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Favorite (best) email provider when marketing?

What is your favorite / best email provider that can handle large amounts of marketing emails. WP Mail SMTP (used in conjunction with WP Forms) suggests SMTP, Pepipost, sendinblue, mailgun, sendgrid, AWS, google, Microsoft (in that order).

Who do you use and why do you like them?

Do you have one provider for marketing and another for managing the day to day emails like admin emails (ex google suite)?

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What Should I Name My Online Store?

Choosing a catchy name for your business.

Having a relevant, memorable brand name gives you an immediate advantage when you're first starting your business. Today, we’re sharing the key traits of catchy business names, along with a few modern examples.

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Best courses to learn html coding?

I have been doing work on a website for a few years now (volusion, woocommwrce and Squarespace) and am interested in taking some classes to be able to do more of the back end coding. Have any suggestions of good courses to take? I’d like online night classes if possible. Thanks!

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Does having a character with a “humanizing” persona/image or a “real life” person when promoting products on videos before leading to a sales funnel help to increase sales, or could I create a persona/image around my brand without having a character leading it and have the same conversion rates?

I've noticed that having someone that the audience can relate to tends to increase their ability to root for the person and feel emotionally attached. Can I do this with a brand only by promoting certain relatable values, or will the scope be limited? Would making a trailer and "about" section where I share my "vulnerable" side in relation to the product being sold have the same effect, or should this be included in every video or post I make?

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Dog food startup Sundays launches its air-dried kibble alternative

Michael Waxman, co-founder and CEO of dog food startup Sundays, acknowledged that dog owners have no shortage of options when it comes to feeding their beloved pets — but he still thinks there's room for something new.

“There’s a sort of ‘Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink' phenomenon,” Waxman said. “There are over 3,000 dog foods, and yet I think there isn’t really one that is the no brainer, compelling answer.”

Sundays “soft launched” its first product in February and now has around 1,000 paying customers. It's launching more broadly today, and is also announcing that it has raised $2.27 million in funding from Red Sea Ventures, Box Group, Great Oaks Ventures, Matt Salzberg, Zach Klein and others.

Waxman's past startups include dating app Grouper, while his wife/co-founder Tory Waxman is a veterinarian (and serves as the startup's chief veterinary officer). He told me that the two of them became interested in pet food a couple years ago when one of their dogs started to have stomach issues, and they “went down this rabbit hole of trying to find the best dog food.”

The market can be divided two broad categories, Waxman said. There's kibble, which is relatively cheap and affordable but not as healthy. And then there's refrigerated food, including direct-to-consumer options like The Farmer's Dog, which are healthier but also pricier and require more preparation.

“Those are so unbelievably inconvenient,” Waxman argued. “You're not going to find too many people crazier about their dogs than we are, and we would do literally anything for our dogs — except prepare their food for an hour a day.”

Sundays

Image Credits: Sundays

So he's pitching Sundays as a “new, third category of dog food between kibble and refrigerated.” It's supposed to be human-grade dog food that's 90% fresh meat, organs and bones, created through a unique air drying process.

For dog owners who rely on kibble, Waxman said the startup offers “a much higher quality product that tastes much better and doesn't compromise on the convenience that you’re used to,” while for owners who currently pay for refrigerated options, he promised “an all around unbelievable increase in convenience, without any compromise in quality and taste.”

Several early customers compared the food to beef jerky in their reviews. Waxman added that in taste tests, dogs preferred Sundays to premium kibble 40-to-0.

The food is available for both one-time and subscription purchase. A single 40 ounce box currently costs $75, while the same box costs $59 via subscription.

Waxman suggested that it hasn't been easy getting to this point — with a new process for creating dog food, “there were no supply chains set up for this.” Ultimately, he said Sundays selected a “USDA-monitored jerky kitchen in the U.S. to create this new form factor.”

“It took us much longer than we expected,” he admitted. “However, the short-term headache is a long-term feature that we’re really excited about. Ultimately, it should serve as a pretty deep moat to prevent would-be competitors from offering similarly high quality and differentiated products.”

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Need Email Sales Copy?

