Let’s face it: There’s quite a bit of negative sentiment around targeted advertising. It’s not unwarranted — consumers often complain that collecting information from their individual browsing behaviors, such as page visits and searches, to optimally select which advertisements they see, is invasive and, some might even say, “creepy.”
Done right, however, ad targeting has the potential to attract new customers, help retain existing ones and boost your brand profile. Here’s how.
What is Targeted Advertising?
Targeted advertising uses data collected about consumers — such as demographic information, browsing history, and website interaction — to create and serve advertisements that match customer preferences.
Where Can You Publish Targeted Ads?
Brands have a host of options when it comes to publishing targeted ads. For customers that have opted-in to newsletters and offers, email is a great way to serve up advertisements to consumers that are already interested in your brand.
To reach a broader audience, meanwhile, marketers can pay for targeted advertisements to be shown on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
Other options include publishing targeted ads in users’ Google search results or via the Google display network, which reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide. Both fall under the larger banner of Google Ads, and costs are based on an auction system. Marketers input the maximum amount per click they’re willing to pay for an ad, and Google then determines ad pricing and position based on overall ad quality and maximum bid. Worth noting? Brands are only charged when someone clicks through on your link.
So how do you put ad targeting to work for your business? Here are 10 best practices to boost your ad impact.
Ad Targeting Best Practices
- Targeted advertising uses data collected about consumers — such as demographic information, browsing history, and website interaction — to create and serve advertisements that match customer preferences.
1. Give Consumers Content They Care About
Instead of telling customers what they already know, use targeted ads as an opportunity to provide consumers with new information and other offers that might interest them based on their previous buying and browsing behaviors. Make it clear to your customers that you care about them by giving them content that is carefully targeted toward what they would want to see in an ad.
The takeaway: Consumers want new, fresh content .
2. Keep it Interesting
The reason they call marketing “creative” is because it should be exciting, attention-grabbing, and anything but boring. We all know that ads are easy to ignore, so for a targeted ad to perform well, it has to really stand out from the rest.
The takeaway: Make your ads eye-catching.
3. Set a Cap on Frequency
You need to remember that while proper ad targeting should provide a benefit to your customers, too much of it will most likely have the opposite effect. Consider the perspective of a consumer and think about how annoyed you would be if you were constantly served the same ad on dozens of different websites.
The takeaway: Don’t bombard your customers with ads.
4. Find the Right Place
Not every platform is the ideal place for your ads. While simple and streamlined ads make sense on Google search results, it’s worth taking the time to craft more intricate advertisements for Instagram or Facebook marketing campaigns that are more likely to see users stop on scrolling when they reach your ad and click through, either to a new page or to watch a video.
The takeaway: Just like real estate, effective ad targeting is all about location, location, location.
5. Pinpoint Your Audience
The key to any targeted advertisement is finding your target audience. If you’re serving up ads to customers that don’t match their preferences, you won’t see the click-through rates you’re looking for. As a result, it’s critical to do your research: Find tools that let you create custom ads based on personalized customer data and also help you see the bigger picture by identifying common traits among your audience.
The takeaway: Even the best ad won’t work on the wrong audience.
6. Don’t get too Specific
On the other side of the coin, it’s important to make your ads broad enough that they capture a decent segment of your target market. For example, while you could create an ad that specifically targets redheaded men between 20 and 22 living in Kansas who own golden retrievers and drive electric cars, the specificity of this ad is so high that it likely won’t show up on many social or search feeds and won’t capture a large enough audience share.
The takeaway: Effective marketing walks the line between targeted efforts and too-specific ads.
7. Think Outside the Box
Building targeted ad campaigns means thinking about what your audience wants. Let’s say you own a real estate company and you’re looking to help customers sell their current homes or buy new ones. Your obvious target market is people searching for realtors in their area or checking out the home prices in their neighborhood.
But it’s also worth considering parallel markets that are tied to your primary target. When it comes to real estate this might include searches for moving boxes, truck and van rentals, or storage lockers that could indicate customers are preparing to move. By thinking outside the box to include parallel markets, you can expand your reach without losing your focus.
The takeaway: Targeted marketing relies on both depth of personalization and breadth of interest.
8. Test, Test, Test
Even the best-laid advertising efforts don’t always go to plan. As a result, it’s worth conducting regular A/B testing to see which ads perform the best in specific scenarios and which can’t keep pace. Once you’ve identified frontrunners, you can tweak them even more through ongoing A/B testing to get the best return on investment.
