VIA Idea #38

Tips to Moving Your Domains, Website Hosting and Email

If you have a website, you’re familiar with domain registration, website hosting and email. For most people, lower prices for services are reason enough to move your website. If you’ve never migrated a website before, you might find that it is a daunting task.

Most people have their domain, website hosting and email service with one service provider like GoDaddy. Some have each service at a different provider. For example, email might be on Google Apps, while the domain and hosting are with GoDaddy. Depending on your setup, migrating your website services can differ in both difficulty level and process.

domain-transfer

A domain represents the IP address where your website is held. Moving it involves verifying your account authority and registering the new IP location. While it can be tricky, transferring a domain from one provider to the next is smoother when you have complete credentials and contact information for the current and new registrar. Between unlocking the domain name, purchasing a transfer and entering numerous authorization codes, the back-and-forth process involves waiting for codes. It can take days. A domain is easiest to move before you attach any hosting or email to it.

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Hosting is where your website files are stored on an Internet-accessible computer server. Email accounts allow correspondence, filters and storage, and ideally are tied to your business domain. Hosting and email services are usually tied together, so both should be moved at the same time.

Before you start to move anything, it’s wise to back up your website files, any databases and emails. It’s important to keep your current host until website files and any important emails are successfully transferred to your new host.

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In order to avoid any major downtime, syncing the transfer of all services is critical. There is no specific order to follow, but remember to have complete credentials and login information for both the new and current host. Stay on top of emails from either host and promptly enter authorization codes when necessary.

Let VIA Handle Your Website Transfer

If you want to ensure a smooth transfer process, we recommend you leave it all to VIA. Contact Julie for more details on migrating websites.

VIA Idea #37

Rebrand For a New You!

Southwest, Gordon Food Service Store and Pizza Hut all rebranded in 2014, each for their own reasons. Let’s take a look at what makes a good reason for change.

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Southwest®’s new brand has a clever three-colored heart and bolder colors. Rebranding came about because of their new international flights, their purchase of AirTran and the fact that Dallas’ travel restrictions are being lifted, giving them more opportunities. Forbes criticized the move saying it’s too soon, and Southwest should have waiting until their performance matches their new excitement. “Southwest became a great brand by adopting a fun, low-cost, friendly brand position. These days it doesn’t seem to be any of these.” Forbes 9/17/2014

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Gordon® Food Service introduced a new logo, tagline and name, saying in a press release this is “part of the evolution of our corporate brand.” They took away the GFS acronym, and are leading with the name Gordon as a way to emphasize they are a family business. We like their new tagline: Always at Your Table. They sent a postcard to customers and created a landing page to fully explain the story.

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The new Pizza Hut® features ten new crust flavors, six new sauces, five new toppings, and four new flavor-pack drizzles. You can choose from “over 2 billion combinations of pizza.” All of those changes demanded a new look!

January is a time for reassessments, and the New Year turns our attention to what we can do better. Has your company gone through changes that would make it a good candidate for rebranding?

A brand is so much more than a logo.
Your logo expresses the essence of your brand, and it should be meaningful and powerful. Most of the time companies rebrand to build lost market share. You should rebrand when:

  1. You are not telling your full brand story. You’ve grown and evolved since the original identity was created, and you need to communicate the new direction.
  2. Your audience has changed, and their needs have changed. Some brands need to change in order to stay relevant to new generations.
  3. Competition forces you to set yourself apart in a more meaningful way. Companies use rebranding as a way to make people take a fresh look at themselves.
  4. Your current identity has been damaged. Your reputation may have been hurt by bankruptcy or some other kind of crisis. Some use rebranding to hide malpractices of the past.

RadioShack®’s and Hershey’s Rebrand Were Total Failures.

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Radio Shack switched its name to The Shack, but didn’t change the product or philosophy along with it. The lesson is to make sure you have a good reason to rebrand.

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Hershey wanted to create a “fresh and modern interpretation of the beloved Kisses icon.” The company replaced a photograph of a silver Hershey’s Kiss with an animated, solid brown version. Sadly, the new Kisses looks just a bit too similar to a certain online emoticon, often used on social media to depict feces.

Why does rebranding fail?

  1. There is a lack of true change. Just changing the name will disappointcustomers who will be looking for a good reason to give you a try.
  2. If you rebrand based on an aspiration, you may be biting off more than you can manage. Keep the change reasonable and attainable.
  3. Your brand statement is not plainly stated. Vague brand positioning or one that is hard for customers to understand will cause problems. State your claim clearly and deliver on that promise.
  4. The entire staff must all be on the same page and know what is expected at every touch point. A brand is something you do. The CEO must lead and be an example. If the charge doesn’t start at the top, the effort will fail.

Final tips
It’s vital to estimate the cost of rebranding before you get started. Larger companies will have a large list including a multitude of signage. Smaller companies are more flexible and will use rebranding as a growth maneuver. Both will need to change mission statements and create a marketing plan for the roll out. A name change will require papers submitted to the secretary of state. This great infographic from Entrepreneur Magazine has more examples.

VIA Case Studies

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Simple and clean, inspiring and inviting, the new logo represents the IBT’s merge to the Classical Arts Centre.

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By using strong graphics and a bold typeface the updated Smith Animal logo will stay relevant for generations.

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Capstone’s updated logo and name combines the original typeface with a vivid color scheme and more. Adding “Design and Renovation” expresses more clearly who they are.

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Buzz Packaging needed an identity. They relied on an inconsistent typeface. The new look is bold, defining, and impactful.

Contact VIA if you’d like a free consultation about rebranding your company.

VIA Idea #36

E-Newsletter Best Practices

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Reach out to your customers and contacts so they don’t forget about you. A sales coach once told me “Activity produces activity.” When you stay in contact, new orders usually come in.

E-Newsletter goals range from brand awareness to generating leads and selling, to driving traffic to the website. A common mistake is to use your newsletter as a sales flyer. You should first write about something that offers real value, like solving a problem, and later, transition to your product or service and how it helps.

How relevant and compelling your content is proves to be the most important elements when gauging email effectiveness. Another element is the quality of your subscriber list. Invite people to join from a sign-up area on your website. It’s a good idea to segment your list so you can target your messages.

Our top tips and best practices:

  1. Clearly display your brand and put contact information above the fold. Keep the layout the same with each issue. People are comfortable when the email is in order and they know where to click.
  2. Make sure it is mobile ready. So many people read their email when they are on the move.
  3. Your content should be easy to scan. Use short paragraphs, links, and “read more” to allow the reader the choice to dig deeper. Avoid too many articles. Keep it simple and easy.
  4. Gorgeous images will make the content jump off the screen and draw readers in. People love interesting pictures.
  5. Add social media buttons to encourage sharing, and add a sign-up area in hopes of engaging a new reader.
  6. It’s okay to call it a newsletter in the subject line, but add more words to entice us with an expectation of what’s inside.
  7. According to research by GetResponse, the best days to send out emails are on work days, with Thursday early afternoon being the best, and Monday morning the worst.
  8. When in doubt, test.

Don’t stress if your newsletter is a mess.

We can help your newsletter shine its brightest. Contact VIA to discuss the effectiveness of your newsletter and how to make improvements.