March Marketing Madness

Basketball on the HardwoodThis past month, much of the nation was engrossed in March Madness. It’s hard not to pull for your favorite team when the intensity of “win or go home” games is so high.

As someone who is intrigued by good coaching, I’ve come to see a pattern similar among the top coaches: They stick to a basic plan, but make some adjustments along the way as their team matures and different players’ strengths surface.

I believe there is a lesson for marketers in this. There is no doubt that new media opportunities have surfaced, such as social media, mobile, iPad, etc. We understand these new developments and have begun to offer these ad options for our clients, much to their pleasure. Our readers appreciate the opportunity to use different media to read our content—while being exposed to partner organizations and their products or services.

As marketers, we have to hold our marketing plans lightly, adjusting our game to take advantage of new opportunities when they surface.

As you take advantage of new media, I would encourage you not to abandon the high exposure that comes from having your ad seen in our very respected print publications such as Christianity Today, Leadership, Men of Integrity, and Books & Culture. For many of our advertisers, it is their success in these print publications that has met and exceeded their marketing needs over the years.

Being in my position as an Account Executive for nearly 15 years, I have heard of numerous campaigns where marketers have appreciated the high visibility and brand/product building that has come from their advertising in these award-winning print publications.

So, as you look to drive your ad campaigns to be the most effective they can be, let me encourage you to keep up the strategy that has worked in the court so far—your solid exposure in print—supported by increased new digital ad opportunities.

Walter is a veteran sales manager with a knack for finding win-win solutions.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising

Connecting with CT’s Social Networks


Interact with CT’s engaged readership on a personal level with new social media advertising.

How we use the Internet has changed in recent years. Most people now discover, consume, and engage with online content through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites serve as gateways, portals to good content, that are curated by vast networks of friends and family who share quality articles and ideas to their own ever-growing social media families.

Here at CT, we’ve witnessed an explosion in social media visitors, fans and followers. We’re counting over 300,000 Facebook fans and 250,000 Twitter followers and adding more every day. Best of all, these social media fans are among our most engaged readers who love to interact with posts and articles and share content with their own network of friends. Thanks to these loyal fans sharing, commenting, and retweeting, the effective reach of CT’s content is regularly amplified to millions of new viewers around the world.

For the first time, CT is pleased to share this fantastic and growing audience with some of our strategic partners in ministry through Sponsored Social Media Posts. Through boosted postings on Facebook and Twitter, these key voices can reach out to an expanded audience directly through their personal social networks. With pages and profiles targeted to specific audiences like women on TCW, pastors on Leadership Journal, and intellectual and church leaders on Christianity Today, these sponsored posts provide an amazing opportunity to engage with an audience directly and personally. Advertisers will also receive assistance in crafting and reviewing their posts from CT’s prestigious editorial staff, ensuring that the message will match the tone and mission of Christianity Today’s existing social media conversations.

For more information in this unique opportunity, please contact us here and visit our advertising help pages here.

As the team’s “stats guy,” Luke Schoenrock our go-to staff member for analytics and reporting

Posted in Company News, Online Advertising, Social Media

Give Free Fonts a Chance

187068223Don’t be so quick to dismiss “free” fonts.

Back in the day a good designer wouldn’t be caught dead using “free” fonts. And with good reason—most free fonts were amateurish at best and total abominations at worst. But my, how times have changed. In an online column for Smashing Magazine, Jeremiah Shoaf encourages designers to take a fresh look at free fonts. According to Shoaf, “large companies such as Adobe and Google, have been commissioning fonts for open-source projects and making them available for free on the web.” These open-source fonts are created by competent, professional typographers and are of a much higher quality than those of the past. Most are specifically designed with the web in mind, having multiple weights and matching italics, making them ideal for both headlines and body copy, as well as insuring they render well on all screen sizes and resolutions.

Here is a handful of the fonts Shoaf recommends:

1. Alegreya. A reader font designed by Juan Pablo del Peral, this award-winning font is a hidden-gem and has garnered several awards.

2. Source Sans Pro. This is a versatile, modern, open-source font from Adobe and is available in 6 different weights. It was designed by Paul D. Hunt and intended to work well in user interfaces.

3. Open Sans. Google commissioned Steve Matteson for this “flat design” font. It has become one of the more popular open-source fonts on the web. Available in five weights – with matching italics – it’s a workhorse that can be trusted in almost any circumstance

4.  Merriweather. Here’s a nice serif font designed by Eben Sorkin. It’s great for online reading and has a companion sans-serif version.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to tool around Google fonts yourself and see what you can find. You can also check out Jeremiah’s article in its entirety here.

One final caveat: even though these fonts are “free” they’re the result of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a good idea to support the designers who created them by either purchasing other fonts they have created or making a financial donation.

Jeremiah Shoaf is a freelance designer from Colorado. He is the curator of Typewolf and creates flat-file CMS themes for his other side project, Type & Grids. He also continually updates a curated list of open-source free fonts.

Michael Chuchvara, our team’s graphic designer, is our creative genius, designing eye-catching flyers, inserts, and e-blasts.

Posted in Digital Magazines, Print Advertising, Stuff We Like

3 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

467208035The web contains infinite inspiration for marketing content. Jump on Google or Facebook and you’ll immediately see what’s trending and hot right now. Reviewing these popular promotions can spur creativity and improve your marketing. With email marketing, however, it can be very difficult to find good examples of what others are doing. Recently Hubspot posted 10 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing (and Why They’re So Great). With each example they give what specifically makes the email so effective. Here are 3 of our favorite ideas:

1. First Impressions Count
One of the first items they focus on is a short and punchy subject line and preview text. Remember that not only is the subject critical to recipients opening your email, but it will also set expectations for the contents. Make sure your message can deliver on promises in the subject line.

2. Modify for Mobile
Another key item is having a responsive design, which will optimize the layout based on the device. With the increased use of mobile devices to check email, this is increasingly important for a consistent viewing experience of your marketing message.

3. Make Action Easy
While some email designs focus on beautiful imagery, ease of navigation prompts the right action from readers. The reader should very quickly know exactly what to click on if he or she is interested. Witty but confusing calls to action can be problematic and lead to lower conversion rates.  

You can see all 10 brilliant email marketing examples and what makes them so successful on Hubspot’s original blog post.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing

How to Handle the New Facebook Algorithm

Success teamIn December Facebook launched a new algorithm, supposedly to ensure that high quality news content would more regularly show up on newsfeeds. There is a multitude of ways business can respond, so here’s our round up of interesting and helpful ideas:

Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Social Media

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