The takeaway: Nothing works perfectly the first time. Test your ads to improve their performance.
9. Cast a Wide Net
Chances are that one advertising platform will work best for a new ad campaign. The caveat? You won’t know which one until you try them all. While it’s not worth spending your entire ad budget to blanket the Internet with new marketing efforts, it’s worth dipping your toe into multiple ad platforms to see what sticks.
The takeaway: Wide nets let you find where customers are swimming and adjust tactics to match.
10. Measure your Impact
If ads are getting seen and clicks are coming in, then everything’s going to plan, right? Maybe, maybe not. To ensure targeted ad efforts are paying dividends, it’s critical to define key performance metrics and regularly measure these metrics to ensure ads are living up to expectations. For example, you could measure the total value of conversions against the cost of a targeted marketing campaign to see if the numbers add up.
The takeaway: Track the numbers to make sure ad spend makes sense.
Targeted Ad Examples
- The New York Times
- Nom Nom
- Kay Jewelers
It’s one thing to read about best practices — it’s another to see them in action. To help you visualize what effective ad targeting looks like, we’ve collected seven great examples.
1. The New York Times
This ad works because it targets a specific audience segment — those in their 20s — and offers actionable advice for their health. Sure, there’s part of that segment that won’t respond because they’re not worried about health habits, but those that do click through are primed to engage with the targeted content being served.
And while the Facebook reactions show a number of “mad” faces, this isn’t necessarily a downside, since it indicates the ad is prompting user interest.
2. Nom Nom
This ad targets a high-spending group: Pet owners. It also incorporates a customer testimonial to help convince viewers that it’s worth clicking through to find out what’s being offered.
It’s also worth noting the tagline in the bottom-left of the ad — “the only dog food like it”. This is a big claim to make but has a good chance of capturing targeted audience interest. And if the claim is backed up when they click through, there’s a solid chance of conversion.
Pandemic pressures have made it clear that companies need to find better ways of doing work. One of the biggest productivity killers? Meetings. That’s why this targeted Slack ad works — the campaign offers the potential of 25% fewer meetings by making communication better across the company. While this kind of ad requires business decision-makers to get on board, if enough staff see and mention the ad it can generate significant corporate traction.
Who knew that tree tents and tree hammocks were a thing? Probably not most people. That’s the genius of this ad — while it targets a smaller segment of the market looking for the “best” tree hammocks, it also casts a wider net by introducing a larger group of users to the concept of above-ground tent products.
Even better, it promises a look into “real vs. fake” products, giving visitors a chance to see what the difference is by clicking through.
Saying that something doesn’t work in an ad is a risky bet — unless you can back it up. That’s the idea behind this 360Learning ad, which claims that Netflix-style “binge” learning can’t address the current issues with remote and online learning.
The promise of an eBook is a good way to get users to click through, and so long as there’s actionable information available it’s a solid start on customer engagement that could lead to more sales.
6. Kay Jewelers
The image above is enough to give an idea of what’s going on — the dog is bringing a piece of jewelry to its owner, courtesy of their partner. The actual Facebook ad itself is a video that shows the owner happily receiving the gift and does a good job of conveying a sense of love, family, and connection.
Perhaps even more importantly, however, is that no other context is needed to understand the video. There’s no text aside from the Kay logo and tagline, and no sound is required to parse what’s happening. Here, emotions are the target and the ad hits home.
Peloton had a banner year in 2020, but as pandemic pressures begin to ease the interactive bike manufacturer is experiencing a slowdown in growth. This targeted ad speaks to those interested in the bike but daunted by its high price tag.
By offering a 100-day home trial with the option to return the bike for a full refund at the end of the trial, Peloton is looking to capture and convert a historically hesitant section of its audience by giving them the chance to experience the product risk-free.
Hitting the Bullseye
Not every ad will land exactly as expected with your audience. But with targeted ad efforts that follow best practices and keep in mind the key rule of ad targeting — give the customer what they want — it’s possible to avoid criticisms of “creepy”, capture customer attention, and drive increased conversions.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 27, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated May 27 2022
11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue
When you think about what factors and processes are needed to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you might consider these first: more sophisticated personalization, leveraging first-party data more effectively, or more precise targeting and timing.
While those are all important, there’s another more fundamental aspect of email marketing that’s just as critical to success: email design.
