When I’m training marketing content writers in the tech space, one thing that comes up a lot is concision.
Clarity, accessibility and understanding all suffer when technology content isn’t concise.
Concision is making content clearer — not necessarily shorter — right down to each individual sentence.
Let’s take a look at this passage from an enterprise technology blog post:
As many other companies worldwide, HPE also faced the challenge to do more with less and sought to quickly and efficiently remove costly and ineffective work processes. Combining powerful technologies with SAP’s Business Technology Platform portfolio provided prepackaged and pre-integrated solutions including analytics and machine learning capabilities, which simplified IT processes and elevated customer experience. Additionally, allowing the integration of Conversational AI technology and SAP governance, risk, and compliance solutions, where chatbots took over simple interactions with users, such as authorizations request and password reset, making these actions more convenient.
That’s a lot of information to process, and the complex way it’s worded makes it that much harder to pull meaning from it.
Where so many writers go wrong is in believing that it’s their job to sound smart. It’s not. It’s a writer’s job to help the reader understand.
So how could this writer do that job better? How could we make this paragraph more concise, and ultimately clearer?
Here are seven specific things that can help:
Let’s look at that paragraph again with these guidelines applied:
HPE, like many other companies worldwide, also faced the challenge of doing more with less. To overcome this, the company focused on removing costly and ineffective work processes.
HPE combined powerful technologies with SAP’s Business Technology Platform portfolio to simplify IT processes and elevate the customer experience. This solution also allowed HPE to integrate SAP Conversational AI technology and governance, risk and compliance solutions. With this approach, chatbots could take over simple user requests like authorizations and password resets.
We only lost 11 words, and we didn’t lose any key industry terms — but we made it much easier to read and understand.
It’s a writer’s job to help the reader understand the subject or story. Clear unnecessary clutter and complexity, and use punctuation and formatting to ease the reader through the content.
Making your writing more concise can go a long way toward helping technology customers get the information they need from your company’s content.
Image Credit: Pixabay.com | StockSnap
A business website is an important and essential way to establish your company’s digital presence, share your message and display your brand. However, designing a website from scratch requires a lot of planning and consideration.
As successful business leaders, many members of Young Entrepreneur Council have experience creating effective business websites from the bottom up. Below, 10 of them shared what they believe should be the first considerations you should make when designing a new website for your business.
1. Your Ownership
The single most important thing to do when creating a new website is to make sure there is one, very important sentence in your contract: "If at some point I want to take ownership of the content of my site and move it to another company, I will pay you X amount, and my website and all of the content within it will be mine completely." I was in a situation where I tried to switch website companies, and they wanted to hold my website and all of the content hostage. I am so grateful I penciled in that one sentence before I signed the contract! - Sheila Nazarian, Nazarian Plastic Surgery
2. Your Call To Action
What is the call to action (CTA)? Every website should usher the visitor toward a single point of action that represents the next step in the buyer's journey. If your website isn't prompting the reader to take that next step, it's incomplete. At several points, but especially at the end of the content layout, you should gently encourage the reader to proceed to the next phase. The key is to emphasize that doing so is for their benefit, not yours. Make it clear that there's something they can learn or use by moving forward with your CTA. - Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
3. Your Mobile Experience
Focus on the mobile experience first, then worry about the desktop experience. For most businesses, your customers will be visiting from their phones more often than their desktops. Cut down on what isn't necessary. Look at your current analytics and consider the features used. Do users care about the live chat feature? Are people not scrolling down the page to see your lead form or main call to action? If not, get rid of the chat feature and move the call to action up on the page. - Chase Williams, Market My Market
4. Analytics And Tracking
SEO, UX/UI and user journeys should all be top priorities when designing a new site, but one of the most important aspects that you need to consider at the start of building out a site is analytics and tracking. You can make informed decisions when building out a site, but ultimately, you won't know how your users will navigate your site and the type of content they gravitate to the most until you get the site in their hands. Analytics and tracking data are crucial in order to understand your users and allow your team to make data-driven decisions to improve your site. Your customers should be what drive your site improvements and changes, and without a robust data-collecting system, you will be spending money on content and features users won't even look at. - Ryan D Matzner, Fueled
5. User Experience
