Welcome to our blog

19 Dec 2013

The positive stream of online media choices and the ever increasing willingness for people to adopt them means that, for businesses to be a success online they need to create a different kind of relationship with their customers and then manage carefully nature it.

As consumers and decision makers we receive our information online, process it and are continually influenced by the Internet, social-networking sites, mobile phones and much more. Despite the technological advances in most of our lives, each designed to make our lives simpler – most people use the same logic to make their online decisions as they do offline ones. We all understand how the average online decision maker has more information at their finger tips than ever before with more products, businesses and brands to choose from. But it’s ‘choice’ that many businesses still struggle to get to grips with – your customers choose who they are interested in, they choose the products they buy, the brands they become loyal to and businesses they deal with.

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2 Nov 2013

Following our previous blog post on Search Engine Optimisation – here’s an outline from The Energy Cell into some of the basic principles of conversion optimisation – another important element of online marketing strategy. As well as investing efforts to help improve the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your site, another hurdle is to convert these visitors into paying customers. A good conversion rate may be relative from business to business, but to make sure you are getting the most from your website, you need to carefully evaluate exactly what your site is saying and the ways in which it is saying it.

Once you have clearly established what it is you need your website to do and the action you wish your visitors to take, (whether this is online sales or lead generation) your site should be optimised to achieve these goals through both design & functionality and the content. Here at The Energy Cell, our websites are always designed to the highest standards, using a combination of experience and science to create sites based upon a fundamental principle for success – ease of use. A good website should never waste your visitors’ time by making them think too hard – your calls to action should be clear and consistent, swiftly directing users to where they want to be and making the checkout process or action as quick and easy as possible, to convert the sale and reduce the chance of them looking elsewhere. The power of high quality design should also not be undermined: sites that not only look professional and well crafted but are clearly laid out, powerfully branded and importantly, consistent will help make your brand more recognisable and give the user more confidence in the quality of your services. From a technical perspective, your site should also perform to expected standards, should be designed with accessiblity and usability in mind, and optimised and browser tested for different web browsers and mobile devices.

As well as being optimised for search engines, the content of your website needs to do more than just provide descriptions of your company, products or services. In order to improve your conversion rate, you need to build trust between you and your users; this can be done by the use of accreditation marks but also through providing accurate and thorough information: everything your user may possibly want to know should be readily available, including a good help or FAQ section, information about returns policies and full contact information. You should always be able to provide any guarantees or promises you make on your site: the aim is not just to reel in impulse buyers, but to convert visitors into loyal customers.

From a commercial aspect there are some simple points to remember that can make a big difference. Your site should emphasize your USPs: what is it your site can offer that others don’t? If you are not selling unique products or services, are you offering competitive prices, voucher or offer codes, free delivery, different payment options or guarantees? Reviews can also boost conversion rates: allowing user feedback will increase buyer confidence but again, it is crucial that you are able to provide the services you offer to a high standard, as numerous negative reviews will reduce rather than improve your rates of conversion. Finally, regularly use analytics to track your user activity and see which elements of your website are the most successful. Making adjustments to your site to boost conversion rates can often be a case of trial and error: try out new ideas and be prepared to admit mistakes if the outcomes aren’t as you hoped.

These are merely some of the fundamental principles of conversion optimisation: as with all areas of web design and marketing, there is no substitute for professional knowledge and expertise, so for more information about our services just get in contact and our team can help!


28 Oct 2013

Copywriting for the web isn’t as simple as putting words on a page. In fact, it’s not really about writing at all…

Poetry has its place – but it’s not on your homepage. Writing web content is all about effective communication. Compelling your audience to believe in your products and services. Motivating them to take action.

It’s a skilled art. Engaging prospects on the web is much harder than traditional print media: people tend to only skim read words on the screen – and with so much competition for their attention, precise language is the only way to capture interest.

So, if you’ve been assigned the task of writing for the web, here are some simple tips that could help you optimise your writing and boost conversion rates

Keep it to the point. That doesn’t necessarily mean keep it short. Your audience requires sufficient detail to make an informed decision, whether that’s 50 words or 500. It means keep concise; every sentence should have a purpose. There’s no room for endless waffle or jargon-filled passages requiring a dictionary to decipher them – which leads to our next point…

Don’t make your audience think. Clever word play and flowery description may leave us with a glow of pride in our own intellectual efforts… but your audience might not be quite so impressed if they have to work out what it is your actually selling. Keep it simple!

Focus on the benefits. So the Widget3000 is now 50% lighter with Bluetooth capability… so what? What’s the positive effect this brand-new or exclusive feature will have on your audience? If your product or service could save them time, save them money… make sure you tell them!

THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD BUY OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. Your headline: it needs to be a succinct and powerful motivator explaining what you do and why they should buy from you. So whilst we aren’t all gifted writers, if you want your audience to read the body of your text – you need to make sure it’s right. Finally…

Remember who you’re talking to. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your prospect. How do you want to be spoken to? What kind of personality do you expect the company to have? Although you need to make sure you take SEO into account, text should be written with the end reader in mind. Always check the balance of text is focused on ‘you’… not ‘we’.

