Our Blog

Gonesh Celebrates Valentine's Day with an Animated Gif // Behind the Spark

Posted by Sparkfactor on Feb 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Sparkfactor's long-time client Gonesh Incense enjoys taking a cheeky approach to their monthly emails, letting our designers' imaginations run wild for monthly promotions and holidays like April Fools, Fourth of July, and Valentine's Day.

This year's Valentine's Day email features not only the deal of the day, the promo code, and product images, but also a fun gif that makes it look like heart-shaped confetti is celebrating the deal along with the recipient.

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Topics: eCommerce, Holiday, Email Marketing

The Essentials of Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers

Posted by Sparkfactor on Feb 9, 2017 9:00:00 AM

If you’re new to the concept of inbound marketing or if you’re looking for a down and dirty rundown of its elements, you've come to the right place.

Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that encourages the integration of multiple marketing tactics, working together to move potential clients down the sales funnel. The goal of inbound marketing is to meet your manufacturing audience where they are in their buying process and create trust through content, all leading to customer acquision.

As you'll see below, there are four main goals that inbound marketing can accomplish for manufacturers and manufactoring companies. Each goal has certain tactics that work best to accomplish this goal, adding up to a cohesive marketing strategy.

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Topics: SEO, Marketing Analytics, Web Design, Social Media, Blogging, Conversion, Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing

The Best Commercials of Super Bowl 51

Posted by Sparkfactor on Feb 6, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Last night, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots beat Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime Super Bowl game in history. And if that wasn't enough excitement for one night, marketers also had a field day watching the Super Bowl commercials.

USA Today's Ad Meter is the traditional determiner of Super Bowl commercial success—no surprise that Kia's Hero's Journey, Honda's Yearbooks, and Budweiser's Born the Hard Way were at the top of the list. Here are the ads we enjoyed last night.

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Topics: Advertising

What Marketers in Any Industry Can Learn from a Cell Phone Company Feud

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Feb 6, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Last night, I watched the Super Bowl along with millions of other sports fans and ad watchers. I tweeted about the ads, took copious notes to be able to write our annual review of the ads, and watched as Tom Brady made a spectacular comeback against Matt Ryan's Falcons (you'll get 'em next time, Matt!).

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Topics: Advertising

7 Essentials Every Restaurant Website Must Have

Posted by Sparkfactor on Jan 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Websites for cafes and restaurants are some of the most visited sites on the Internet. Whether it's to find hours, see a menu, or look for the right place for a first date, a restaurant's website is often the first impression a potential customer will have. It's important that it makes the right first impression. Here are some essentials every restaurant or cafe website should have.

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Topics: Web Design

#InspiredBy Foodies // Chicago Restaurant Week

Posted by Sparkfactor on Jan 27, 2017 9:30:00 AM

What's the one thing you've always wanted to eat? A steak at Gibsons or Morton's, fried pheasant from Cindy's, tapas from Nacional 27? Or maybe it's about where you've always wanted to eat: sit at Booth One at The Pump Room, see the inside of one of Rick Bayless' restaurants.

No matter the reason, the tenth annual Chicago Restaurant Week is the time for all food-lovers in Chicago. Take advantage of the fixed price menus from over 300 restaurants around the Chicagoland area from January 27 to February 9 and eat your way around the city for as little as $22 a meal. Go to locations you've never even heard of and places you've always wanted to try.

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Topics: #InspiredBy, Restaurants

Avoid This Scam and Protect Your Gmail Account

Posted by Sparkfactor on Jan 19, 2017 12:29:18 PM

Last night's news featured a pieces on a new internet phishing scam that is very dangerous, even to tech-savvy users.

As WGN News reports, hackers will send you a email, possibly making it look like it's from a contact you regularly communicate with, which will contain an attachment. When clicked on, the page will direct you to what looks like a Gmail login page; it even has a similar URL to the authentic login page. The authentic Gmail login page is "https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?". The fake page begins with "data:text/html,"

As WordFence reports, the technique that is used in this scam is called a "data URI" which means that the page you're viewing is actually a file that opens in a new tab and creates a functional, fake Gmail login page. 

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The Power of Local SEO For Your Business (Infographic)

Posted by Sparkfactor on Dec 15, 2016 11:15:00 AM

As Google search becomes more sophisticated, search engine optimization (SEO) follows in its footsteps. The rise of mobile users has led to a golden age for local SEO, but it’s also created a huge need for businesses to optimize for both standard and local search results if they want to maximize their organic rankings. Luckily, efforts for one can benefit the other.

Let's look at the growing importance of local SEO for 2017 and beyond, including an infographic that shows your business how to get started with local SEO today.

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Topics: SEO, Marketing, Local Marketing

#InspiredBy Letter Writing

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Dec 13, 2016 9:28:48 AM

Letter Writing Day was last week and full disclosure: I'm the worst pen pal ever. I like the idea of writing to friends and family, and keeping the arts of hand lettering and writing by hand alive, but I'm just the worst at keeping in touch with people. My mom sends her friends cards for their birthdays, major holidays, even anniversaries. I'm lucky if I remember to send one card or letter a year.

While social media posts might seem to allow us to think we know what's going on in our friends' lives, there's something about a hand-written letter that sends out a completely different vibe. It's mail that's not a bill (always a plus); it has a for-your-eyes-only type of secrecy that's the complete opposite of a social media post. It's exciting to learn first-hand what's happening with the people we know and love.

So while it might not be feasible to write hand-written notes to every customer or subscriber, you can take some tenets of the art of writing letters and apply them to your next email or direct marketing campaign.

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Topics: Marketing, Inbound Marketing, #InspiredBy

Google Analytics Vocabulary and Definitions

Posted by Sparkfactor on Dec 7, 2016 8:15:00 AM

Have you ever wondered what some of the terms mean when looking at your Google Analytics account? In this blog post, we give you some of the most popular Google Analytics vocabulary and their definitions to help you get more from all the reports and data Google has to offer.

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Topics: Google, Analytics

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