By Mamie Patton | October 2, 2020

The pandemic has prompted businesses to put longstanding assumptions to the test. Quarantine has revealed that many operating principles were more like unquestioned habits. Companies are reconsidering everything—including where they get the marketing help they need.

By Mike Turner | August 25, 2020

For companies with a local or regional customer base, Google offers a free tool to make them more visible to prospects. We asked our Google wizard, Arlene, to share some of her knowledge. Q: Let’s start at the beginning. What, exactly, is Google My Business? A: It’s a platform, offered free from Google, to help […]

By Mamie Patton | August 18, 2020

In a previous article, we wrote about the McKinsey & Company roadmap as a tool to Rapid Revenue Recovery. Now we’re building on their advice to act quickly by providing five actions you can take now. We believe these are smart investments of your marketing resources that will pay off as we move into the new normal, whatever that may bring.

By Mike Turner | July 31, 2020

Companies planning for the post-COVID era are doing so with less data and less certainty than they’d like. Ensuring website visitors enjoy a smooth experience is a low-cost, low-risk element of a smart recovery plan. Sites that sputter drive visitors away. And they all sputter, eventually, if they don’t get regular attention. The site could […]

By Mamie Patton | July 23, 2020

The world changed and so did marketing. Where do we go from here? First, we were all just trying to keep our balance (along with our health) as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic sank in. Businesses took defensive measures to limit losses in revenue, employees and customers. Work from home and adoption of […]

By Mike Turner | July 9, 2020

We asked our expert, Arlene, to share some of her knowledge. She offered clear observations about a complex topic. Q: We have heard a lot about the importance of user intent. Can you explain? A: The term refers to a more nuanced use of keywords. It contrasts with the simplistic notion that merely including a […]

By David Deasy | May 29, 2020

Our ACD, David Deasy, recalls the first stirrings of his passion. It all started with his parent’s record collection. In the late 70s and early 80s, I could often be found in the family den where my father kept his abundant collection of vinyl record albums. In that same room was his Garrard turntable and […]

By Mike Turner | May 12, 2020

Tracing the root cause of a technical glitch can be fiendishly complex. Here’s why. A client asked us to fix a glitch with their website’s translation function. Our mission to diagnose and cure the problem illustrates how the complexity of the web makes it difficult to gauge the scope of a solution in advance. We […]

By David Deasy | March 25, 2020

We asked our team for suggestions on dealing with being all boxed up at home. They had a million ideas because we’ve been doing “work from home” for almost 2 years. Our experience gives us the authority to tell you what to do. Side projects are good, especially if they’re a little bit off. Sitting […]

By Mike Turner | March 20, 2020

SEO best practices are in a state of perpetual evolution. Things change—things like Google’s algorithm. Also, the behavior of people searching for stuff on the web. Here is an update to keep you on top of developments. Voice search is popular. Apparently, people like to talk. Let’s face it: talking is a lot easier than […]

By Mamie Patton | December 13, 2019

In order to get the word out about your business, you need to use certain organic keywords to attract the attention of Google and everybody else. But the keywords you use for Pay Per Click campaigns (e.g. Google Ads) could be different from the ones you use for organic search engine optimization (SEO). Below, we […]

By Mike Turner | October 21, 2019

It sounds obvious—of course we should diagnose first. But many new clients—fed up with their sites—ask us to skip that part because they can just tell us what’s wrong. Here’s why that’s a bad idea. Maybe a product image isn’t showing correctly, or a bunch of links lead to 404 pages. We understand the urgency—but […]

By Mamie Patton | September 26, 2019

This January, the California Consumer Privacy Act will restrict how companies collect and use data. RLM has a solution to help you stay safely in compliance. CONSUMERS ARE INCREASINGLY CONCERNED AND DISTRUSTFUL ABOUT THE COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF THEIR PERSONAL DATA ON THE INTERNET. After headlines about Target, Equifax, Capital One, Marriott, Yahoo, eBay, Heartland […]

By Mike Turner | September 13, 2019

Website owners must continually improve their user experience by making everything easier, faster, and more rewarding—because people are really impatient. Indeed, a study determined that goldfish can pay attention longer than humans. (No details on the experiment, but if it involved measuring how long a person could focus on a flake of fish food, it […]