With more than 333 billion emails sent and received every day, and adults logging more screen time than ever before, it’s never been more crucial to have well-designed emails that can quickly cut through the overflowing inbox clutter, capture recipients’ attention and compel them to take the desired action.
Whether you’re looking to supercharge your email newsletter or inject new life into your lifecycle email campaign strategy, here are 11 email design tips and examples that can drive site traffic, purchase intent, conversions and revenue.
“All aspects of email design – including accessibility, readability, layout and responsiveness – have a huge impact on open rates and conversions. In reality, email marketing design is the gatekeeper to campaign success.”
— Samantha McGrady, Tinuiti Strategist, Lifecycle Marketing
Essential Elements of an Email
You might not consider all these quote-unquote “design” components, but they all play a central role in how an email is perceived and consumed.
- Subject line
- Pre-header text
- Color scheme
- Body copy
- Signature and footer
- Unsubscribe button
The Eleven Keys to Effective Email Design
All elements of an email come together to create an overall design. Whether that design is cohesive or advances the objectives of the email depends on how well the individual elements are executed. Here are 11 tips for making email design work for you.
1. Responsive Designs Pay Off
Mobile-friendly email design is a must. While the exact percentage of emails opened on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets vary by source, it’s estimated that over half of all emails are accessed on mobile. That means ensuring an email displays correctly and can be read easily across devices, screens and resolutions are essential. If an email displays poorly, it’s likely to be deleted in under three seconds.
Utilizing a responsive email template will automatically adjust your email to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Most drag-and-drop email builders feature built-in responsive design templates, but you’ll also want to keep mobile formatting in mind when considering image size and the length of copy blocks within the email.
2. Keep Accessibility Top-of-Mind
One key aspect of email design that goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness is accessibility. Accessibility refers to an email’s ability to be received and understood by persons with disabilities or using assistive devices. So just as responsive design ensures that emails can be accessed across device formats, good accessibility practices preserve an email’s usability regardless of the recipient’s circumstances.
An accessible email will have a logical flow and high readability in terms of descriptive subject lines, links and headers, and larger and well-spaced typefaces. It will also use high color contrast and utilize alt-text liberally. Perhaps most importantly, an accessible email will not lean too heavily on visuals or hide information in images, as adaptive tools like screen readers can struggle to convert them.
Keeping accessibility top-of-mind is important for reaching the maximum percentage of your subscribers or target audiences and contributes to good overall email marketing usability.
3. Customize Your Pre-Header Text
Pre-header text used to be an afterthought, and many marketers defaulted to the first few words of email body copy. Now, because of the way emails are displayed in mobile and desktop inboxes, pre-headers are widely recognized as the second-most important text element after the subject line. Pre-header text indicates to the reader what the email is about; it’s essentially a visible meta-description of the email.
As such, the pre-header text should complement the subject line and reinforce the critical call-to-action within the email. It should, like the subject line, entice the recipient to open the email and keep reading while also reading while offering an informative preview of the email itself. And it needs to accomplish all of this concisely in an abbreviated space.
Crafting a compelling subject and pre-header pair can feel like writing poetry, but getting it right can significantly impact open rates and conversions.
4. Use an Effective Layout
The layout is the most recognizable aspect of email design and likely what most people think of first when considering the design elements of an email. Layout determines the flow of your content and the order in which your readers consume information. The most basic principles of email layout are maintaining organization and logical consistency, capturing attention through aesthetics, and manipulating the recipient’s eye where you want it to go.
- Organization: In essence, this means establishing a clear visual hierarchy. Try to display the most important information and convey essential details early on (higher) in the email.
- Aesthetics: incorporate white space to give your content breathing room and lend a more elevated look. Clutter and “walls” of text are difficult to read and lead to email abandonment. Instead, utilize negative space to accentuate key points and keep the recipient reading.
- Guiding the eye: Use directional cues to draw attention to the most essential part of your email. Effective layout templates leverage natural reading and eye movement patterns to focus the recipient on desired email elements.
Many email templates use the following common layout patterns, each of which guides the reader’s attention in specific ways:
- Z-pattern layouts place a zig-zag of content within the reader’s typical sight line, starting at the upper left corner.
- F-pattern layouts emphasize the left side of the email, inviting readers to return their eyes to that side for most information.
- Inverted pyramid layouts, perhaps the most familiar layout, load critical information at the top and create a visual funnel toward a CTA at the bottom.