User experience is everything. UX/UI is so often overlooked. People just want to sell and feature their services or products and fail to take into consideration the thought process and mentality of new eyeballs on their site. They assume people know what and who they are, what they offer and how it works, etc. Design for people as if they know nothing about you, your services or your products. Don't make them search for it or try to figure it out. It should be in their face. They should be able to ascertain within seconds of hitting your site what you're all about. - Scott Levy, Fuel Online
6. The Platform You Choose
When designing a business website from scratch, it is important to consider how user-friendly the platform it's built on will be long term. Unless your company has a web designer on staff full time, having a website that's easy for anyone on your team to edit will be the difference between a current, up-to-date website and one that sits around with outdated info waiting for someone to make changes. - Rachel Lipson, Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People
7. How Pages Are Named
A seemingly simple yet extremely important consideration when first building a business website from scratch is how the pages are named, including the URL slug of the pages. These items impact how search engines will rank each page, so they should be well-researched and planned. The page title and URL slug both indicate to search engines what the main topics and types of information are on the webpage, which the search engines then use to compare with the content within the page. When these items don’t seem to match up, search rankings can suffer. So, it’s wise to use an SEO tool, freelancer or agency to help with planning your page titles and URLs when launching a new business website. - Richard Fong, SecurityForward.com
8. Your Website’s Purpose
It is vital in the world of the internet to have an online presence, whether you have an e-commerce business or a brick-and-mortar store. Websites increase your brand’s credibility, convey your brand’s message to the user or consumer and make your business discoverable in search engine results. The first thing you should do before you dive into the technical aspects of building a website or having one built for you is determine what your website’s purpose is. Why do you need a website? Who will your primary users be? How will your website meet your customers’ needs? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can determine how to best meet their needs and relay the information in a clear, concise and aesthetically appealing way. - Ian Sells, Rebate Key Inc.
9. Your Content And Message
A major factor in the success or failure of any business website is communication. You have to ensure your website has a clear and unified message for visitors, as this is what drives sales and inspires them to do business with you. When designing a website, it is crucial to write high-quality, original content that is relevant to your company and customers as everything from the quality of your content to the keywords used affects your site's ranking in search engine results. - Chimezie Emewulu, Seamfix Limited
10. Your Branding And Theme
When designing a business website, it's important to consider your branding and theme. If your site's appearance isn't cohesive, it'll appear unprofessional and few visitors will take your business seriously. It's crucial to create a clean, cohesive design that's user-friendly and leads visitors where you want them to go. This ensures they can easily navigate your site and engage with your content. - Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
Image Credit: Pixabay
Emails have become an indispensable part of our correspondence. They offer fast, cheap, accessible, and efficient electronic communications. To make it even easier for us we now have email apps that give us access to our emails with enhanced productivity tools. There are several different email apps and, in this article, we will review some of the best email apps in the market. You can also check out some more resources about a second phone number app, how to make a business email or email signature examples.
How to Choose the Best Mail App for Your Business
The best mail apps will improve your productivity by managing your email communications so you’re always on top of the latest mail in your inbox. So, features to look for when shopping for an email app should include:
Delivery: A good email app should be reliable and help prevent that your emails reach your inbox without getting lost in the spam folder.
Contact management: your email app should help you to easily segment the emails of your contacts for you to help prioritize and store extensive amounts of data about each contact including name, email, location, industry, age, gender, and others.
Compatible with all devices: besides your desktop, your email app should also be able accessed on your mobile phones and tablets thus giving you to be productive while mobile.
Response Handling: Your email app should allow for automated responses that can help you manage campaigns, offer auto-replies and other features.
Best Email App for Android
If you are an Android device user the best marketplace to get email apps for your needs is the Google Play Store. With email android apps you will be able to access your email services from your mobile Android device. below are some of our picks of email apps that are popular by most Android device users.
1. Aqua Mail
Aqua Mail is an email app that comes with a cloud storage service that helps you to back up your emails on the cloud. It comes with a seamless unified inbox management system, support, and productivity tools. This customizable email app supports multiple email accounts that include Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, FastMail, Apple, GMX, and AOL, and more. A free version is available where you can add any email provider account; sync with contacts and calendar for exchange; smart folder option; ability to save emails as PDF; endless customization and more.
Price: The paid version comes with a $ 3.37 monthly subscription billed annually where you get the ability to manage unlimited accounts; end-to-end encryption; priority notifications; remove promo signature and ads.