By Mike Turner | August 23, 2019

Hackers have devised any number of ways to get their digital destroyers to find cracks in websites. Below we take an illuminating overview of malware, including a few observations on those weird names. Viruses and malware are here to stay. We recently notified our website hosting customers that we were installing crucial updates on their […]

By Mamie Patton | August 7, 2019

Businesses are investing more to acquire page rank and ad position – because it works. In our previous articles in this series, we cited 3 important contributors to the need to budget for ongoing website maintenance and marketing: increased security requirements, expanding complexity in website structure, and rapidly evolving SEO. Each of those factors demand […]

By Mamie Patton | July 12, 2019

The secret to SEO is that there is no secret. Doing it well means doing many things well—consistently. “I used to outrank all of my competitors,” a prospective client told us. “And now I’m barely on page one. I don’t know what happened.” He wanted a new website, and he wanted it to appear at […]

By Mike Turner | May 31, 2019

Your customers expect your site to be a breeze. Here’s how to deliver. Designers and developers are always cramming new features into their sites as bandwidth gets cheaper and devices more powerful. Each feature is an improvement (at least in theory)— but a truckload of improvements can destroy your site’s user experience. We get spoiled […]

By Mamie Patton | February 21, 2019

Small businesses are realizing that hackers aren’t snobs about who they attack. They just want in. And they’ve learned that small to medium sized businesses are easier prey. Easier because of the dangerous delusion that no cybercriminal would try to hack, say, The Kupcake Korner when they could be hacking Pillsbury and its vast, flour-begotten fortune. […]

By Mamie Patton | January 25, 2019

Businesses are waking up to the costs of leaving their websites untended—and the returns they reap when they budget for regular SEO and content updates. The days when you could put a site in place, do some SEO so you’ll show up in a search, and then let it coast, are extinct. This is the […]

By Mamie Patton | January 14, 2019

Video is a necessary power tool for digital marketers. Inclusion of videos on business sites is huge and expected to grow. A good video can give users helpful information, how-to demonstrations, and other content that is proven to drive conversions. Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. The average CVR […]

By Mamie Patton | September 28, 2018

Google turns 20. In two brief decades, it built the second most powerful brand in the world, behind Apple. It transformed a misspelled math term into a verb – just google to find the correct spelling. Thankfully, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page dropped the original name, which was BackRub. “Hey, did you BackRub that […]

By Mike Turner | September 7, 2018

Aglets are those plastic tips on shoelaces. You should not care about National Aglet Day. National Aglet Day doesn’t even exist. But wait: Why not? We have a National Day for cheeseballs, rubber erasers and lumpy rugs. (Fact!) Why are aglets just flat-out ignored? If you’re saying “Because they are not important enough to get […]

By Mike Turner | August 22, 2018

A brief look at boneheaded attempts to dupe the algorithm. Here’s a devious idea. (Also, hilarious.) I was catching up with my niece’s husband at a recent family reunion. As we sipped beer from red Solo cups while waiting for the barbecue to work its magic, my kinda-relative was asking me about SEO. I am […]

By Avery Hocutt | July 17, 2018

Why your business is not “too small to be hacked.” When many business owners read about huge cyberattacks like the one that hit Equifax, they’re interested, but not overly worried. They tend to believe that they, themselves aren’t at risk for a similar breach, because their business isn’t “big enough” to attract the attention of […]

By Avery Hocutt | June 29, 2018

The GDPR has been implemented for a month. Here’s what’s changed. The Internet would like to apologize for all the scary-sounding warnings you received over the last month or two. You know the ones we’re talking about. There’s something saying “Our privacy policy has changed” and there’s something else about yadda yadda yadda. Also: the […]

By Avery Hocutt | June 7, 2018

If you’re like us, summer probably has you ready to pack a cooler, hop in the car, and hit your nearest beach, lake, or cookout. But before you break out the shorts and burgers, take some time to reevaluate your digital marketing strategy. Summer is a fantastic time of year to get rid of digital […]

By Avery Hocutt | April 20, 2018

The Equifax hack was one of the worst cybersecurity breaches in American history. Here’s how it happened: hackers entered the Equifax servers through Apache Struts, a popular open-source development framework for Web applications. The Equifax hack ultimately compromised the personal data of over 143 million people, or about half the U.S. population. By now, we […]