These principles are laid out in the following two wireframe examples of common email layouts. Notice how both lean on the reading path of the human eye while maintaining a recognizable hierarchy and putting vital information up top:
5. Choose Colors Strategically
Color scheme is an essential element in any design, and emails are no exception. The right combination of colors – or the strategic limitation of a color palette – can elicit emotion, direct attention to important content, reinforce brand image or distinguish a single email from a series or campaign.
There is plenty of room for experimentation with color in email marketing. Still, good general rules of thumb are to avoid clashing colors or using too wide a variety of colors, use bright colors sparingly, and stay consistent with color usage across branded marketing assets. And as with accessibility and responsiveness, it’s also important to consider how an email is being viewed; for example, if being read on a mobile device in “dark” mode, pure black text can appear illegible.
It’s important to remember that color isn’t limited to graphical elements or iconography in the email; the text color used and dominant color in embedded images or photographs should also be considered. These colors should work in harmony to support your content, brand and the purpose of the email.
6. Use Clean and Clear Text
An organized layout and strategic use of color will go a long way toward making an email readable and effective. Ultimately, though, the information you want to communicate stems from the email copy itself. One hard and fast rule for text in an email is to be clear and concise.
Remember the 333 billion emails sent and received last year? Your target audience received some of those, and they almost certainly didn’t read every word of every email they received. So many of those emails were probably never opened, thanks to poor subject lines.
Emails should draw the eye with an attractive design but be easy to skim. Get to the point quickly, or risk ending up in the trash.
When in doubt, follow these guidelines:
- Maintain a good text-to-image ratio
- Keep the headline to two lines or less
- Keep text on a simple background so that it’s easy to read
- Bold or highlight keywords or phrases
“Reduce the cognitive load. We really want to create our emails to be clean and concise.”
— Sammi Nutsongtat, Klaviyo Design Specialist
7. Treat Email as a Brand Opportunity
Of all the potential touchpoints a recipient might have with your brand, the email you just sent them is unlikely to be their first. That makes it very important to keep email design consistent with your overall brand design.
Incorporating strong branding – not just a logo or a tagline, but brand-specific colors, imagery, typography and content tone – helps email recipients identify the message’s source and provides a more cohesive experience from the inbox to the landing page. That can reduce your bounce rate as users interact with your brand across different channels.
A good branding evaluation question to ask: If I removed our logo from these email designs, would our subscribers identify our company?
Your brand’s identity tells your story, so it’s important to be conscious of your email branding. Branding should remain consistent across all channels, whether email-to-email or email-to-website.
8. Your Typography Style Matters
Using a consistent typeface in email design can reinforce your brand image and identity, though, like color, there is some opportunity for experimentation. The most important thing to remember about typography is that it should be easy to read at a skimming pace and shouldn’t detract or add confusion to the message.
Emails can also contain more than one kind of typeface, for example, one font that looks better at a larger size for headers and another that looks cleaner for entire sentences of body copy. That said, too many different fonts in an email can make it hard to read. A limit of three fonts per email is a good common-sense rule. Again, a drag-and-drop email builder usually has several typeface options and suggestions for specific email elements or sections.
9. Personalize Elements of Your Emails
Personalization is one of the dominant themes across the marketing and advertising industries right now, as technological advancements and the rise in importance of zero- and first-party customer data have made true one-to-one, brand-to-customer engagement possible. Email marketing, which was perhaps the first marketing vector to make widespread use of basic personalization (think mail merge and auto-filled salutation lines), can also incorporate more sophisticated personalization techniques – and should.
The goal of personalization should be to make an email meaningful and valuable to the recipient. That means incorporating bespoke, custom content blocks based on customer data, including insights like purchase history or position in the customer lifecycle or buying journey. Narrow segmentation can help target specific customers, and personal touches like incorporating profile information or preferences can help humanize your brand and create stronger relationships.
In short, you should seize every opportunity to include more personalized elements in your emails.
10. Always Use a CTA
This might seem like email marketing 101, but no list of email marketing optimization tips would be complete without addressing calls to action or CTAs. Usually rendered graphically as a button, a good CTA should concisely describe the exact action the email reader can expect upon clicking and be placed at a point in the layout where the next step is logically implied.
