[IMAGE]12152[/IMAGE]Vector SecurityBest Web Site Design
Sponsored by Campus Safety Magazine
New Look Web Site Delivers More for the Customer
Last year Vector Security introduced a redesigned Web site incorporating a rich array of new content categories to foster customer relationships. Also new are account maintenance capabilities and other interactivity to build site traffic.
Upon going live in August, the new Web site experienced a 300-percent increase in online customer inquiries during a 90-day period, says Dave Merrick, Vector’s vice president of marketing.
“A lot of it was due to the higher level of interaction that the site allows people to have,” he says. “Like scheduling a service call, changing billing addresses, applying for an insurance discount where we handle all of the paperwork. So many things to keep them engaged.”
As an example of the new informational resources, “Vector in the Community” highlights the many types of community and charitable activities the company participates in and supports. In the extensive “Threats That Affect You” section, users can learn more about potential security threats to their residence, family or business. The idea here is to help educate consumers and business owners to make better safety choices, as well discuss how Vector can meet their security and fire/life-safety needs.
In awarding Vector Security the SAMMY trophy, the judges lauded the Web site for its breadth of content, user-friendly site navigation and neatly organized design. Working behind the scenes to create a more successful site is an improved search engine optimization platform. Also key for the company, the site was constructed in a .NET content management system with a simple text editor.
“One of the biggest problems we had before was every time copy needed to be changed or pages added, it had to go to the IT company that produced the Web site,” Merrick says. “Now we can handle it ourselves. It’s far more expedient.”
Planning for the redesign began in earnest in 2009. Merrick led a group of six company staffers in strategy and copywriting sessions before taking a mostly “finished product” to an outside Web site design vendor, he says.
In creating new content for the site, the goal was to transcend industry terminology to ensure the information remained emotionally relative and easy to understand. “It’s not the technology that people really care about, in my estimation,” Merrick says. “It is the experience and peace of mind.”
Best Company Newsletter
Sponsored by PSA Security Network
Customer Education Brings New Business
As one of its strategies to gain business, Urban Alarm of Washington, D.C., which has a mix of residential and commercial customers, educates its existing and prospective clients. The company does that with its Security Strategies newsletter, which earned Urban Alarm the SAMMY award for Best Company Newsletter.
“We look for opportunities to provide information and education to help clients become more effective as an organization,” says Urban Alarm President Miles Fawcett. “For us, we put informing and educating above selling. We want our customers and prospects to view us as a resource, or if they have an issue and the need to come up with a clear strategy, they can contact us, and we can help them figure out the best approach.”
Designed and written by Urban Alarm’s two-person marketing team, the newsletter’s main readership targets include commercial clients and property managers. “By creating this in-house, we can control the message and the quality very closely,” says Fawcett.
Each issue features case studies and best practice techniques, and on occasion, Urban Alarm includes a special product offer. Customers can read follow-up information on material featured in the publication on Urban Alarm’s online blog, says Fawcett. Readers receive Security Strategies, which goes out seven times a year, by direct mail or E-mail. Fawcett plans to release quarterly editions of the newsletter in the future.
A main challenge for the newsletter is making sure clients actually read it, Fawcett notes. However, he remains optimistic that once customers see the value in the content, they will become more responsive to the information.
So far, the education strategy has been effective for the company, which saw its business grow more than 100 percent in 2010, says Fawcett. With roughly 600 accounts, the company adds about 20 a month.
“Our marketing budget is growing because we’re producing a return,” he says. “As long as we continue to see that kind of growth from our investments, we will keep increasing that spending.”
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