Hey r/ecommerce,

Alright, so I'm just gonna lay this out for y'all cut and dry. I've been studying copywriting and writing my own specs part-time for a little under a year now while finishing college (Class of COVID!), and am looking to get some real experience for a modest fee.

I'm offering to write 3 emails for a flat fee of $100.

So, whether you need some good ole engaging content to revitalize a dormant list, sales copy for a new line of products, emails for your autoresponder sequence, or a mix n' match of all three; I'm your gal.

If you're interested shoot me a pm.

Also, for disclosure's sake, I will be requesting a 40% upfront & 60% upon completion to keep us both accountable.

As always, take care of yourselves out there.

-GiraffeXL

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Which pricing format is best in your opinions?

Hey guys,

I'm trying to figure out the way to format the pricing for my 1 product store (not dropshipping). In your opinions/past experiences, which of the following pricing formats work best?

Option 1.

Inflated price, discounted to the actual price. Example: $14.99, marked on sale for $12.99.

Option 2.

Actual price, without the sale discount. Example: Simply $12.99.

This is a low ticket product which fits in to the price-range of the examples above.

Thoughts?

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Google Lighthouse SEO Scores of Every Shopify Theme

This is the third article in my series on analyzing Shopify themes.

The first article used Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to rank download times. The second updated those download times using Google’s new Core Web Vitals metrics as measured by Lighthouse, the open-source tool from Google.

This post addresses the search-engine-optimization capabilities of every Shopify theme, using Lighthouse, on various page types — home, products, collections, blogs — for desktop and mobile. The results of my study are below.

A high Lighthouse SEO score doesn’t mean a site will have good organic rankings. It does mean that its pages comply with minimum SEO practices, such as titles, meta descriptions, and canonicals.

Reddit Discussion

Google’s Martin Splitt recently hosted an “Ask Me Anything” discussion on Reddit. I asked him about Lighthouse SEO reporting.

Here’s our dialog.

Hi Martin,

Thank you for doing this!

I was playing a bit with the PageSpeed Insights API, which is powered by Lighthouse and it was great to see improvements to the SEO checks (for example, https://github.com/GoogleChrome/lighthouse/pull/11022).

As you know, structured data is super important, but the check in LH is still very limited: https://web.dev/structured-data/.

Do you think we would see more checks like the ones performed by the updated Rich Testing Tool in Lighthouse?

Cheers,

Hamlet

His response included the role of Google’s various SEO tools.

Hey Hamlet,

Thanks for spotting the work we were doing there :). I worked with Umar on that check and the new href audit in the SEO part of Lighthouse.

There is work underway for better-structured data checks in Lighthouse, but that’ll probably take a little longer. We actually have an intern working on that this intern season! I’m really excited about that!

Regarding Rich Results Test vs. Lighthouse (and allow me to also touch upon Structured Data Testing Tool while we’re at it)… well, there’s a fundamental difference between the three!

  • Lighthouse strives to provide vendor-agnostic best practice guidance for web developers. As such, guidance that is specific to Google Search isn’t going to land in the Lighthouse core. We are considering a Lighthouse plugin, though, similar to what Google Ads offers.
  • Rich Results Test is a tool to check if the structured data is valid for a website to be eligible for rich results, it’s not a generic structured data testing tool. It’ll certainly grow and continue to be an important staple in making websites that are eligible for rich results.
  • Structured Data Testing Tool is a bit weird, IMHO [in my humble opinion]. It tests for all sorts of structured data based on Schema.org. All of that is valuable and great, but it confuses people as to what that means for their pages in SERPs on Google. And what if something is recommended from a Schema.org perspective but required for rich results? It’s a Google Search related tool, so what should it show? There isn’t the one true answer to that, I think.

There is a bunch of solutions in the works for general structured data testing and guidance, but I think having a clearer separation between what’s Google-specific structured data and what’s open source Schema.org structured data guidance is a good thing.

Vendor Agnostic

While it’s a Google product, Lighthouse attempts to be vendor-agnostic. Note Splitt’s response, above, “Lighthouse strives to provide vendor-agnostic best practice guidance for web developers.” This confirms that top SEO scores in Lighthouse won’t necessarily translate to high rankings in Google.