Effective CTAs typically appear at the bottom of a section in a contrasting color to the email’s overall color scheme. Multiple CTAs can be used – some research suggests that having more than one CTA increases click-through rates – but only where the natural progression of the content suggests they appear. As with many of the design tips presented here, CTAs should be used in a cohesive, consistent manner.
11. Avoid Abrupt Design Changes
Consistency isn’t just important within an email; it’s also important across campaigns. Design shock, or suddenly presenting drastically different creative to an existing audience like your subscriber base, can impact the success of an individual email or an entire campaign.
When updating your email designs, consider rolling out the changes in an iterative fashion or testing the new creative out on a small group of subscribers before rolling it out to your entire audience.
As the example above illustrates, gradually transitioning to a new layout while keeping many other design elements consistent helps minimize the effect of design shock. Keep this in mind as you embark on new email campaigns or make universal changes to your email marketing approach.
How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Email Design
You can put as much thought and preparation into email design as possible, and the email might still fall short of performance expectations. The only way to ensure a successful campaign and maximize conversions is to engage in A/B testing by sending slightly different versions of an email to distinct segments of your audience. It’s a straightforward process that many email platforms support, but sadly, nearly 42.9% of marketers don’t know what to test.
When assessing an email design’s impact on an audience, there are various things you can test to help drive higher clicks, conversions, or overall performance. These include:
- Call to action button styling
- Overall layout
- Number of products featured
- Lifestyle vs. product imagery
- Cheeky vs. simple copy
- Animation vs. static
Once you know what to test for and have identified what you’re trying to prove, run a few test emails to sample groups, isolating one variable at a time over a series of weeks. Evaluate which works best for reaching, resonating with, and converting the most recipients, and you’ll gradually improve your conversion rates.
Resources & Tools to Improve Your Email Design Game
There is no shortage of email design tools available to help you get the most out of your email marketing strategy. Some are full-service email-building platforms, while others are helpful stock image sites or graphics libraries. Here are a few of our favorites:
Klayvio is a well-established, full-service email marketing platform optimized for ecommerce and featuring sophisticated personalization tools. Klaviyo’s robust library of customizable, responsive templates, support for A/B testing, and dynamic content capabilities can help users of all levels put email design optimization tips into action.
Need a more comprehensive and data-driven approach to email and lifecycle marketing? Our own Performance Creative offering is based on moments that matter and features integration with multiple channels and touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the biggest names in design software also has one of the most robust stock image catalogs available. Adobe Stock allows users to search for specific image types or browse by category, ensuring you’ll find the perfect photos or images for your email campaign.
Any design process – including email design – can be collaborative. Figma provides a platform to facilitate that collaboration that includes several email-specific features, including a library of visual assets teams can build themselves.
Design is a central aspect of email marketing performance, and getting it right can be the difference between a positive ROI campaign and a forgettable brand encounter. You can probably think of several marketing emails in your inbox that slapped a basic template together with uninspiring (and uninspired!) copy and called it a day. Or maybe not, because you deleted them without getting past the subject line.
Your email campaigns can help solidify customer relationships and prospects through accessible designs that embrace solid layout principles, on-brand typography and images, a concise and catchy subject and pre-header, logical CTAs and compelling copy. You’ll ultimately generate more opens, leads, conversions and revenue for your company, too.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in August 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
How to choose a content marketing automation platform
A 1917 poster says in bold capital letters: “I WANT YOU FOR THE U.S. ARMY,” along with the famous image of Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer.
In 1917, most advertising was blunt and direct, but in the following 100+ years, consumers have become desensitized to typical marketing strategies. As a result, companies have turned to new forms of marketing to reach their audience.
One of these forms of marketing is content marketing: an indirect type of advertising that delivers blog posts, podcasts, and other forms of content to indirectly market a brand to consumers. Today, businesses can automate many aspects of content marketing, and choosing the right platform for content marketing automation unlocks new efficiencies and return on investment for companies.
- Content marketing is a powerful way to reach customers by providing value through content.
- Automation makes content marketing efficient and convenient.
- Optimizely can help you take your content management to the next level.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a new strategy for reaching potential customers by delivering content they want to consume. Content marketing improves the brand’s image by providing useful or entertaining content which builds goodwill and brand recognition among potential customers.
Content marketing takes many forms: podcasts, digital video, webinars, articles, infographics and more. Creating and delivering quality content is difficult because it must deliver on multiple levels: it must be useful, entertaining and informative, but it must also inspire confidence and credibility. In other words, quality content marketing must be both good content and marketing material.