By Avery Hocutt | April 9, 2018

Not so long ago, only huge corporations and nationally-recognized brands were interested in building their own mobile apps. Nowadays, though, companies of all sizes are using their own mobile apps to keep their customers engaged on the go. With mobile app revenue slated to hit $189 billion in the next decade, there’s never been a […]

By Avery Hocutt | March 30, 2018

Your new website is finally launched. Time to kick back and relax, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The moment your gleaming new site goes live, various forces are already starting to pick away at it. Hackers poke at your infrastructure. Updates bob around, promising to make things better, yet often failing to do so. […]

By Avery Hocutt | March 9, 2018

Top 5 tips to master location-based SEO In the caveman days of SEO, when we were all just sitting around banging digital sticks together, trying to figure out how the darn thing worked, broad keywords were all the rage. It wasn’t unusual to see a domain name that said, simply, “” Location-based SEO wasn’t on […]

By Avery Hocutt | February 13, 2018

Understanding website accessibility The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation. Established in 1990, the ADA lays out detailed standards for public accommodation for the disabled, among other things. As the digital world began to evolve, a new question began to arise: Does the ADA apply […]

By Avery Hocutt | January 24, 2018

Searching for an SEO company? Look for these 5 key traits. SEO is a powerful strategy that can be used to elevate your search rankings and boost your sales. Unfortunately, many SEO agencies lack the skills and experience to implement SEO effectively. Below are 5 characteristics of a great SEO company. 1. They tell you […]

By Avery Hocutt | December 21, 2017

“The most aggressive campaign we have seen to date” Early Tuesday morning, WordFence, a WordPress cybersecurity service, posted an alert of a massive brute force attack campaign that was mounting by the second. By the time the world started waking up, the campaign had peaked at 14 million attacks per hour. This means that this WordPress […]

By Mike Turner | December 4, 2017

It’s time to consider the many ways Christmas trees can be used once the holidays are over. Poor Christmas trees. We spend a whole season decorating and adoring them; then, when the festivities are over, we leave them out by the curb. This year, we say, enough is enough, and look to answer one of life’s […]

By Mike Turner | November 20, 2017

We get a lot of new clients whose first request is that we do something about their website. They don’t like it any more. (Or they hated it from day one.) As we get started on transforming their site, we often discover common website mistakes that can hurt businesses. If we were obnoxious snarksters, we’d […]

By Avery Hocutt | November 9, 2017

B2B sales get easier with LinkedIn lead generation forms. Ever tried to fill out a long, boring web form on your mobile phone? One glance at a dozen boxes to fill out makes you want to revisit that how-to video on getting rid of carpet stains. That’s why we’re psyched about the new LinkedIn lead […]

By Mamie Patton | August 23, 2017

“So, who’s managing the back end of your web site?” “Oh, we got a guy.” And thus strike the gongs of doom. More often than we’d like, clients come to us because they used “A guy.” It conjures images of a self-taught, one-man shop working out of his basement to make websites on the cheap. […]

By Mike Turner | February 16, 2017

Amazingly, some stock photography doesn’t suck. So why hire a pro for professional photography shots? There was a time when every single stock photograph in the whole universe was an embarrassment to the very idea of imagery. I am still haunted by the memory of disturbingly phony models posing stiffly, their unnaturally white teeth glaring […]

By Mike Turner | December 7, 2016

For this year’s holiday blog, we present our observations on yuletide traditions that are mildly confusing. All of us at Red Letter Marketing adore holiday customs and lore—even when we’re not really sure what they mean. Some traditions have been around so long that we in the 21st century find ourselves befuddled by them. For […]

By Mamie Patton | November 29, 2016

More and more consumers are using smartphones for online shopping. Are you adapting to suit their needs? With more than half of all internet traffic coming from a mobile device, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is primed for mobile viewing and mobile online shopping. The research below can be used […]

By Mamie Patton | November 15, 2016

Brands have a lot to learn about engaging on social media. Sprout Social recently surveyed over 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to learn what social media branding actions drive them away, and what entices them to become followers. The survey, called the Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index, reveals important information about brands and social […]