2. K-9 Mail
K-9 Mail is an open-source email application for the Android operating system. It comes with a unified inbox format and supports IMAP, POP3, and Exchange servers. Additional features under its hood include the ability to support multiple accounts; unified inbox; privacy-friendly; automatic background synchronization or push notifications and more.
3. Newton Mail
Newton Mail gives your email powerful features like reading receipts, sending later, snoozing, and more. Like many email apps, it works with Gmail, Google Apps, Exchange, Outlook, and others while working on devices such as iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.
Price: Newton comes with an annual subscription of $ 49.99.
ProtonMail is an open-source and secure email service offered by MIT scientists and CERN. It allows iPhone users easy to use secure email service and has end-to-end encryption including an encrypted calendar. You can access your mail on any device without installing the software.
Nine is one of the better android email apps out there. It has support for Exchange ActiveSync and also comes with features that let you select which folders you want to sync; Wear OS support; calendar and contacts synchronization, Rich-Text Editor; Global Address List (GAL); hybrid email search, widgets, and more.
Price: It comes with a $14.99 price tag
Best Email App for iPhone
If you are an Ipad or iPhone user there are some great choices for you in terms of email apps, some of them include:
Airmail is a powerful email client that works on macOS and iOS. The mail app supports Gmail; EWS, IMAP, and POP3 systems; helps arrange messages based on views, labels, and other filters. Airmail is also compatible with other document supporting services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Price: Airmail starts with a monthly subscription of $ 2.99.
Spike is an iOS email app that Spike turns regular business email communications into simple conversations, so you can work and collaborate seamlessly with clients and team members. With it your documents and notes are always right there and easy to find. You can also create complex tasks; and create to-do lists within seconds.
Price: Spike has free for personal accounts, while paid professional tiers start at a $ 7 monthly subscription.
Triage is an iPhone email app that helps you to replace your desktop email client. It works with Gmail, iCloud, and IMAP and shows you your unread email as a stack of cards, allowing you to quickly archive email you don’t need to action, write a short reply, or keep some email to process later.
myMail helps users to manage all their email accounts at once including Hotmail, Google Gmail, Yahoo, Edison, Outlook, iCloud, Thunderbird mail, Webmail, or Mail.ru. It supports all major providers and any other IMAP or POP3-enabled mailbox while at the same time keeping your mail securely in one place.
Polymail is an email app that helps you to create and share customized email templates. This iPhone app helps you set follow-up email reminders; provide a detailed report of your team’s activity as it integrates with messaging tools like Slack and Salesforce, and clean up your inbox by unsubscribing from newsletters.
Price: A seven-day trial is available for paid services starting at a monthly subscription of $10.
Best Email Apps for Android and iOS Devices
Below are some popular email apps that are compatible with both iOS and Android devices:
11. Yahoo Mail
Yahoo Mail is among the most popular free email account services. It comes with a simple interface is simple and straightforward and can be accessed from both desktops and mobile devices. This web and cloud-based messaging solution allow you to stay connected to your email with one-tap access to your inbox, multiple Yahoo account support, and instant email alerts from any device.
12. Outlook Mail App
Microsoft Outlook helps bring all your email accounts and calendars in one convenient spot. Whether it’s staying on top of your inbox or scheduling your next email campaign, syncing contacts and calendars this email app helps you to keep being productive, organized and connected. the Microsoft Outlook mobile app is also available for both iOS and Android devices if you want to try out the mobile version.
Price: Microsoft Outlook comes free with a 15 GB storage if you are looking for additional storage capacity free you can purchase the robust version at $ 159.99.
13. Gmail Mobile Email App
Google’s Gmail app can be a nice addition to your collection of Google services such as Google Doc, Google Sheets, and Google Hangout and also comes with a free cloud-based solution. If you own an android phone it comes as a default on your device; it works with non-Gmail addresses; you can sign in for free through a Gmail mobile account; easily organize conversations into threads. The Gmail account also supports multiple accounts and notifications letting you seamlessly transition from your business and personal accounts both Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP) all in one place. You can even organize your folders, tag emails, and star emails to prioritize conversations.
Price: The Gmail app can be downloaded onto iPhones from the App Store for free if you need extra storage place a paid tier is also available.
14. Edison Mail
Edison Mail is a third-party mail app that helps you to sort incoming messages into groups, offers Phishing and scam protection; adds caller ID to phone calls and text messages based on contact details in your inbox, and more. Edison’s app supports Gmail Yahoo!, Outlook, and more.