Why would a company spend its marketing dollars on content marketing instead of more direct forms of advertising? There are several reasons content marketing is a good choice for companies:
- Content marketing improves organic reach by delivering content that customers want to consume. This can range from entertainment like TikTok videos or online quizzes to more serious informative content like how-to guides and video conferences.
- Content marketing inspires confidence in your brand by establishing your company as an expert and key player in your industry.
- Content marketing improves goodwill by delivering personable, relatable content that meets customers where they’re at. Rather than trying to make customers interested in your company directly, content marketing capitalizes on the things your customer is already interested in.
How to automate content marketing
AI can’t host a podcast or present a webinar (at least not yet), but automation plays an important role in content marketing.
Social media is one of the largest opportunities for marketers. Social media is the second largest market within the world of digital advertising, second only to search marketing. Content marketing is uniquely poised to cover both categories as it can optimize content for organic search results and social media sharing.
This is where automation comes into the picture: automation can’t take over your social media presence for you, but it can take on some of the most tedious and error-prone aspects of your digital presence. Some key ways you can automate your social media content marketing are by scheduling posts, connecting various social media platforms to publish content on multiple platforms at once, regularly sharing your content, automatically promoting content and more.
Recently, AI has taken significant steps forward in Natural Language Processing (NLP), which makes AI chatbots a powerful way to connect with users on social media platforms (as well as on your platform).
A fan of the television show Arrested Development would finish the phrase “The money is in the…” with “banana stand,” but experienced marketers know that the right answer is “the money is in the list.”
This popular phrase refers to the fact that email marketing is one of the most important aspects of a marketing plan, and a longer list of quality leads is one of the most reliable ways to grow sales. Email newsletters are one of the most popular forms of content marketing but sending email after email is a tedious and treacherous process as it creates limitless opportunities for human error.
Automation revolutionizes email marketing by automatically sending emails. With a customer relationship management platform, email automation can automatically send emails based on milestones and timelines and personalize emails based on the customer’s name and history. This level of personalization is difficult for small businesses and impossible for large ones, but with automation, it’s straightforward and convenient.
One of the keys to marketing automation is tracking marketing communication performance. Marketers should be performing A/B testing to see which campaigns perform the best and merit further expansion, but tangibly measuring the outcome of these tests is difficult without the right tools.
Automation helps companies track the performance of their content marketing by collecting data from various platforms, bringing it all into one convenient place and providing metrics about the traffic and conversions coming from each piece of content.
Features of the right content marketing platform
Harnessing the value of these powerful automation options requires a quality content marketing platform. The right platform should include some qualities that maximize its usefulness.
- Flexibility. One of the essential functions of automation is the ability to share content on multiple platforms simultaneously. While this is already a powerful option, it becomes more powerful with a headless API that empowers you to deliver content on various platforms.
- Personalization. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% become frustrated when companies don’t personalize their communications. The right content marketing platform makes personalization second nature with robust personalization tools that go beyond copy-and-pasting names. Content marketing platforms like Optimizely target personalized digital experiences to dynamic customer segments.
- Capacity. Your business has unique needs, and your content platform shouldn’t hold you back. Rather than making your job harder, the right content marketing platform makes your job easier by offering a wide range of options and high-capacity storage for all your needs.
When it comes to content management, Optimizely is an industry leader. Optimizely’s advanced tools range from A/B testing, e-commerce support and headless digital experience management.
To learn how Optimizely can help you harness the power of automation and revolutionize your content marketing, request a meeting today to start the next chapter of your marketing journey.
Skills to Look for in a Freelance Software Developer
According to Statista, the number of software developers around the globe is expected to increase to 28.7 million by 2024.
Freelance software developers benefit companies because of the ease and speed with which they can be onboarded and used as project-specific resources. This blog will answer the most asked concerns about using contract services.
Benefits of Hiring Freelance Software Developers
When hiring a freelancer, your first expectation is impeccable skills and expertise, followed closely by cost savings, or vice versa. Here are the most popular reasons why companies choose to hire freelance talent.
Full-time employees cost an organisation a salary, as well as added investments in training, equipment, perks, overheads of utilities and rented space, and benefits such as healthcare and social security.
Freelancers work remotely using personal resources; businesses reduce investments without losing quality.