By Mamie Patton | October 18, 2016

69% of Americans admit to using their smartphones in bathrooms. “I can’t live without my phone!” Let’s face it, most of us are guilty of saying this. But maybe we’re taking it a bit too far. A recently conducted study revealed that majority of Americans are guilty of using their smartphones in bathrooms. Check out our […]

By Olaf Ebert | October 4, 2016

Research and data are the lifeblood of great marketing. When you conduct marketing research, you can go two ways. You can either gather primary research data, which is new information specifically collected for your immediate research needs. Or, you can use secondary marketing research sources, or data that’s collected by others. The information you need […]

By Mamie Patton | September 20, 2016

Apps aren’t just for games and social media any more. Mobile app marketing unlocks a whole new world to drive brand engagement. Smartphone use should really be called “app-phone” use. In this infographic, we list the most popular apps people are using today. Keep in mind that there are endless opportunities to engage your customers […]

By Mamie Patton | August 16, 2016

When is it appropriate to show multiple brand personalities in social media? Learn more about Facebook branding strategy below. A client had an interesting Facebook branding strategy question. Their events management business, based at a beautiful, unique location, hosts all kinds of events, from weddings to corporate meetings. They wanted our advice on one of […]

By Mike Turner | August 9, 2016

Oh come on—of course market research is our friend. But some folks (particularly creative types) think of market research as a dastardly plot conceived by zombie hordes of humorless quants on a mission to destroy everything that is vibrant and alive in commercial communication. Why does anybody think this? Well, one theory is that these […]

By Greg Harron | August 3, 2016

The internet has become a massive black hole of content. Here are some content marketing tips that can help you execute a smart content strategy in spite of it. Beautifully created content is getting lost in cyberspace. It’s dropped off on the side of the road in the most remote areas of the information superhighway, […]

By Mamie Patton | July 15, 2016

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “Christmas in July”, a phrase used loosely to describe summer indulgences. It holds an actual function for countries in the Southern hemisphere, whose seasons are reversed. And though we find ourselves on the top half of the planet, we are thinking about the holidays even in the 90+ degree […]

By Mamie Patton | July 8, 2016

Experts have long predicted that TV and radio will lose a Darwinian battle to subscription on-demand services like Netflix. But Nielsen’s latest report shows TV’s still going strong. The recent Nielsen Q1 2016 Total Audience Report indicates the media evolution trend is continuing. However, broadcast—that’s TV and radio combined—is still the most powerful medium. For […]

By Mike Turner | June 22, 2016

Is the client always right? Well…no. Here’s how to spot when a client is going against their own best interests, and how to say no (politely). How to say no to a client? And when is it appropriate to do so? Sometimes, it isn’t appropriate. For instance, consider this scenario. Client: Shouldn’t the email blast […]

By Mamie Patton | June 8, 2016

The classic marketing mix is referred to as the 4 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. It originated in 1960, and over time marketers added additional P’s, like Packaging, People, and so on. I once worked for a corporation that used 10 P’s. (No, I can’t recite them). Whatever the number, the point was to […]

By Mamie Patton | June 3, 2016

What’s On Your Whiteboard? Every desk at Red Letter Marketing has at least three screens on display: multiple computer monitors, smart phones, and tablets. But our favorite brainstorming and puzzle solving tool is the good old whiteboard. Our main conference room has a 14-foot whiteboard that inspires team members and clients alike to bigger thinking. […]

By Mamie Patton | May 20, 2016

Here’s a business cybersecurity story that happens all too often. A financial services company provides a website portal for their clients to access their investment accounts. Clients visit frequently to review their accounts and browse the company’s rich library of helpful information. One afternoon, while the company president is at lunch with a client, he receives […]

By Mike Turner | April 21, 2016

For our four-year anniversary, we bought ourselves a new logo. And yes, “bought” is the correct verb. We’re paying for our new logo in both man hours and legal tender—so it is not an idle decision we made on the spur of our third flute of anniversary champagne. Was there something seriously wrong with our […]

By Mamie Patton | April 12, 2016

Professional content writers can rejoice. Though the all-knowing algorithm remains under lock and key, Google’s Search Quality Guidelines were released less than 6 months ago. A cursory reading of these guidelines shows that Google now gives primacy to content written by professional content writers. In short, the internet’s most powerful force now favor skillful, authoritative […]