With professional copy, every word of every sentence is specially selected, scrutinised and tested – so you can guarantee even the shortest, simplest and most unassuming piece has been carefully crafted to fulfill set objectives. Here at The Energy Cell, our professional copywriters know exactly what it takes to create strong, memorable and unambiguous content… so for a chat about how we could help you, just get in touch! In the meantime, keep an eye out for more blogs on all things design and marketing… and don’t worry, we’ll keep our attempts at poetry strictly offline!


22 Oct 2013

With the recent redesign of a certain iconic blue bird setting many people atwitter, we thought we’d take a look into just how effective company mascots can be, what it takes to make them a success and how to know if they are right for your business.

If your business is targeted at a younger audience, naturally a mascot is likely to be well-received. There’s a reason children’s cereal boxes are adorned with tigers, monkeys and a multitude of other cheery creatures – when it comes to kids, cute characters equals higher sales.

However, the use of mascots isn’t confined to products aimed at the younger generation. Consider the success of Compare the Market’s ‘Aleksandr Orlov’ advertising campaign: the animated Russian meerkat received an overwhelming response by the public – not only does the character have over 800,000 likes on Facebook and 50,000 followers on Twitter, but a range of merchandise in its own right and a dramatic boost in sales for the car insurance company behind it– all by imprinting the name on the minds of people across the UK.

The fashion for mascots in advertising is fairly perpetual. A well-crafted mascot can give your business a tangible and recognizable personality, increasing exposure, memorability and loyalty and – in the case of characters like the Duracell Bunny and Michelin Man – if they capture the hearts of the public, can become an iconic part of your company heritage. However, bear in mind that a character created solely for print purposes will be unlikely to achieve this. To add dimension and personality to your character and traction to your campaign, it’ll need to be accompanied by a whole host of activity (including TV or video) – the whole carefully executed package makes it a success, not the character alone.

It’s impossible to predict how popular a character could become, but understanding your target demographic is key. If your company offers more serious products or services, light-hearted gimmicks and graphics rarely have a place. However, if you’re selling biscuits, cartridges, email marketing services or anything between and beyond, a mascot can add life and light-heartedness to your business. This can be especially useful if your products or services are more everyday, and if things happen to go wrong (like Twitter’s famous ‘Fail Whale’) your client base may be more forgiving of a heartfelt apology with a face than an impersonal e-mail or error message.

So, if it seems a mascot could be beneficial for your business, how do you go about designing one? Consider this example from a recent advertising campaign:

The Energy Cell | Mascots in Marketing | EDF Zingy Flame

Image: http://beatbots.net/project/zingy/

Do you recognise it? Do you know where from? And most importantly… do you know which company it’s representing?

If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, then it’s doing its job perfectly. If not, consider what may be missing. Is the mascot tied closely enough to the business to make it effective as a sales device, rather than simply amusing the audience? We surveyed our team here in the office with the same questions. Everyone loved the energy flame character but only half knew the company name, and some even confused it with the name of their competitor!

When it comes to creating mascots or implementing any major new marketing activity for your business, its always advisable to get the professionals involved. Here at The Energy Cell, our experienced team understands exactly what it takes to create and implement a successful and comprehensive campaign – so if you have a project you’d like to discuss, just get in touch!


28 Sep 2013

£25-28k (DOE)

The Energy Cell is seeking a talented PHP web developer, who is passionate about user experience to join us full-time in our Lincoln studio.

Founded in 1999, The Energy Cell is a multi-disciplinary studio, combining big agency process and reliability with all the flexibility and personal values of a small team. Providing experience and passion to all of our client projects ensures that we are committed to delivering results.

Our process involves working together with our clients and over the last 15 years, The Energy Cell has worked with clients such as – AVG, Berol, Elle, Flavia, Kafevend, Klix, Laithwaites, Mars Drinks, Nestle, Virgin and Visit Lincoln.

Ideally you will be stacked with experience in back-end development and have strong front-end skills, with a keen eye for design.

Working alongside our other designers and developers, you will work on projects from the ground up. This will involve developing websites with both the ExpressionEngine CMS and Magento e-commerce platform.

To qualify:
– Coding in PHP, MySQL, jQuery and HTML5/CSS3
– A passion for both development and user experience
– A thirst for applying knowledge of industry trends and developments
– Working with CMS platforms such as ExpressionEngine, Magento and WordPress
– A love for Test-Driven Development
– MVC and DRY coding patterns

Extra points for:
– Experience working with RESTful APIs, such as Google Maps
– Mobile First and Responsive Design
– Experience working with Version Control, such as Git

Skills required:
– PHP, MySQL, jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, ExpressionEngine, Magento, User Experience, Information Architecture

Interested? Email jobs@energycell.co.uk with your CV and links to current examples of your work / projects you have delivered as part of a team


Discuss your project with us

+44 (0)1522 518 100