkubinski@sextonprinting.com
Direct: (651) 255-1225
Cell: (612) 760-3700

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