Cleanfox is a free mail app that helps you to access your email accounts while also helping you to declutter your inbox by easily unsubscribing to those pesky newsletters. Available in iOS and android the app comes with no ads and restrictions.
16. Blue Mail
BlueMail is a free universal email app that helps you to manage an unlimited number of mail accounts from various providers. Available for Windows, macOS, and Android it also allows smart push notifications and group emailing while enabling personalization across multiple email accounts while connecting directly to your mail server.
What is the best free email app?
The Gmail app is by far the best free email app with over 1.5 billion users worldwide for both iOS and Android users. It often comes a default mail app on most Android devices and syncs seamlessly with Google’s productivity services including Google Drive, Google Photo, Google Sheets, and more enabling you to access these powerful productivity tools with no fanfare.
Image Credit: Depositphotos
As the CEO of a large-scale website production company, I constantly get the same questions:
• How much does building a website cost?
• How long will it take to build my web presence?
• What are the advantages of working with an agency? Why not hire a freelancer?
I always answer: The best solution is the one that aligns with your business strategy.
For some clients, it’s best to launch a site quickly at a low cost and scale later. For others, it makes sense to invest more at the start, building a bulletproof platform that’s both scalable and flexible. In other words, the best solution depends on your short- and long-term goals and your budget.
Here are the steps I recommend going through as you and your team plan how to build your digital platform:
1. Clarify your platform’s objectives.
• What is the role of your website or app in your overall business model?
• Who is your audience? Are they mobile-first? What media do they consume — videos, articles, audio or a combination?
• What does success look like? What is the website or app’s main goal?
• How will you drive traffic to the website?
2. Build your content.
• Make an inventory of the content you currently have (i.e., copy, images, video, etc.).
• Map out the process for creating the content you know you’ll need in the future for you to reach your stated objectives.
• Brainstorm any ideas for new content — images, videos, podcasts or articles — you want to produce.
• Determine the time and cost for creating new content, and set aside a budget.
3. Organize your content based on your objectives.
• Review your content with an expert or a person you trust in your field. Take advantage of having an outside eye and do a preliminary organization.
• Do the same exercise with your developer. Note the differences between the perspective of a technology professional and someone in business.
• Work with your product management team (which might be yourself) to reconcile both points of view.
4. 'Build' your website on paper.
• Conceive of the site map with your developer — a text document, some slides or a pen and paper will do.
• Organize your content into this map and use this as the starting point for the site’s design and development.
5. Always remember the 1/10/100 rule.
The 1/10/100 rule is essential when budgeting for revisions with your designer:
• 1: Fixing a mistake during the planning phase will cost $1.
• 10: Fixing that same mistake during the development phase will cost $10.
• 100: Fixing it when the website is already built will cost $100.
Plan ahead to avoid costly changes down the line.
6. Finalize the home page design before starting any development work.
• Agree on how your brand will be represented on this website.
• Determine logo, buttons, CTA, images, etc. for the homepage.
7. Choose a development partner you trust.
• I recommend using agile methodologies. This approach allows you to iterate during the development process and make changes on the go. Keep in mind, though, that a set price for a project will likely limit your ability to make changes.
• Be sure your development partner has a quality analysis (QA) department so they can test across different platforms and operating systems before launching.
• Remember that in this business, like many others, you get what you pay for.
8. Budget for 25% contingency.
• Assume the project will go at least 25% over budget.
• There will be some changes and improvements you will not think of from the planning phase.
9. Create a monthly budget for maintenance and enhancements.
Adapting to technology updates and enhancements will be necessary if you want to succeed; plan for constantly optimizing the flow of your platform.
10. Use analytics to measure and improve your website.
• Review analytics and stats weekly or at least once a month.
• Try A/B testing if you can afford it and constantly tweak, test and review changes based on users' behavior and trends.
One final note: Pay attention to partners and agencies that try to rush. It's important to clarify objectives, establish the timeframe and propose a budget. At my company, we believe that investing time, energy and money during the website planning phase undoubtedly pays off down the road. An agency or partner that pushes to get a project off the ground without going through the proper process and planning is likely focused on one-off projects, not ensuring your site helps you reach your business goals.
Image Credit: Photo by Getty
Membership is open to businesses and organizations interested in increasing visibility and brand awareness in Westchester County and surrounding areas.