This interview was conducted with Matt Behr of Windridge Web Design.
What does your company do?
We do small business web design and marketing. Most of our clients are those putting together their very first website, or updating their first website.
Who are your competitors?
There are many. There are a ton of web design firms out there. Market Hardware is probably the one I would single out, if I had to.
What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI? What percentage ROI do you get back on this?
I noticed that many work vehicles (plumbing trucks, electricians, etc.) didn’t have a website listed. Therefore, I started noting any truck I saw without a website listed or any ad in a newspaper, etc. that didn’t have a website listed. I then do a Google search for that business. If they don’t show up in the first few pages, I send them an email or direct mail piece (usually direct mail) telling them I saw their ad/van and couldn’t find them online. Would they be interested in a site? I haven’t had time to do follow ups after that initial letter, but I would say I average about 4-8% rate from the letter. In terms of ROI in dollars, I spend $50 to get over $1200 in revenue.
How is your marketing budget broken down?
Currently I spend 80% on direct mail/email. The other 20% is PPC ads.
DIY web design services have been around for a while, but they’ve always fallen short. Usually they’re so basic and ugly, it’s apparent it’s a free or cheap service (Yahoo Merchant Solutions sites come to mind), or else you still have to be technical or a designer to make them look good.
I’m really happy that web design services have improved. I use a service called SnapPages, and designed my company’s site in a few hours. I can go in and tweak it whenever I like (and I like), and there’s no coding or headache that interferes with Egg having a sharp, professional website. SnapPages charges just $8 a month (there’s also a free account, but you’ll want to upgrade), so what excuse do you have not to use it?
There are other website building tools out there, but here are my picks:
- Yola’s got some nice features, like letting you integrate photos from Flickr and your PayPal shopping cart.
- You can use Google Maps to help people find your company.
- Its drag-and-drop text and easy editing tools don’t take a brain surgeon to figure out.
- There’s a free version, but for $49.95 you get a whole year with extra features. Deal.
- They build in the web hosting to take the confusion out of buying service elsewhere.
- They offer 70 designs, or you can customize your own.
- You can do virtually anything with these sites: add video or photo, music or audio.
- Free account or upgrade (site doesn’t list prices).
- Still one of the best deals in town, you can create a blog or a website on a WordPress theme.
- There are a TON of free or cheap templates for WordPress. Hire a designer for $20 an hour to customize one.
- You have to buy your domain, but using WordPress is always free.
So tell me about your site! What service do you recommend? And if you try any of these, share your link with us!