Lighthouse’s basic structured-data test is helpful. But also remember to check the Rich Results Test since Google plans to deprecate the Structured Data Testing Tool.

Shopify SEO Study

I used the same approach for analyzing SEO metrics as for page speed previously. I focused on Lighthouse’s SEO scores for four types of pages for each theme: products, collections, other pages, and blogs. I included the home page, too, when available.

The Lighthouse SEO scores are for each Shopify theme across four types of pages: products, collections, other pages, and blogs. Scores for the home page are included, too, when available.

The Lighthouse SEO scores are for each Shopify theme across four types of pages: products, collections, other pages, and blogs. Scores for the home page are included, too, when available.

My results are organized in two Google sheets: one for the desktop version of each theme and one for the mobile version.

In addition to the Lighthouse scores in column B, the Sheets also include my expanded audit results, as follows:

  • is-crawlable (column F). Indicates if the page has meta robots no-index.
  • meta-description (column G). Does the page have a meta description?
  • hreflang (column J). Whether the hreflang on the page is valid.
  • canonical (column M). Does the page have a valid canonical tag?
  • document-title (column P). Does the page include a title?
  • image-alt (column S). Do image elements have alt text?
  • structured-data (column V). Checks if the page’s structured data is valid.
  • tap-targets (column Y). Flags pages that have click targets too small or too close (for mobile).
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How to Overcome Burnout and Maximize Your Time

We surveyed thousands of store owners & found that 84% don’t use their time effectively. See how to streamline your workload & get the most out of your day.

The post How to Overcome Burnout and Maximize Your Time appeared first on WooCommerce.

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Personal training sessions come to ClassPass

As the coronavirus hampers the fitness industry, leading to a rapid evolution toward digital classes, ClassPass is pressing onward with its product roadmap, albeit a bit ahead of schedule.

The company, which has raised more than $500 million from investors such as General Catalyst, Thrive, GV, Temasek, Apax Digital and L Catterton, is introducing personal training sessions via a partnership with Fyt.

“We've been thinking about adding personal training to the platform for quite a while now, and this seems like an excellent time to do so to really diversify our options to our members and give them a wider set of opportunities to work out and keep their workouts,” said Kinsey Livingston, ClassPass VP of Partnerships. “Especially during quarantine, training sessions can be really interesting and motivating and give them that extra accountability that only comes with a personal trainer.”

Of course, these personal training sessions will be virtual and follow the same UX flow as Classpass's recently introduced virtual classes. Users can find a trainer on the ClassPass app, use credits to book it, and receive a unique Zoom link for their session.

To start, the personal training program will have 10 trainers, who can manage several hundred sessions per week, and will scale up as needed. The trainers, which are employed as 1099 contractors, are 50/50 gender balanced with 20 percent Black trainers. Fyt has 7,000 trainers total on its platform, and the technical side of deployment is relatively easy and straightforward should ClassPass want to scale up the program.

Each training session lasts one hour and comes with a free 15-minute video chat consultation to go over goals, etc. These sessions are all billed through ClassPass using credits — each session costs 23 credits. Depending on geography, that can range from $35 to $55.

ClassPass introduced virtual credits several years ago to have a way to regulate various factors of the business model, such as dynamic pricing for in-demand trainers, the pricing differences between different geographies, and the actual usage volume of customers.

In the future, ClassPass sees the potential to do in-person training sessions where the trainer would come to the customer's house or meet up in a park. Of course, that would require a much larger number of trainers on the platform across a wide variety of geographies. For now, however, distance isn't a factor with virtual sessions, giving the company more flexibility on meeting demand.

I asked David Huang, Fyt cofounder and CEO, about the logistical challenges of virtual personal training. For example, free Zoom sessions cut out after 40 minutes, while these sessions are billed for an hour.

“We're going to start with 10 paid accounts,” said Huang. “We'll scale it up. I don't think we're necessarily going to give each trainer their paid account. We might do a pool of Zoom accounts to use in facilitated sessions. We'll play that by ear, based on how we scale up.”

Personal training sessions are available now to ClassPass users on the app.