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Musings from Mike Atkinson on Internet strategy, usability, and more...

Email Marketing Strategies seminar today

Today I’m speaking at the Christian Leadership Alliance annual conference here in San Diego. It’s a seminar called “Ministry Growth Through Email Best Practices” – a new seminar for me and it came together so well, I can’t wait to present it!

The premise is that non-profit ministries can benefit from best practices developed in the for-profit world. My experience managing an email marketing program with a list of 1.8 million subscribers for 4 years has helped me greatly.

Plus, I get to see some buddies from the Gospelcom daze I haven’t seen in a long time.

You can see the page I created for seminar attendees. It has the presentation available for download. You could probably glean some goodies from it…

Impatience vs. Boredom

More wisdom from Gerry McGovern…Website design: Impatient versus bored

Yes, website redesigns drive much of the Internet industry, but SO many are unnecessary. Most are done because the folks in the company are bored with it.

Think of it this way … a website is like a piece of software, say a word processor or spreadsheet. Each time you go to a new site, you have to learn that particular piece of software. If you visit that site regularly, you like the consistency of the site’s interface. Change is not at the top of most people’s list of things they enjoy.

So you better have a DARN good reason for changing your website. Read McGovern’s article and talk with your team about it…

Stripping down web pages

Further proof that your average web user could care less about all the time & effort we put into the branding side of websites, such as the site frame or template, ads, etc.:

The single best tech idea of 2009, though, the real life-changer, has got to be Readability. It’s a free button for your Web browser’s toolbar (get it at When you click it, Readability eliminates everything from the Web page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, blinking, links, banners, promos or anything else. Times Square just goes away.

You wind up with a simple, magazine-like layout, presented in a beautiful font and size (your choice) against a white or off-white background with none of this red-text-against-black business.

You occasionally run into a Web page that Readability doesn’t handle right — no big deal, just refresh the page to see the original. But most of the time, Readability makes the world online a calmer, cleaner, more beautiful place.

Go forth and install it.

The Pogie Awards for the Year’s Best Tech Ideas, New York Times, 12/30/09

Email Design Checklist

This is an exceptional one-sheet PDF from ExactTarget with great direction on the essential elements needed in your email newsletter, marketing, etc.

Download it free!

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