We are excited to announce a new video we edited for 3-time GRAMMY winner Keb’ Mo’. The video highlights who Keb’ Mo’ is as both a person and musician, with the goal of introducing Keb’ Mo’ to new fans, as well as promoting him to people in the entertainment industry. Check it out!
Not to be outdone, 2017 brings a website for an organization founded by us: Willow’s Fairy Wish. The goal of the organization is to provide financial assistance to families with children who have been recently diagnosed with leukemia in Maine. While the website is still in its infancy, it’s being developed to sell tickets, and to be used as a fund raising tool for families.
Lastly, we are also honored to have been awarded a contract for designing and developing a new website for the town we are located in, Westport Island.
In this day and age where MailChimp and other email marketing services have become the norm, fewer people opt to use their own mailing list software such as phpList. SendGrid and other similar services can be easily integrated with EE through their API and they certainly have their own advantages.
However, there are clients that can’t afford a couple hundred bucks a month, or that couple hundred could be best put toward social media marketing or other mediums.
There are ongoing misconceptions about running your own mailing list software:
Your IP/domain will get blacklisted - That could very well happen if you send spam, do not have unsubscribe links, or send emails to people who didn’t sign up. If you send really good content, both the open rate and click rate will be much higher, and folks who don’t want to receive any more emails will simply unsubscribe.
MailChimp / Emma / Etc are easier to use and setup - Very true for the majority of cases. Though not for all. A good example is how we use ExpressionEngine to pull all the tour dates/ticket links from kebmo.com and output HTML formatted for email. Typing 25+ tour dates, locations and ticket links would be time consuming, and makes no sense since the data is already in EE.
Tips for using phpList with ExpressionEngine
Download our add-on to ensure that people can easily sign up for your mailing list using phpList on your ExpressionEngine site.
Create an HTML template in phpList using a responsive email template such as Salted.
If data is to be pulled from your EE site for your newsletters, you can easily create an EE template that pulls the data and spits HTML to be copied and pasted into phpList.
Taking a step further
Depending on your needs, you may want to create a custom Channel/Template that generate the complete email HTML to be sent. Using ExpressionEngine’s flexbility this could be achieved in little time, and will result in a very efficient system to generate emails. This also provides a better user experience than your standard web-based drag and drop editor.
In late July we migrated Keb’ Mo’s website from WordPress to ExpressionEngine. This was not a redesign, but instead a mirror of the WordPress site. Aside from the mobile menu (which used a WordPress plugin), the only difference is the responsive framework which went from Skeleton to Bootstrap. Skeleton is actually a lighter weight (albeit outdated) framework.
ExpressionEngine had already been powering Keb’s internal assets site; so most of the content needed was already in EE. The majority of the work revolved around changing the HTML for Bootstrap, as well as developing the tour page. And last but not least, instead of using a plugin for a sitemap, we created the sitemap from scratch using a standard EE template ~ which is what we prefer to do for any EE site we develop.
After about 4 weeks of being on ExpressionEngine, the site speed has improved a lot, and visits from organic search have increased significantly as well. We attribute both to proper site building techniques, correct HTML syntax and a sitemap that accurately reflects the site’s content.
Of note: Keb’ Mo’s WordPress site had also been built by us