By Mamie Patton | April 7, 2016

Modern consumers have more visual exposure to brands than ever before. This overexposure means it’s important to make sure your brand works on all platforms–and that means great logo design. Check out the 4 criteria below to ensure a fantastic logo design that has an effect on your audience. 1. Simplicity “Keep it simple, stupid.” […]

By Greg Harron | March 29, 2016

After winning the Final Four, SEMrush is the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Champion! After the Final Four, SEMrush capped an amazing tournament run with a buzzer beater upset victory over giants Google Analytics. And after making it through the earlier rounds with impressive victories over social media superstars Sprout Social and Simply Measured, SEMrush seemed […]

By Greg Harron | March 25, 2016

Round 2: Elite 8 Matchups Set for Monday, March 28th! After a whirlwind Sweet 16 round, we are down to 8 teams left in the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Tournament. Who will win the Elite 8? ROUND 2 SCHEDULE 1 @Hootsuite vs 2 @SproutSocial – Sprout Social advances to the Final Four! 3 @Marketo vs […]

By Greg Harron | March 22, 2016

We are excited to host the 2016 RLM Marketing Madness Tournament, an epic battle for bragging rights among the top digital marketing tools available today. The Marketing Madness Tournament Selection Committee has been hard at work reviewing the potential participants and determining the top 16 seeds. We selected each team based on its number of […]

By Mamie Patton | March 15, 2016

The most popular definition of marketing, according to a quick Google search, is “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” This definition, while practical, covers a common, but short-sighted perception of the role of marketing. By this description, companies make a product or service, and it’s the […]

By Greg Harron | March 1, 2016

The world of social media changes fast. Here are 5 recent social media marketing articles (and podcasts) that caught our eye, and their main takeaways. 1. A map for the minefield. For small business owners, social media marketing is a playing field that can result in a lot of wasted time and energy if not […]

By Greg Harron | February 22, 2016

How to create a mobile app design that truly resonates Today’s technology gives us access to devices with extremely high resolution and amazing display capabilities. However, not all devices (or all users) are created equally. In other words, with great resolution comes great responsibility. Here’s how to create compelling mobile app design despite all the bells […]

By Mike Turner | February 12, 2016

How agencies should respond to client feedback—and how they shouldn’t In our first discovery meeting with a new client, we discovered how badly the company’s previous web design company had treated it. As a new website had taken shape, the client had posed reasonable questions concerning some of the creative decisions made by the designers. Among […]

By Mamie Patton | February 5, 2016

Strategy. Execution. Results. The RLM Nerf War is on. The battle horn blows. The thunderous clap of a hundred geldings tears through the morning air. The techies approach, weapons in hand, following their gallant leader, Lord Javier: Warden of the North and Defender of the Motherboard. It is time. The Nerf War is upon us. First, […]

By Mamie Patton | January 26, 2016

At Red Letter Marketing, we specialize in helping our clients get the right website for their needs. That might require building a new custom site, a templated site, or updating their existing site. But no matter what, we also know every site requires regular website maintenance, and we want you to understand why. Website functionalities […]

By Mamie Patton | October 9, 2015

The Volkswagen emission scandal is the latest example of a company that seriously damaged its brand credibility. Can Volkswagen ever recover its customers’ trust? Volkswagen managed to seriously damage over 50 years of brand credibility with their stupid “diesel dupe” software scandal. Share value has fallen over 30% since news of the debacle broke. Trust will […]

By Mamie Patton | September 30, 2015

What is Branding? Branding is the ongoing activity that creates experiences and strengthens the bonds between people and a company. In other words, it’s taking a brand and making something positive happen with it. It’s a verb. So the deeper question than “what is branding” is, what’s a brand? What’s this thing we’re going to […]

By Mamie Patton | September 17, 2015

We wanted to learn what’s important to NC businesses when it comes to marketing. So we conducted an informal survey to discover common threads of thought. If you’ve ever felt like the tidal wave of new marketing technologies and media is overwhelming, you’re not alone. NC businesses report their top marketing challenges are generating leads, […]