Businesses reduce financial risk by working with freelancers on an hourly, monthly, or project basis. Setting a clearly worded contract that the freelance software developer agrees to and signs, mitigates financial risk and clearly stipulates ownership of intellectual property.
Freelancers with niche expertise such as software development company in London, provide companies with the best talents for their projects. Hiring freelancers for different projects allows businesses to match the varying demands of each project, streamlines workflows and ensures productivity.
Businesses choose professional freelancers expecting them to complete any given task with minimum input from the organization. You can access talent from across the globe on platforms such as UpWork, People Per Hour, Fiverr, and Toptal, amongst others. Client reviews on such portals help in assessing proficiency and expertise.
A freelancer is as good as her or his portfolio. Successful freelancers achieve credibility by building long-term relationships and providing consistent quality. Freelancer work depends on referrals and good reviews, hence a potential contract employee’s work portfolio, and reviews showcase their abilities.
Skills of A High-Quality Freelance Software Developer
The first criterion for hiring a developer for your project is knowing what skill sets are needed. List your project specifications to customise your search and determine the expertise required for the project. Freelance developers may work on web development (front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers) or mobile application development.
Front-end freelance developers
Back-end freelance developers
Full-stack freelance developers
Mobile app developers
Mobile app developers develop, create, and test mobile applications for iOS and Android operating systems. Mobile app developers have programming language skills such as NodeJS, PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails. They must also be proficient in back-end frameworks, database management and security, and hardware interaction. They need expertise in UI/UX design, security, and the Internet of things (IoT) for mobile devices.
How to Locate the Best Freelancers Online
Talent portals such as Upwork, People Per Hour, and Fiverr showcase many talented freelance software developers. Here are steps on how to hire talent from an online opportunity marketplace.
Set a Hiring Budget
Look for similar job postings to learn what are the current hourly rates for the work you require. Define a reasonable budget. Beware that a freelance software developer may have higher hourly rates than regular employees.
Clearly Define Project Requirements
Freelancers can be effective resources when you provide clear details about your project requirements. Be sure to mention the following
- Allocated Budget
- Payment terms
- Project start and end dates
- Clear job descriptions
- Project expectations
Shortlist and Assess Freelance Software Developers
Top software developers typically work harder and achieve results because client reviews are essential to their ongoing success. The details you post make it easier for them to determine if they fit your requirements. Once you begin receiving qualified responses, choose according to their ratings and reviews, your interview process, and any sample project to build software and check their skills.
Six Factors to Consider when Hiring Freelance Sofware Developers
Hiring a freelancer revolves around their technical skills, certifications and education, attitude towards work, and ability to deliver results. Here are some crucial pointers to help you find the most appropriate fit for your project.
Freelancers must be able to handle the technical requirements of the project. They should be well-versed in software stacks, coding, development and task management software, version control tools, and deployment processes. Freelance software developers may charge more for specific technical abilities such as mobile app development, web development, or project rescues.
Freelancers who have worked on similar projects will have come across pain points and solutions. Any relevant experience enhances their expertise for your project and boosts their ability to strategise toward productive outcomes. Note that a freelancer’s experience typically increases their pay rate.
Experience and expertise increase a freelancer’s worth, but their services must provide value for your money. Knowing current hourly or project rates ensures that you are connecting with the right candidates. Freelancers that accept less payment may be new to the market and want to create a client base. Or, are choosing to supplement their income with multiple projects, which may reduce their work quality.
Education and certifications improve a freelancer’s pay scale, but they do not signal a freelancer’s abilities. The easiest way to gauge work ethic is from social proof such as client endorsements and their portfolio. A professional freelance software developer will openly share these details, with their client’s approval, of course.
A reliable freelancer will have a long-standing client base, developed by consistent efforts and proven results. The more repeat customers a freelancer has, the better the chances of them being dependable. The following actions demonstrate the integrity of any freelance work and can be testified by customer reviews.
- Following instructions
- Regular updates
- Quickly responding to queries
- Willingly accepting critique
- Meeting deadlines consistently
One of the best features of acquiring freelance talent is access to global resources. Ensure that your communication skills match. Also, check that the culture and holidays in the freelancer’s location do not conflict with project development. Location can also affect fees, where freelancers in the USA charge the highest as compared to their Asian counterparts.
Finding and hiring the right freelance software developers is easy when you have the necessary checklists in place. Software development work is complex, make sure you are vetting your candidates carefully to get the best fit for your project. Good luck!
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